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4 - Impacts of air pollution on building materials

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2014

Ari Rabl
Ecole des Mines, Paris
Joseph V. Spadaro
Basque Centre for Climate Change, Bilbao, Spain
Mike Holland
Ecometrics Research and Consulting (EMRC)
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This chapter describes two methods for quantifying air pollution damage of buildings in physical and economic terms; one is bottom-up, the other top-down. We begin by showing how the amenity cost can be obtained from the repair cost, without the need for a contingent valuation. Then we describe the effect of air pollution on the main building materials and we show the corresponding exposure–response functions. Sections 4.4 and 4.5 describe the bottom-up and the top-down methods. The results suggest that typical damage costs in the EU are in a range 0.1 to 0.4 €/kg of SO2; this is a very small percentage (about 1 to 4%) of the costs of health damages due to SO2. By contrast with the rather detailed calculations for SO2, only very preliminary estimates have been made for the damage costs from soiling caused by particulate emissions. These suggest values in the order of 0.07 to 0.3 €/kg of particulates emitted by combustion; like for SO2, this is only a very small percentage of the corresponding costs of health damages. For damage to historical buildings and monuments, despite the fact that this was one of the early motivations towards dealing with acid rain, we have regrettably no good numbers, merely a very rough estimate for France.

How Much Is Clean Air Worth?
Calculating the Benefits of Pollution Control
, pp. 131 - 159
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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