Here are some examples of popular claims in the building sector and why they might be questioned… ‘ Environmentally friendly’ A very vague term and misleading if not backed up with an explanation and documentation. ‘ Natural’ Sounds nice enough, right? But actually, not everything natural is good or sustainable. It may seem counterintuitive, but some natural products actually have a higher environmental impact than their synthetic counterparts. ‘ Carbon neutral’ Carbon neutral: offsetting precisely as much carbon as you emit. The scope of operations covered by the claim is a critical factor i.e. just one product and does it cover full life cycle emissions? Is offsetting the only action to reduce carbon or is it part of an overall strategy to reduce energy usage and increase use of renewable energy sources? Also how valid is carbon offset? ‘ Recyclable’ One of the most misused terms today! Many materials are technically able to be recycled but it’s not always economically feasible to do so. The real question is; will the material actually be recycled? Likewise, energy from waste is sometimes described as ‘recycling’ but in fact means burning where some of the energy is recovered.
At InterfaceFLOR, we’ve invented a smarter, more sustainable way to install carpet tiles. Without glue! TacTiles are connectors placed at the intersection of four tiles to create a floating floor, making replacement and uplifting of individual tiles even easier. And best of all, compared to traditional glue installation, TacTiles reduce environmental impact by around 90%, and they virtually eliminate VOCs.
Knowing where the main impacts are, the next step is learning from the LCA and taking action to reduce the impacts. So once a manufacturer recognises that yarn is the biggest obstacle to producing a sustainable carpet tile, there are three key things they can do about it… 1 - Reduce the amount of yarn used Can you create a carpet with less yarn per square metre? 2 - Use more recycled yarn in the composition Minimising use of virgin yarn can save embodied energy at multiple levels 3 - Invent a new yarn Can you offer a low-impact alternative to virgin nylon with similar quality and performance?
Here you can see the different cutting methods and the resulting ‘window waste’. It’s a bit similar to cutting cookies to be baked in the oven. By introducing the ultrasonic cutter we are able to reduce manufacturing waste from cutting by 80% and thereby eliminate 310 tonnes of waste material each year. And at the same time we are able to increase production speed and save energy per square metre produced.
FALSE NEGATIVES are those projects or processes that HIT THE SIDES are GET KILLED. Just because we can’t make it work doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea or that it cannot generate value for us. Opening up the funnel – from The Lab is Your World to The World is Your Lab
Biomimicry beyond product design
Biomimicry beyond product design
<ul><li>1 Optimizes rather than maximizes </li></ul><ul><li>Uses multi-functional design </li></ul><ul><li>Fits form to function </li></ul><ul><li>2 Acts independently </li></ul><ul><li>Recycles all materials- waste equals food </li></ul><ul><li>Fosters cooperative relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Self-organizing </li></ul><ul><li>3 Manufactures it’s own needs </li></ul><ul><li>Life-friendly materials </li></ul><ul><li>Water-based chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>Self-assembly </li></ul><ul><li>4 Resourceful and Opportunistic </li></ul><ul><li>Shape rather than material </li></ul><ul><li>Simple, common building blocks </li></ul><ul><li>5 Uses cyclical processes (vs. linear) </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback loops </li></ul><ul><li>6 Durable-Tough </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse- Natural law to lessen risk </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralized and distributed </li></ul><ul><li>Surplus- if one system fails, there’s a </li></ul><ul><li>back up </li></ul>
Window waste with die cutting Window waste with ultrasonic cutting
Our current market Our new market Other firm´s market Prof Henry Chesbrough ,2004 Open Innovation Funnel External technology insourcing Internal technology base External technology base Internal/external venture handling Licence, spin out, divest