SS12: Targets, indicators and benchmarks for resource us

Time: Wednesday, 14 October 2015: 8:00 – 9:50

Location: Flüela

Session Chair: Prof. Daniel Beat Müller, NTNU, Norway

Session Chair: Dr. Cecilia Matasci, World Resources Forum, Switzerland


Sustainable Development and Resource Efficiency as Drivers for the Circular Economy – The Case of the Swiss Building Sector

Erdjan Opan1,2, Jan Robra1

1OPAN concept SA, CP 686, CH-2002 Neuchâtel, Switzerland; 2SIA – Expert Council for Energy, CH-8027 Zürich, Switzerland

Compared to ecology, the circular economy is not a “perfect” cycle. Although economic activities applying the concepts of circular economy try to mimic nature, they are still rejecting waste and pollution, harming humans and nature alike. Circular economy has to become more sustainable. This implies among the first measures, committing to and effectively applying efficiency and replacing energy based on fossil fuels by renewable energy. The Swiss building stock is responsible for almost half of Switzerland’s primary energy demand, cumulating expenses of nearly 16 billion CHF every year . The SIA (the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects) works to find ways to reduce energy consumption induced by buildings over their whole life cycle by half before 2050. This goal can only be met following clear long term political targets such as the “2000W and 1 ton CO2 society” and by using simple holistic tools like SIA’s “Energy Efficiency Path” – SIA 2040. Applying the theories of the circular economy to the building sector can yield improvements in resources efficiency. An innovative Swiss project shows how to link buildings together in an area energy grid. Indeed, there is much more potential to improve energy efficiency by connecting buildings with different usages in a grid than the sum of all energy efficiency potentials of the individual buildings. A second example exposes newly developed colourful and even perfectly white nanofilms for solar cells that allow 100% architectural integration in building facades. The technical knowledge to achieve the previously mentioned ambitious goals and prime examples for such efficient and sustainable technologies, buildings and grids exist. If we can reach a large commitment to building standards and planning processes based on these concepts, resources efficiency can be largely improved and climate change impacts reduced accordingly.


Direct and Indirect Uses of Urban Forest Resources – case in Nagoya, Japan –

Kiichiro Hayashi

Nagoya University, Japan

Urban forest has an important role for carbon stock in a city. Also citizen utilizes urban forest resources directly and indirectly in many ways. In this study, the direct and indirect uses of forest resources were studied based on a simple on-site field survey to grasp the role of urban forest for human society as a case in Nagoya City, Japan. The survey topics include not only ecological research items but also cultural aspects of citizen’s use of urban forest. As a result, deciduous broadleaf forest was dominant followed by evergreen broadleaf forest both in area and carbon stock. Per hectare carbon stock was high especially in historical shrines. Some of recreational function had relatively high correlation with carbon stock.


Intensity assessment and global accounting for non-metallic minerals used for construction

Alessio Miatto1, Tomer Fishman1, Hiroki Tanikawa1, Heinz Schandl2

1Nagoya University, Japan; 2CSIRO, Austrialia

Both developed and developing countries are showing a constant accumulation of material in society. The development of new buildings and roads requires not only cement and steel, but also aggregate, including sand, gravel, and crushed stone. Construction materials are low economic value-high volume material flows, and despite being absolutely essential for the development of buildings and infrastructure, they are often poorly accounted and even omitted from official statistics. Empirical accounting methods for aggregates in material flow analysis (MFA) studies have relied on simplistic and generalised assumptions without taking into account the technological complexity and engineering knowledge of concrete, roads, and brick production. Thus, even though published country-level MFA accounts seem to be in the correct order of scale, aggregate consumption is arguably the material flow category with the highest uncertainty. The objective of this research is to increase the precision of construction material flow accounting on the global scale for the past 40 years and compare it with economic growth to assess whether decoupling is happening or not. This interdisciplinary research aims to obtain realistic data for the material intensities of production of concrete, roads, and bricks through the analysis of construction codes and consultations with engineering and construction experts. Crossing aggregate intensity data obtained from construction codes with cement, bitumen, and bricks production figures reveals the underlying consumption levels of raw construction materials. This enables us to identify aggregate consumption and obtain statistics, which can give a good sense of the uncertainty and variance in the extraction and production of construction materials between world regions. This research will help improve the accuracy and robustness of one of the most under-explored data areas in MFA, and may assist in managing the extraction, usage, recycling, and disposal of sand, gravel, and crushed stones in a sustainable way.


Thanatia and thermodynamic rarity: assessment of mineral resource depletion

Antonio Valero, Alicia Valero

Fundación CIRCE – Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain

Thanatia theory is a new application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In an intuitive way, it stands that a mine, a glacier or a river are abiotic resources clearly distinguishable from a resource-exhausted reference planet. Such theoretical state of the Earth, coined Thanatia, can be likened to an ultimate landfill where all resources eventually end up and are irreversibly dispersed, besides that all fossil fuels were burnt. The quantitative representation of Thanatia’s crust is composed by the nearly 300 most abundant minerals found in the crust, with corresponding composition and average concentrations. Thanatia is the ideal “dead state” reference environment for assessing the exergy of any mineral deposit on Earth. Moreover, the exergy cost of recovering any commodity from Thanatia, i.e. its Thermodynamic rarity (in GJ/ton) can be assessed for minerals and chemical substances. This revolutionary approach entails a drastic paradigm shift in the way resources could be globally managed in the future. It shows a thoughtful attempt to demonstrate that the Second Law of Thermodynamics can be applied in a quantitative way for assessing the rate of loss of Mineral Capital on Earth and evaluate the mineral Aging of the Planet.


Concept and development of a factor four building in Inden (D)

Klaus Dosch1, Jens Bröker2

1Aachener Stiftung Kathy Beys, Germany; 2Entwicklungsgesellschaft indeland GmbH, Germany

In the community of Inden (Germany) a residential area is currently being developed as a pilot-project, in which the resources of the houses to be built is limited. In an holistic approach ecological rucksacks, embodied energy and global warming potential will be reduced at least by a factor of two. In this residential area, a reference house is being constructed, which over a lifecycle of 50 years only needs a quarter of the resources compared to the resource consumption of a conventional building. Another challenge is a design of the house that allows prefab manufacturers an industrial production of the house for a competitive price.


Polluting Water with a Veritable Source of Energy: the Situation in the Urban City of Lagos-Nigeria.

Timothy Oluwagbenga Ajayi1, Godwin Ikechukwu Chinemerem2, Grace Jadesola Ajayi3

1Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa, Nigeria; 2Safe Water and Sanitation Embassy, Lagos, Nigeria; 3Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria

Introduction and Objectives Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria experiencing rapid urbanisation. It is one of the mega cities of the world with an estimated population of 17.5 million. The Lagos Lagoon which is a notable water body in Lagos state has been a sewage disposal site for the past fifty years and the quantity of sewage wastes disposed daily into the Lagoon has greatly increased due to rapid population growth. The Lagoon serves as the major source of sea foods in Lagos and also confers beauty to the city. Like some other highly populated and sewage rich cities, Lagos state is yet to utilise her abundant sewage resources in scaling-up her energy supply instead of polluting her Lagoon. The aim of this paper is to elucidate the effects of disposing sewage waste into the Lagos Lagoon and the potential of the state generated sewage waste in meeting her formidable energy challenge. Methodology and Approaches Water samples from ten different stations in the Lagos Lagoon were analysed for the presence of pathogenic organisms using Sedimentation, Microscopy and Culture techniques. The Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and pH of the water samples were tested with the aid of BOD test apparatus and pH meter respectively. The daily average numbers of sewage tankers offloaded in all the sewage disposal sites were recorded and the average daily volume of sewage wastes disposed calculated.