The purpose of Blog 26- and 26-2 or this paper report is to determine a preliminary cost estimate for planning of the PDP. It will also include finding 3 options for the location of the project. The planning function should include the following personnel:
Experts and Consultants:
Principal Landscape Architect: $ 150.00 per hour or (8 hr.) day $ 1,200.00
Other Landscape Architects (average costs): $ 90.00 per hour or $ 720 per day
Principal Architect: $ 200.00 per hour or $ 1,600.00 per day
Other Architects (average costs): $ 110.00 per hour or $ 880.00 per day
Civil/Structural Engineers (average costs): $ 110.00 per hour
Anthropologists/Sociologists: $ 125.00 per hour or $ 1,000.00 per day
C.E. Economists: $ 150.00 per hour or $ 1,200.00 hour
Other Experts (Principals): $ 125.00 per hour or $ 1,000.00 per day
Non Profit Organizations: To be Determined
George Hunt: $ 125.00 per hour or $ 1,000.00 per day
Assistants/Secretaries, etc. (average costs): $ 30.00 per hour or $ 240.00 per day
For this proposal the work will be done with the personnel listed above. If someone else is needed it will be under “Other Experts” or “Non-Profit Organizations.” After the management team is selected they will have the option of revising the list. At that time there will be a decision for the proposed location of the site. Much of the planning for now (other than reviewing potential location sites) will have to be done virtually) due to the pandemic.
With all the environmental problems (see Blog 9-Systems Thinking on my website) happening today, including more intense storms and wildfires, the type of planning and new concepts that we have used in the past will have to be changed. One example is by Logan Architecture and ICON for using the process of 3D printing.
Article first appeared in Builder.
Not too long ago the building industry fantasized about a time when homes and buildings could be constructed on a shorter timeline, with less labor, with less resources, and at an affordable price. With several technological advancements in 3D-printed construction in the past couple of years, those far-fetched ideas may soon come to fruition.
Although the realization of 3D-printed homes may be in its early stages, construction technologies company ICON believes it could be a viable way to quickly build affordable housing. In March, the company delivered on that goal by completing a series of 400-square-foot, 3D-printed homes that will serve as new beginnings for six formerly homeless people. Located in Austin, Texas, the project is part of a continued partnership with Mobile Loaves & Fishes, a local nonprofit known for its service to the area’s homeless community. The organization’s Community First! Village is a 51-acre master plan that provides affordable, permanent housing for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness.
Another creative group located in Austin, Texas is the non-profit, Maximum Potential Building System led by Pliny Fisk III and Gail Vittori. Over the past 38 years, The Center has overseen and collaborated on award-winning public and private sector projects in Austin, throughout the U.S., and internationally. In 2013, Ecotone Press released Creating a Maximum Potential Future, a biography of Fisk, as part of their Green Masters series of publications. The Center continues to inspire ecologically balanced environments, steward natural resources, and elevate community resilience and economic vitality through such projects as the Island Nations Initiative (“Village in a Box”), the Ecology Action Circle Acres Ecobalance Masterplan, and LEED and sustainability consulting for Austin’s Block 21, Mueller Redevelopment, and Seaholm EcoDistrict. Additional information is on the internet.
These are just two examples out of many and they show the need for comparing building systems and ideas. The buildings will have to show how sustainable they are as well. One of the most important design features must answer the question “How sustainable is each type of building construction system and how does it fit into the circular economy diagram?” Some housing systems that answer those questions are discussed in the book “The New Carbon Architecture – Building to Cool the Climate,” by Bruce King, 2017, New Society Publishers. It is a product of the non-profit Ecological Building Network. They note:
For the first time in history, we can build pretty much anything out of carbon that we coaxed from the air. We can structure any architectural style with wood, we can insulate with straw and mushrooms, we can make concrete – better concrete – with clay, microbes, smoke, and a careful look in the rear view mirror and the microscope. All of these emerging technologies – and more – arrive in tandem with the growing understanding that the so-called embodied carbon of building materials matters a great deal more than anyone thought in the fight to halt and reverse climate change. The built environment can switch from being a problem to a solution – much nicer places to occupy that just happen to pull carbon out of the air.
The BuildWell Source (Ecological Building Network) is an online, user-built library of low-carbon building. We built it so you could more easily find out about alternatives like straw bales, adobe, shipping containers, and many other types of free or inexpensive materials that have no commercial sponsor — no one to study and promote them. There is a huge and quickly growing body of engineering knowledge and practical experience with low-carbon building, but that knowledge is widely dispersed and hard to find.
The non-profit Ecological Building Network and the Maximum Potential Building Systems will be asked if they would like to participate in the PDP project if funding becomes available. Other experts in sustainability and innovative processes/concepts will also be contacted for their participation.
Much of the research, as suggested, will be done by the personnel selected in this initial process. The estimated cost initially will be made by George Hunt and will be adjusted once the team can get together either virtually or in person. All time schedules will be subject to what is occurring in the United States with the guidelines for Covid-19. In Blog 25 there is listed a series of references for research (in red) and the work estimate will be made in Table: T1. This is a series of estimate tables for listed research to be needed for specific studies. It also includes personnel cost estimates for determining the work needed for the “Cradle to Cradle,” Sustainability Index and Circular Economy estimates. This will establish the needed guidelines for the Pilot Demonstration Project (PDP) buildings.
The projected research is needed now because there is little research at the present time using functional sustainable building systems for low income housing projects. Now we are entering a period of climate change and we need to be prepared for what is to come regarding the increasing intensity of storms, warmer climates, changes caused by Covid-19. Further problems are the lack of facilities and opportunities for the lower economic groups of our society, etc. There is a large market for the housing proposed in the PDP because of this lack of affordable housing in the marketplace. Any housing constructed in this proposal will easily be absorbed. The proposed options and variables that are utilized using the guidelines for the Circular Economy Concept is needed to reduce climate change and determine what are the best housing systems to use.
This is why the self-sufficient adaptations will show us what the best options are available for the future. Otherwise we will be just guessing in the quest for solutions. The more we keep relying on petroleum products the sooner they become more expensive and hasten their availability in future years. In fact, the present economic philosophy of capitalism may have to change in order to reduce the rising inequalities in the present system. The PDP recognizes this by including social changes such as community money, use of cooperatives, forms of community governance, sharing, education opportunities, etc. Just housing being constructed alone will not solve our present social dilemmas of inequality, racial and social justice and divisions between political beliefs. We, as a society, have to recognize what beneficial changes needs to occur in order for us to heal and work together. This Pilot Demonstration Project could be a start. The public has to recognize the value of the process of the circular economy and fully embrace sustainability practices. However, the Cradle to Cradle analysis that is presented to compare sustainable housing to housing that is not sustainable is needed to show the value for each of the systems presented. A house itself has many components to consider as shown in the following diagrams. Each component has to be evaluated. See diagrams and pictures.
Example: On-site Home Printing – ICON Housing
The key breakthrough was development of the Vulcan 3-D printer, a gantry-style device that moves on rails to build the home, layer by layer.
“The key differentiator with what we are doing is that we are focused on whole-home site-printing,” Ballard explains. “Many other companies working in the space print in warehouses, or only print pieces of a home that are assembled elsewhere. We believe this surrenders many of the basic advantages of 3-D printing. We have several patents submitted in hardware, software, and materials, and several more in process.”
Ballard says the printer is lightweight and designed with minimal bells and whistles, making it rugged and dependable. The current model uses inexpensive basic concrete as a building material, but ICON is exploring the use of other materials in the future as well.
New Story’s Marshall says that concrete is more resilient and energy-efficient than building materials such as drywall and particle board, which are staples of home construction in the U.S. And by using 3-D printing to build a structure in layers, it’s possible to build with near-zero waste. The process also affords “tremendous design freedom – curves and slopes are no more challenging or expensive than straight, plumb lines.”
Increased Speed and Lower Cost
While it took about 48 hours to print the demonstration house in Austin, the printer was running much slower than its potential speed, Ballard says. Once the houses are in production, it’ll be possible to create one in a day and possibly as little as 12 hours, with as few as two or three workers. While the printed portion of the demonstration home cost $10,000, ICON and New Story have a goal of getting the production cost down to $4,000 for what Ballard says will be a “very basic, but solid and weatherproof, house.”
All components are considered when evaluating a buildings sustainability. In the PDP most of the windows, bath fixtures, kitchen components, doors, and cabinets, are made by the same manufacturer or have the same dimensions. This makes these items less expensive and easier to replace at a later date. Since the kitchens and cabinets are easily removed they can be used in other or new units when necessary. This reduces waste. A list of all components used in each housing unit will be placed on the internet along with warranty and proposed maintenance information. Each owner will have the chance of paying extra for an extended warranty. For example, the owner of each unit will have the opportunity to select one of the following (1) single pane window or door-design_, double pane window or door-design-, triple pane window or door-design_. Each of these would have their own warranty. In order to compare the windows or doors there will be a cradle to cradle analysis shown for each window or door. All windows will have a snap in design feature in order to make easy changes at a later date. This approach will be made for all the components in each unit. Thus the price for each unit will be due to what components are selected. This includes even including what paints are selected or when self help is used.
The decision of what design components are selected will be made by the design and expert teams. However, a “sustainability index” (SI) will be selected for each house (or units) that are constructed in the PDP. Each component will have a SI and this is based on the amount of carbon that is sequestered by each item (or building material) used in each building. Examples shown below: (Courtesy of Dwell)
If the component or material selected is local, then this adds to its sustainability value. The area outside of the building which is on the lot is also a sustainable component. One issue is to reduce or eliminate the area that is taken up by lawn. This is not sustainable especially if chemicals are used on it in in the form of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Use of a gas mower is also unsustainable. The average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day, about 30 percent of which is devoted to outdoor uses. More than half of that outdoor water is used for watering lawns and gardens. Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day. (EPA) The outside area can be used for gardens, walks, gravel, pebbles, ground cover, fountains, wild grass mixtures etc. The picture below shows an area used for vegetable and fruit gardens, wild grasses and perennials. Also, they are much more sustainable when grown organically.
The time needed to estimate sustainability qualifications is hard to estimate and in this paper I will try to do it as an example until the expert team is assembled to work on the project. Then it will be revised for the final submission. One of the best formats used for sustainability analysis has been designed in the United Kingdom called Home Quality Mark ONE. It’s extensive and the analysis for the PDP would be simplified in order to reduce expenses, but it still would be able to show viable comparisons. The information shown below provides further details.
The Circular Economy:
Wikipedia defines the Circular Economy as follows:
A circular economy (often referred to simply as “circularity”) is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a closed-loop system, minimizing the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. The circular economy aims to keep products, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of these resources. All “waste” should become “food” for another process: either a by-product or recovered resource for another industrial process or as regenerative resources for nature (e.g., compost). This regenerative approach is in contrast to the traditional linear economy, which has a “take, make, dispose” model of production.
Proponents of the circular economy suggest that a sustainable world does not mean a drop in the quality of life for consumers and can be achieved without loss of revenue or extra costs for manufacturers. The argument is that circular business models can be as profitable as linear models, allowing consumers to continue enjoying similar products and services.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides the following definition of the Circular Economy:
Looking beyond the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital. It is based on three principles:
– Design out waste and pollution
– Keep products and materials in use
– Regenerate natural systems
The first definition is the standard definition and the MacArther definition incorporates a more inclusive definition by mentioning natural and social capital. A description of the book “The Next Economics, Global Cases in Energy, Environment, and Climate Change,”by w.w. Clark II (Editor) offers the following for consideration:
The Next Economics focuses on how the field of economics must change and incorporate environment, energy, health and new technologies that are called externalities for stopping and reversing climate change. The field of economics needs to become a science. Economics in this book for the Green Industrial Revolution which goes beyond the third industrial revolution since it covers cases, examples and specific economic analyses that both scientific and global. The book concerns climate change and how the Economics for Externalities, needs to range from energy and national security to infrastructure and communities. Solutions and cases of the “Next Economics” are based in western philosophical economic paradigms and how that is changing due to the significance of current global economic and societal concerns. Finally practical applications for economics are explored using global environmental and energy issues. Areas that need a fresh look at and be integrated with economics, include the environment, social and political issues, energy, health climate change and their infrastructures, as they are major components of the macroeconomics for the future. Based on past economic models, these subjects have been lost or ill fitted into modern economic theory. The challenge is to explore and to look deeply into economics in order to provide it a new direction with the possibility for understanding, changing and saving the planet from climate change. This book presents to economists and policy-makers alike areas of environmental economics, energy policy, health and social issues which are needed to stop and reverse climate change.
The Circular Economy diagram by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is shown below and it is an outline that can be adapted to the New Economy:
The following comments concerning the Circular Economy were in the paper, “Circular Economy: The Strategies to Global Business Economics,” by Woodrow W. Clark II and Danilo Bonato were submitted to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (for European Commission): March 27th 2019, reviewed: July 16th 2019, Published: December 13th 2019.
In a circular economy, buildings would be modular, durable, and flexible. The benefits of digitizing the built environment would go beyond improving energy efficiency and enhance productivity overall. Embracing a circular built environment would reshape both asset utilization and material management in the sector. Inhabitants would enjoy better indoor and outdoor air quality.
The qualitative leap can only be made if we know how to acquire in-depth knowledge about the availability of secondary raw materials. It is also necessary that the actors of the system (raw materials industry, end users, institutions, companies and consumers) collaborate closely to achieve common reuse and recycling targets along the entire production and distribution chain. In this way consumers will know exactly what they are buying and the impacts and potential for re-use and recycling of the products they have chosen.
Moreover, collection systems are still too expensive and inefficient which does not help industrial companies to abandon the traditional production systems based on the linear (flat economic) transformation of materials into products and their disposal once they are consumed. Therefore, the Commission is considering the possibility of introducing further simplifications to promote increased efficiency of collection systems through the circular economy paradigm. Hence by integrating these systems with the upstream industries Moreover, collection systems are still too expensive and inefficient which does not help industrial companies to abandon the traditional production systems based on the linear (flat economic) transformation of materials into products and their disposal once they are consumed. Therefore, the Commission is considering the possibility of introducing further simplifications to promote increased efficiency of collection systems through the circular economy paradigm. Hence by integrating these systems with the upstream industries that make use of recycled components and raw materials from products entering, the end of their life stage can be profitably met as well as protecting the environment (Figure 6).
What I plan to show in this paper/blog is how the PDP can be a demonstration project for showing how the Circular Economy can work in low income community projects, This would be centered in (1) Housing Construction, (2) Agriculture and Landscaping, (3) Energy/Waste Reduction, and (4) Increasing social capital. These components were selected because they were in the curriculum of the proposed Education Department for each PDP community. The advantages offered in using the PDP as an example for showing how the Circular Economy process works is in its simplicity. The PDP is also doing many other things and that will increase market visibility. It is a constant visual process in action.
However, the process must first recognize several factors that affect its actions. Some of these are capitalism, consumerism, politics and the pandemic. Capitalism as it is practiced today in the United States makes it difficult to interest many companies to pursue the Circular Economy. This is due to many factors with the main one being that it would cost too much to start and would reduce profits. The best way to encourage a change is to develop an overall plan using cradle to cradle technology analysis and market acceptance studies. Also just using parts of the Circular Economy (CE) could be a first step. An example would be to find a use for the current waste products or find ways to make the product last longer. If the capitalist system became more progressive then it would be more acceptive to CE. Many companies that are using the CE found that they be able to make more money than before, but many companies listed below take exception to this opinion.. The World Economic Forum noted some of them as follows:
The World Economic Forum and the Forum of Young Global Leaders, in collaboration with Accenture Strategy, recognized the best of them at The Circulars. There were 450 applications from 45 countries. Here are 12 of the best:
We’re used to smart meters measuring electricity and water. But now British start-up Winnow has developed smart meters that analyse our trash. They are used in commercial kitchens to measure what food gets thrown away, and then identify ways to reduce waste. Up to a fifth of food purchased can be wasted in some kitchens, and Winnow has managed to cut that in half in hundreds of kitchens across 40 countries, saving its customers over $25 million each year in the process. That is the equivalent of preventing one meal from going to waste every seven seconds. This innovation earned Winnow the Circular Economy Tech Disruptor Award.
The textiles industry uses vast quantities of water and chemicals and produces huge amounts of toxic waste, which is a major problem in countries like China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand. But Dutch company DyeCoo has developed a process of dyeing cloth that uses no water at all, and no chemicals other than the dyes themselves. It uses highly pressurised “supercritical” carbon dioxide, halfway between a liquid and a gas, that dissolves the dye and carries it deep into the fabric. The carbon dioxide then evaporates, and is in turn recycled and used again. 98% of the dye is absorbed by the cloth, giving vibrant colours. And because the cloth doesn’t need to dry, the process takes half the time, uses less energy, and even costs less. The company already has partnerships with major brands like Nike and IKEA.
This Australian company has spent more than a decade recovering value from old printer cartridges and soft plastics. Their new innovation turns these materials into roads. The products are mixed in with asphalt and recycled glass to produce a higher-quality road surface that lasts up to 65% longer than traditional asphalt. In every kilometre of road laid, the equivalent of 530,000 plastic bags, 168,000 glass bottles and the waste toner from 12,500 printer cartridges is used in the mix. So instead of ending up in landfill, all that waste is given a new life, getting us where we need to go.
Using trash to run your car may sound like something from Back to the Future, but Canadian firm Enerkem has turned it into reality. Their technology extracts the carbon from trash that can’t be recycled. It then takes five minutes to turn the carbon into a gas that can be used to make biofuels like methanol and ethanol, as well as chemicals which can be used in thousands of everyday products. The city of Edmonton, for example, now reuses 90% of its waste, saving more than 100,000 metric tons of landfill every year.
French-based Schneider Electric, which specialises in energy management and automation, won the Award for the Circular Economy Multinational. Employing 142,000 people in more than 100 countries, it uses recycled content and recyclable materials in its products, prolongs product lifespan through leasing and pay-per-use, and has introduced take-back schemes into its supply chain. Circular activities now account for 12% of its revenues, and will save 100,000 metric tons of primary resources from 2018-2020.
This US firm’s EcoVolt technology treats wastewater contaminated by industrial processes, not just turning it into clean water, but even producing biogas that can be used to generate clean energy. Cambrian Innovation has nine plants across the US, which have treated an estimated 300 million litres of wastewater.
This Atlanta firm turns old tyres and other rubber waste into something called micronized rubber powder, which can then be used in a wide variety of applications from tyres to plastics, asphalt and construction material. Five hundred million new tyres have been made using its products, earning it the Award for Circular Economy SME.
Smartphones and tablets have changed the way many of us live and work, but our appetite for the latest must-have gadget has created a mountain of discarded devices. HYLA Mobile works with many of the world’s leading manufacturers and service providers to repurpose and reuse either the devices themselves, or their components. It’s estimated that more than 50 million devices have been reused, making $4 billion for their owners and stopping 6,500 tons of e-waste ending up in landfill.
Have you read?
- 4 key steps towards a circular economy
- The circular economy could save life on Earth – starting with our cities
- It’s time for the circular economy to go global – and you can help
People’s Choice Award winner TriCiclos began in Chile in 2009 with the stated aim of working towards a “world without waste”. Since then it has built and operated the largest network of recycling stations in South America, diverting 33,000 metric tons of recyclable material from landfill and saving over 140,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
For the founder of Miniwiz, Arthur Huang, there is no such thing as trash. He is an evangelist for upcycling – turning old materials into something new. As he admits, this isn’t a new idea – until the 20th century reusing whatever was lying around was the norm. But he is taking this principle to new levels, with the scientists and engineers in his Miniwiz Trash Lab inventing over 1,000 new sustainable materials and applications. The Trashpresso machine is the ultimate expression of sustainable upcycling. It is a mobile upcycling plant that can be transported in two shipping containers to its customers. Once there, it turns 50kg of plastic bottles an hour into a low-cost building material, using no water, and only solar power.
AB InBev Proving that innovation in the circular economy isn’t confined to small tech start-ups, the world’s largest brewer wants 100% of its product to be in packaging that’s returnable or made from majority-recycled content by 2025. Already nearly half of its drinks are sold in returnable glass bottles, and AB InBev is working with suppliers and customers to increase that. It has also launched a protein drink made from spent grains from the brewing process (which previously were only resold as animal feed).
In 2018, IKEA unveiled a plan to become a circular business by 2030, eliminating waste with a commitment to use only renewable or salvageable materials across its entire range. Coca-Cola, which manufactures 3 million tonnes of plastic packaging a year, has since confirmed Sweden as the first market in which all its bottles will be produced from 100 per cent recyclable materials.
This is the circular economy, where reuse and recycling prevail over raw materials and extractive ways of working.
P&G, adidas and countless other household names are also changing some of their production methods and processes in a move away from a linear economy to one less reliant on natural resources.
For some companies, though, circularity is the linchpin of their entire proposition. And as well as cementing their status as an environmentally friendly business, it’s an approach that
With the United Nations forecasting the world’s population to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, the stress on Earth’s natural resources is only set to increase. Against this backdrop, the environmental benefits of the circular economy are clear: less waste goes into landfill and less water is used, resulting in lower greenhouse emissions.
As a new era of sustainability dawns, the business case is just as clear. A recent study from Nielsen found that 81 per cent of global customers feel strongly about companies’ need to implement programs that improve the environment.
“Once a business has established or switched to a circular process, it has the opportunity to leverage this point of difference to align with the values of the rapidly growing segment of society that are conscientious consumers,” explains Chris Norman at GOOD Agency, which advises brands on sustainable strategies.
Slashing production and consumption to boost business
A big business seeing the monetary benefits of doing just that is Schneider Electric. As well as using recycled content and recyclable materials in its products, the industrial engineering equipment manufacturer has been rolling out a growing range of services to help customers extend the life of ageing products. These include leasing and pay-per-use options and take-back schemes which ensure discarded apparatus doesn’t end up in landfills.
Circular economy solutions now account for 12 per cent of the group’s revenues. By 2021, the French-based business intends to avoid consumption of 120,000 tonnes of primary resources and cut CO2 emissions at the customers’ end by 120 million tonnes.
Firms that use natural resources to make disposable products is the equivalent of torching a car after every drive, then buying a new one
In Europe alone, applying circular economy principles could unlock £1.5 trillion of value for the economy, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
One industry ripe to capitalize on this is the renewable energy and waste management sector. Promising upstarts have already emerged in this space including Cambrian Innovation, which has developed technology that decontaminates dirty water and creates a clean biogas energy source.
Elsewhere, Finnish company Aquazone has developed its own method of upcycling wastewater into fertiliser. At the end of 2019, it was acquired by Operon Group Oy, which already boasts revenues of £11 million, showcasing the potential for profitability.
Reuse, repair and recycle
Unlike water, some materials are harder to reuse or repurpose. That’s where firms like Terracycle come in. The recycling organisation provides circular economy solutions for businesses, including it’s Zero-Waste packaging system, Loop, which enables fast-moving consumer goods giants such as PepsiCo, Unilever and Nestlé to sell products in high-quality refillable containers. Customers pay a deposit for each one, plus the cost of the product inside, then notify Loop when it needs refilling.
In September 2019, the upstart’s revenues rose to $11.2 million representing a 16 per cent year-on-year growth.
Looking beyond the everyday essentials consumers pick up off the supermarket shelf, another sector looking to drive significant behavioural change through the recycling and repurpose of material is textiles.
According to the fashion industry-led Circular Fibres Initiative, less than one percent of material used to produce clothing globally, is recycled into new clothing.
Such statistics have set the stage for green activists to lead a shift away from fast fashion towards sustainable wardrobes and make space for brands such as Teemill, which has found success in repurposing old, tired clothes and open sourcing its methods.
The business has developed a circular production process that turns old T-shirts into new ones. “Companies that take natural resources out of the ground and then make products designed to be thrown away have a business model which is the equivalent of torching a car after every drive, then buying a new one,” says co-founder Mart Drake-Knight.
The entrepreneur reveals his original ambition was to make clothes using natural materials and renewable energy, but when he tried to do so “everything got more expensive”. The economy, he argues, was “set up to punish brands for trying to do the right thing”.
Drake-Knight doesn’t reveal numbers, but says his business model is translating into financial success, saying the company has doubled in size every year since its 2018 relaunch.
Like fashion, food is an additional area where enterprises are finding success in the circular economy. Data from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation shows that 31 per cent of food produced in the UK is lost or wasted, both throughout the value chain and as consumer waste.
Toast Ale is looking to tackle the issue in a novel way, turning one of the most frequently wasted foodstuffs, bread, into beer. The business was on course to hit £1-million revenue in 2019, according to founder Tristram Stuart, who has credited the “good mark-up from grain to beer” for its gains.
What’s certain is companies embedding circularity within their business are finding ways to save the planet and turn a profit at the same time, something that’s not hard to raise a toast to.Special Report – Raconteur. Other reports are available. The present state of consumer habits will change in some fashion. Currently the internet is winning. In an article titled How Will the Pandemic Change Consumer Behavior?, CMO Network, by Kian Bakhtiari, May 18,2020 noted: (young person’s view)
However, moments of crisis often pave the way for social solidarity. The pandemic has afforded western societies a chance to unite, collaborate and serve. Witnessing the power of collective action can change the way individuals relate to others, resulting in an increased sense of community. This cultural shift from “I” to “we” could have a permanent effect on consumer behavior. Research indicates people from individualist cultures prefer buying products and services associated with being successful and autonomous. But if society becomes more community-focused, then so will our shopping habits. In other words, buyer motivation will shift from personal gain towards products, services and experiences that can be shared and enjoyed with others. The very act of consumption will no longer be synonymous with social status, but rather social harmony. In short, consumers will become more receptive to brands that demonstrate prosocial behavior. And so, all future brand activity will need to benefit society, and not only the individual.
Politics in America is in a mess and I just wanted to note that at present, the end of September 2020, the Circular Economy or the environment is not a pressing issue for the party in power. Another issue that should be highlighted more is the stagnant economy since 1970 of the people in the lower percentile. The stock market in turn represents the higher percentile and is not a true gauge of the economy for every person.
What effect the pandemic will have on the Circular Economy will be anyone’s guess. I believe innovation will continue fairly rapidly, although when new ideas will be funded or put in place is another matter. Much of what will happen will depend on the election and results of the flu season. Following is a discussion of how the PDP can be a demonstration project for the CE.
Energy – Waste Reduction:
There are many advances in the energy field that we should be aware of, because it can change how we live, reduce fossil fuel use, have less pollution and costs for the energy sources that we use. To help with the energy problems in the U.S. we need an energy plan. Our power grids are at their capacity in many places and the destruction or overloading of a major generator would cause blackouts and further havoc.
One example of a company making major breakthroughs is Honesty – China. They have used their “thin film power” on tile and other types of roofs as well as on cars. Their website states:
Thin-film solar technology enables cutting-edge features such as flexibility, light weight, superior low light performance, and diversified color and shapes. These unique qualities make it adaptable to a wide range of applications, including Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), residential power, agricultural applications, automobile power, electronics, consumer and specialty products, as well as commercial unmanned aerial vehicles.
The solar film creates sustainability and allows homeowners to save money without harming the environment. Another website to review is the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). They are on the internet and involved in a Factor 10 project using the Circular Economy.
Some of their projects include several sectors, including energy. They also have a 70 page report published called Vision 2050 and this is described below.
Under the Vision 2050 project of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), 29 WBCSD member companies developed a vision of a world well on the way to sustainability by 2050, and a pathway leading to that world – a pathway that will require fundamental changes in governance structures, economic frameworks, business and human behavior. It emerged that these changes are necessary, feasible and offer tremendous business opportunities for companies that turn sustainability into strategy.
Some of the ideas presented by these various companies and non-profits can be used or become a stimulus for new ideas that can utilized in the PDP. Some options and ideas relating to the Circular Economy will be presented below as they relate to the triplex prototype.
This is the design for a duplex that was converted from a triplex. To go back to a triplex, the center wall between units B and C (red) and the kitchen would be added. The bedroom wall (turquoise) would be removed. These walls would be designed so this could be easily done. The electrical and plumbing would also be designed accordingly. The mechanical and water heater are by the baths. In most cases the center hallway between the buildings is enclosed. This is not heated or cooled unless the width is expanded to make a room. The expansion would be in a section of lots with movable lot lines. Most of the roofs would be covered with thin solar film to provide renewable power. If a carport is built then this will also be covered with film. The add-on in unit A is optional. If the add-ons are not constructed originally then the foundations and/or concrete slab could be put in instead if wanted. It could also be a greenhouse.
The interesting aspect of a self-sufficient PDP community is that tenants do not have to own a car. Two cars and a small bus are provided by the community non-profit as rentals when needed. This is a major energy saving. The area designated for parking could be used for a variety of other purposes as long as the area could be transferred to parking at a later date. Some of the triplexes will use small wind power machines for renewable power instead of solar. Rainwater collection tanks and rain gardens are also an option for use. Trees used in the landscape areas will have height limitations so they do not interfere with the solar. The different materials used for exterior walls and the types of insulation used would provide other energy savings. Climbing vegetables on string or wire trellises on south facing walls would reduce the buildup of heat in the summer. This would be part of an energy saving landscape plan. An interior energy saving lighting and fixture plan will also be used. New ideas from existing energy and waste studies would further other solutions. All these different options would add variety and diversity to the community so that any one home will not seem out of place. Other options would be provided by the original design team.
In regards to waste reduction the designs of the buildings themselves reduces waste because the units can be enlarged or reduced in size without the need for rebuilding a new home. The floors will be stained concrete and this can eliminate the needs for carpet, tile and other floor coverings. However, rugs can be used when desired. High school students will be hired to pick up trash and organize pieces for reuse on site or in their school (art?). This will also allow them to understand what is happening and what teaching programs are available in the PDP. Also any excess electricity that is generated will be returned to the grid or used for special batteries. The kitchens, doors, windows, lights, bathroom fixtures, are interchangeable and this reduces waste. The fences will be made using metal square posts and Trex vinal wood products. The design used will look good from both sides. Most of the products selected for the homes will be of a higher quality that will last longer. Daily trash will be separated for recycling purposes or waste disposal. Ways to reuse plastic bottles, straws will be evaluated. Tenants will attend classes concerning home environmental issues.
In some cases when the site does not have city utilities available it will use its own sewage system and not septic systems. This is due to the compactness (high density) of the buildings. Sewage water will be reusable in the home irrigation systems when possible. Also, when land is available and there is adequate rainfall the PDP will provide community water and not rely on other municipal water. The community may use its own utilities anyway to show how it could be more self-sufficient. The community non-profit would be the governing agency in this case and would bill the tenants. Studies would have to be made to determine the different options. This could be a way to build communities for the future. Examples:
Barcelona-based Guallart Architects has won an international competition for its design of a mixed-use, self-sufficient community in China’s Xiong’an New Area. Presented as a model for sustainable urban growth, the project champions local energy production, food production, energy efficiency and material reuse. The tech-forward proposal also takes the needs of a post-COVID-19 era and growing work-from-home trend in account by designing for comfortable telework spaces in all residences.
Agriculture and Landscaping:
The Smart Water magazine in a 3-2019 article, The circular economy for water and agriculture: a key role for sustainability. It was written by Schneider Electric and stated the following:
We often behave as if the resources are unlimited on a planet when, clearly, they are not. Each year, the global economy uses more than 90 trillion tons of natural resources (of which only 8% are reused), the equivalent of 1.7 of what the Earth can produce annually. Although not valued in a balance sheet, these resources are worth trillions of dollars for the global economy. This linear catch-consume-throw-away model is not sustainable.
By 2050, the world population is expected to grow by 33%. Along with the increasing industrialization of developing countries and the increasing need for energy, the demand for water is also overflowing. In addition, climate change is expected to cause severe droughts, devastating floods and water shortages in several regions of the world.
The 2030 Water Resources Group predicts that by 2030 the global water deficit may reach 40%. A growing population combined with an increased demand for agriculture and industry will lead to scarcity, exacerbated by the adverse effects of climate change.
Circular economy: Sustainable and profitable Given this situation, the circular economy is considered the most popular answer to face the challenge. Not only could it contribute to the fight against climate change, but it can also have significant economic benefits. A recent study by Deloitte also revealed that four sectors of the European Union (EU) – food, construction, automotive and electrical/electronic equipment – had the potential to reduce emissions by 66% using technically feasible circular economy methods. A circular economy can provide a reduction equivalent to 550 megatons of CO2, 33% of total EU emissions from product consumption.
Agriculture accounts for almost 70% of the world’s water consumption. In 2050, it is expected that it will be necessary to increase the demand for this resource by 55% in order to maintain the food needs of our growing world population. European agriculture spends 73,000 hm3 of water every year, of which it could reduce up to 70% avoiding losses in transport, applying precision irrigation techniques and reducing food waste, in a circular economy scenario.
What can the PDP do about this since it is just a small self-sustaining housing community? On the whole not much. But this is where the powers of teaching and use of demonstration vegetable and landscape gardens can be a viable asset in making people aware of what is happening and learn about possible solutions. It could also be a teaching center for farmers. The following picture shows a proposed education garden on the PDP. It is the same size as a triplex lot.
The illustration on the lower right shows a Circular Economy (CE) diagram for a typical farm. The PDP will establish a cooperative relationship with some of the farms near them an try to make them use CE. The budget will be analyzed to determine the value of using organic and CE practices compared to using conventional methods.
The EPA noted that the average American family uses 320 gallons of water per day, about 30 percent of which is devoted to outdoor uses. More than half of that outdoor water is used for watering lawns and gardens. Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day. This is why the PDP will demonstrate using lawn alternatives and organic practices for landscaping.
The present agricultural crop production system in the U.S. is broken and unsustainable by relying on big Ag and hurting small farmers, excessive use of petroleum products causing pollution, very high use of water, destroying productivity of soils by monocropping of crops and animals, overuse of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, illogical shipping practices by not having more local farms and many other problems. I discuss it more in my book and website. The following ideas might help solve some of the above problems.
- The growing of crops like corn for ethanol does not make sense because the land can be used for cattle, buffalo or prairie grasses to restore the land. Grass fed cattle is natural for their digestive system and produces prime meat. Regenerative farming practices would be used where the cattle are routinely moved from pasture to pasture. The mixture of grasses becomes cattle feed, sites for soil organisms and manure to restore the soil, and habitat for birds, small animals and pollinators. This would reduce the need for feedlots as presently practiced
- Many large and midsize farms should change to regenerative farming practices and diversify their crops.
- More cooperatives should be formed to reduce the large landholdings and/or ownerships. At first the ownership of the land would stay the same as it was but under a different structure to give more people say in its operations. This would especially apply to poultry operations, where Tyson Foods control over 90% of operations.
- Small farmers should be helped with funding to use some of the marketing ideas used by the Chinese to help farmers. Also agricultural planning could be adapted so there is some logic to what crops are grown and where. This plan should be approved by around 85% of the farmers involved. Local farming practices, such as soil health, would be emphasized. Also practices such as those practiced by Seven Son’s Farm in Virginia ● Strategies for acquiring and retaining customers.● How to ship perishable products.● How to create regional delivery zones.● How to choose box templates.● How to choose shipping carriers.● Covering costs and perfecting pricing.● An overview of the Seven Sons’ farms fulfillment process—from order received to order shipped could be part of a training process to help with marketing.
- Local farmers should eliminate middlemen or distributors. This is why being local is important. The PDP and its cooperatives could help with planning as necessary. Testing for agricultural production could be assembled from various local universities and colleges and be part of the PDP curriculum.
- The PDP could help farmers find funding (perhaps NCRS) to help in restoring their soils. This could at first just be using no till, crop rotation and using “Fast to Grow” which stimulates the microbiology in the soil. Land could also be set aside for conservation. purposes.
The PDP could have an impact for having more people getting into farming. The local regenerative farmer produces better quality food smaller acreage with less equipment needs. There is more technology available now to offer new alternatives and this includes the use of organic chemicals and special equipment.
In summary the website for FoodPrint summarizes the benefits for using regenerative techniques in agriculture and landscaping. Not mentioned are non-toxic products (like MicroLife®) that are organic, which can be put on the soil to improve it and make it healthier.
The negative impact of industrial agriculture production (both industrial crop production and industrial animal production) on soil health are many. But an alternative exists. Sustainable agricultural techniques can help build healthy soil, avoiding the need for heavy synthetic fertilizer and pesticide use while protecting natural biodiversity in healthy soil. Here are just some of the major benefits that sustainable agricultural practices have on soil health:
- Improved carbon sequestration — regenerative agricultural techniques, like cover cropping, can help build soil and sequester carbon. Healthy, carbon-rich soil plays an indispensable role in the fight against climate change. 38
- Improved water retention — healthy soils with high organic matter retain more water. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Each 1 percent increase in soil organic matter helps soil hold 20,000 gallons more water per acre.” 39
- Less need for pesticides — healthy plants grown in biologically diverse soil with plenty of microbes are less susceptible (or attractive) to plant pests and better able to defend themselves from attack. 40
- No need for synthetic fertilizer — using sustainable soil-improvement techniques can eliminate the need for synthetic, fossil-fuel-based fertilizers. For example, amending the soil with plant-based compost and animal manure, green manure and cover cropping, as well as employing crop rotation, can all contribute to building healthier soil
Every part used in construction of a home has its own cradle to cradle lifetime analysis. Specific materials may be used that are more sustainable than others. This is evident as depicted in the book, The New Carbon Architecture – Building to Cool the Climate, by Bruce King. In turn the Circular Economy diagram or image will be somewhat different for each product or system. Then the combination of sustainable products will make the finished product more sustainable. Other factors have to be weighed in, such as the costs of each item and its durability to last longer.
The process that I am recommending for the development of the PDP will occur in the following stages. Again this is subject to change by the “Design Team,” the funder or both.
- Obtaining of initial funding to select the “Design Team” along with provisional funding for research and the “Model Homes.
- Determine location for the Model Homes and initial homes that will form the first PDP. Three sites to be evaluated.
- Start the market study for the PDP. Determine builders and costs for the various home types. (See list)
- Design of the model homes including a full set of architectural plans and “Cradle to Cradle” studies of the model homes.
- Develop an analysis of the Sustainability Index (SI). Prepare analysis of the Circular Economy concept. Make any necessary changes in the analysis procedures.
- Start and finish construction of the model homes. Evaluate finished market study.
- Start and finish architectural plans for the homes that the buyers selected. (see “Buying Process”). This could happen with step 5.
- Determine rental program.
- Start and finish Research programs. (Starting at the finish of the model home construction)
- Establish social programs and governance procedures with people living in the community. This will also include the establishment of small businesses.
This is a general outline of the processes involved in establishing a PDP. Of course, this is subject to change by the Design Team.
Optional Types of Housing Construction:
- Conventional: Wood studs, batten insulation, wood roof trusses, wood boards, brick, stucco, Hardie board, stone, compressed wood panels, corrugated metal, fiberboard, glass, concrete, hempcrete, artificial stone panels, concrete block
- Conventional: Metal studs, batten insulation, metal roof trusses, wood boards, brick, stucco, Hardie board, stone, compressed wood panels, corrugated metal, fiberboard, glass, concrete, hempcrete, artificial stone panels, concrete block
- Timber Frame Construction:
- Steel Frame Construction:
- CA (Carbon Architecture) Straw Bale Construction and or Straw Panel Construction:
- (CA) Mass Timber and Straw Insulation:
- (CA) Hempcrete Construction:
- (CA) Compressed Earth Construction and or Compressed Earth Blocks
- (CA&Conve.) Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU): Use of different materials to be selected
- (CA) 3-D Printing Materials for walls:
- (CA) bioMason Construction: Using enzymes from natural materials as a binder
- (CA) Adobe or Stack Sack Construction using concrete, sand and gravel in cloth sacks, unite
- (CA&Conve.) Cast in Place or Pre Cast Concrete Construction:
- Combinations including Earth Covered Homes
The same exercise can be made for different types of roofs, foundations, interior walls, utilities, HVAC options, floors, windows, etc. Included would be sustainability calculations. In part it becomes a question of higher prices now (in some cases) or sustainability. In some cases use of natural materials is less expensive. However, in should be kept in mind that the cradle to cradle analysis of a natural material being used should also include the length of its availability. If the supply of the natural material is soon exhausted locally then there may be be added transportation and material costs to obtain it. This would also affect the sustainability index and the circular economy ratios. Hopefully the cost to the environment would be a factor but this is rarely added into budgets. If possible, it should be noted in all evaluations.
The timing of the buying process of the housing units for this project has several options that are available. This is due to determining which of the projects purposes are in place. This is further complicated by bringing in the social needs of the PDP. Buyers will be screened to see if they can help the community by (1) offering needed skill sets, (2) have no skills but are homeless or have health problems, (3) have some skills but are homeless and have health problems, (4) speak a language other than English or limited English, (5) has a skill set and a willingness to teach others, (6) willingness to be in a sharing community, (7) person(s) who do not believe in this type of community (limited options to stay), (8) family size, (9) willingness to work for the PDP non-profit or teach, and (10) Other options to be determined. Normally this is not done but this PDP community is also an experiment in sociology. These conditions of community development haven’t ever been studied in this context that I know of. It is putting the forgotten people in some control of their destiny by giving them a chance to improve themselves by their own means. It is not a way for them just make money, but a way to make one feel better about themselves by having a purpose in life. You learn by making others improve themselves and this, in turn, for many becomes a pathway out of anxiety and depression.
Now the question becomes what types of building construction should be in the PDP and what types should be used in the model homes. To answer these questions all the information should be finished in completing the “Cradle to Cradle,” SI Index, and the Circular Economy for each important component in a unit(s). This should be made as simple as possible and not make the processes too complicated. Each buyer also has to become partially educated in the processes involved. Thus, if possible, the funding for this research should be done prior to the building of the model homes. The two conventional building systems, some natural carbon architecture homes and the 3-D systems should be the highest priority. Other building systems not noted should also be under consideration and evaluated.
Building just one home in a building system is very expensive and this should be noted in determining the sales price. The home financing would be by the PDP non-profit so the sales prices or rental costs would be determined by them. A cost deduction should be made for qualified homes if the carbon sequestered was sold as carbon credits. The cost of land is another factor under consideration and the land itself has its own sustainable standards. The information obtained in this study is complicated now, but it should help the earth and save money in the future. For the better, it could change how we look at the economy so everyone can participate in it and not just the wealthy. After the site is located, studies should begin to determine the sales price for the various units. The information in the market study and interviews with people in the area should be part of this process. The final buildings should reflect the culture(s) of the people if the proposed location is in an area where this factor is important. The social considerations are unique and a vital part that separates the community from just being a housing project. It has the diversity necessary to make the PDP last while it becomes the training ground for additional projects. The research component will provide the information necessary to show people that we have to consider the environment and people in all our actIons. Hopefully it is not too late. Just study the time lapse pictures from space and see what Its happening to us through climate changes due to warming of the seas and air.
Increasing Social Capital:
Many of the problems facing us today is due to the lack of opportunities for minorities to better themselves while living in a largely wealthy white society. There is both economic and social segregation. Now due to the widening polarization in the United States, there are people who think they are below average and those who think they are above average in the overall society. Studies show that those who think they are below average do not think well of themselves, because they never seem to get ahead in what they want to achieve. Those who think they are above average feel that they are succeeding in life because of their view of their perceived accomplishments. The two groups may look down on each other and this causes many tensions between them.
The PDP through sharing and collaboration will try to relieve these tensions by showing people how they can obtain joy in helping each other better themselves spiritually through giving and protecting the needs of Mother Earth. There is even a Circular Economy diagram for ambition to follow.
The key to the success of the PDP proposal will be in the social patterns that will evolve in its evolution as a society on its own while the community grows in size. Social activities in the community includes how people share, work together, become active participants in community activities, feel better about themselves and others, being able to ask for help, and have a positive purpose in life. Adjustments to our present form of capitalism will have to be made.
Also, people should know about the social dilemmas that occur on the internet by the use of social medias such as facebook, twitter, Google, instagram, etc. Information about this is found on “The Social Dilemma” on the internet and the movie of the same name on Netflix. The movie and internet explain these and other problems that affect a society that is in disarray and divided politically. The organizations, in conjunction with Social Dilemma, that made the movie are past executives and employees of the social media companies. Some of the problems with social media is noted on the following clips that are found in the discussion and action guide that is found on the Social Dilemma website
The issue of Social Dilemma is mentioned here because it can be detrimental to many social structures throughout the world. If corrected social media could achieve great things but as it stands now greed has taken over management while governments are lax on correcting the problems and establishing proper regulations. Regulating the use of truth on Twitter would be quite an act indeed.
These comments from surveys shows what problems are existing and that they, in effect, could manifest into more problems in the future if left unchecked. In fact many of the present social media executives will not let their children use social media. The lack of local communities is one of the reasons that this is occurring. This is why communities like the PDP are so important. People should be made aware of what is happening when using social media apps in order to put the media thoughts in place and not be controlled by them.
The Social Dilemma personnel (on their website) use social media and explain it by the ”Code of Ethics” that they use:
While we hope The Social Dilemma will inspire people to spark conversations “IRL”, we believe it is especially important to reach people where they need to hear it most – on social media.
In service of that goal, we plan to use social media to advance our impact campaign while adopting and modeling the principles of humane technology. Our focus will be on getting the film out to new audiences that might not otherwise seek it out, increasing the public’s understanding of the dilemma faced by our increased reliance on technologies that have become exploitative and extractive, and providing tools and resources to realign our relationship with these platforms.
Rules of engagement
We will not:
- set posting quotas to optimize for the algorithm.
- further amplify sensational stories, employ opaque “curiosity gaps”, or use copy as clickbait.
- monetize our content through the use of interruptive or targeted ads, or any ads for that matter.
- set our north star to sharing genuinely valuable content about the film and the issues – even if it means you don’t hear from us from time to time.
- do our best to clearly explain the purpose of each post we share.
- work to include context within our posts that help you manage your own attention e.g., estimated read times, etc.
- invite in dialogue and commenting on our posts, but will not stand for hate speech or other inflammatory attacks e.g., revealing personal information, using obscene language, etc.
- be as responsive as possible while respecting and supporting the mental health of those on our team who are managing our social properties
This information will be used in the PDP and I hope that people adhere to its ethics while encouraging people to use proper use protocol when using social media communications.
In order to obtain funding for the development of the first “research” PDP the following cost estimates will be provided. These estimates will be adjusted after the “Design Team” has been selected. Most of the initial work of Design Team selection will be virtual and the proposed costs for doing this is in Estimate 1, Table 1. The upper left corner of the table is red. The cost of additional personnel research is in Table 1, Tables 2 thru 10 (green and orange tables).
Adjustments can easily made in the attached estimates. The estimated costs/expenses have been made for the Model Home construction package and is located in Blog 20 – Model Home Costs. Further information is in Blog – 17 – Model Homes/Sales. The next objective is to prepare a business plan and the diagrams below are examples of proposed outlines
However this will have to be accomplished by the “Design Team” after they have been assembled. Some of the proposed financing will be in the form of grants and will also include private funding and other sources. It would be an important step for providing affordable housing that would be able to grow itself through people power. The diagrams are from a book, Business Model Generation, by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneuit.