Life cycle evaluation of sustainable practices in a Sauna Bath

Luis Velazquez, Sandra Villalba, Ricardo García, Nora Munguía

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

© 2019 by the authors. To battle climate change, the search for sustainable solutions and the reduction of environmental impacts are activities that must be pursued in all areas of human life. This study aimed to conduct a Life Cycle Evaluation of the environmental aspects and potential benefits associated with two different innovative adaptations to a sauna bath. The first adaptation is related to the selection of wooden materials for the bath's interior construction; the second is related to the source of thermal energy. For the selection of wooden materials, experiments were performed to evaluate a graphene coating and its capacity to increase the durability of wooden materials. For the thermal energy source, a solar air heater was experimentally assessed to confirm its capacity to supply the thermal energy required to operate the sauna bath. Finally, the material selection and the heating operation were integrated in a Life Cycle Impact Assessment, contrasting two scenarios: "business as usual sauna bath" and "sustainable sauna bath." The findings showed a significant reduction of around 61% of total emissions from the application of a solar air heater and wooden materials treated with a graphene coating. At the end of this study, "human well-being," "ecosystems," and "resources" were expressed in monetary values to assess the impact of the above practices in a sauna bath.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

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