Construction and demolition waste is one of the largest contributing waste sources in Ireland. Green building certification schemes such as LEED and HPI, and the fast growing focus on the circular economy (1) in Europe, have already begun to have an impact on the way we design and build.
In this context, the IGBC is delighted to welcome Prof. Michael Braungart for its inaugural Re-Source Conference in Dublin on 21st June. Braungart along U.S. architect William McDonough, co-wrote the seminal book “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things“.
According to the authors, the world doesn’t have a pollution problem. The world has a design problem. Braungart calls for a new Industrial Revolution, going beyond “cradle to grave” manufacturing and recycling. In fact, he argues that conventional eco-friendly actions such as recycling are inadequate for protecting the long-term health of our planet. Braungart believes that all our products and infrastructures should be designed with environmental safety in mind, so that materials are “circulated infinitely (…) without loss of quality or damage to our environment or ourselves”. More specifically, at the end of their useful life all products should become either “biological nutrients” or “technical nutrients”. Biological nutrients are materials that can safely re-enter the environment. Technical nutrients are materials that can be recuperated in pure form and used again, hence circulating within closed-loop industrial cycles. As keynote speaker Braungart will extensively discuss how we can design buildings and materials that are actually good for the world rather than less bad.
Other speakers will present practical tools to inform and improve the design, reduce waste and the environmental impact of buildings. This includes presentations on buildings Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), healthy materials and responsible procurement.
For further information on Re-Source 2018, please click here. Early-bird rate closing on May, 21st.
1. A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.