Author(s): Ming Hu
Compared to operating energy, research on the embodied energy of buildings and the related environmental impact remain a largely unexplored area. However, as the operating energy of buildings continues to decrease due to improvements in energy efficiency, the percentage and significance of buildings’ embodied energy will increase in life cycle energy use. To address the research gap, this paper uses a bibliometric analysis to conduct a systematic review on embodied energy (EE) and environmental impact (EI) by employing VOSviewer software. This study has two objectives: (1) to identify the current research clusters and disciplines formedand (2) to discuss research development trends and characteristics. Between 1996 and 2019, 320 publications related to the research topic were found on the Web of Science, covering 109 journals and 48 countries. The results revealed two research growth trends: first, a temporal shift of the involved research fields and an extension of the research scopes and, second, the different socioeconomic influences on developing and developed countries’ research focus andaims. This review provides a comprehensive understanding of the focus, aims, and trends of this new and fast-growing field of EE-EI research.