A series of studies have been undertaken to quantify potential steelwork and embodied carbon savings in single-storey industrial buildings with long span sandwich panel roof cladding. It was found that trussed-roof frames with north lights offer the greatest potential steelwork saving (38%-60%) against traditional portal frame construction when used with long span panels. However, in order to achieve the necessary span between adjacent frames, the structural performance of the sandwich panels needed to be improved. A subsequent study was undertaken to develop revised specifications for long span roof sandwich panels to increase their spanning capability, while minimizing the increase in embodied carbon. The mechanical resistance of the panels was evaluated using a combination of theoretical analysis and structural testing and a Pareto-optimal set of solutions was found. Finally, the optimized structure-envelope assembly was reviewed holistically in terms of its embodied carbon. The results showed that savings of up to 7.3% may be achieved for the frame when compared against traditional portal frame construction.
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