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December 2007
Low temperature Asphalt applications: > 25% savings in energy
Different technologies have emerged over the last 10 years to produce asphalt at low temperatures, bein
g 230 °F in stead of temperatures for hot mix asphalt in excess of 320° F. This lowers the necessary energy requirements during mixing, and consequently lowers emissions during application that reduces risk in working conditions and local formation of smog. SenterNovem promotes sustainable development and innovation, and as part of that, is responsible to guide and monitor progress in different segments of industry to lower the energy use through so-called LTA's; Long Term Agreements. SenterNovem has asked theRightenvironment to assess the life cycle performance of low temperature asphalt varieties as compared to conventional asphalt applications. The results will be used to position low temperature asphalt in the market and convince stakeholders with facts on sustainability.
LTA for the Asphalt Industry website

 

 

November 2007
USGBC defines timeframe for LCA credits in LEED-NC
Starting 3 years ago, USGBC is ready to present the methodology framework, tool and guidance to include LCA in LEED-NC in the first half of 2008. The progress report can be downloaded here. theRightenvironment will contribute in the spring of next year in the stakeholder consultation procedure.
Progress report

 

October 2007
EUMEPS wants to assert environmental improvements made between 1997 and 2007
The European branch association for manufacturers of expanded polystyrene has invested in energy efficiency projects, recycling efforts and shifted from pentane to water as the agent for the expansion.  Pentane used to present a significant contribution to summer smog. Clear achievements that can be reflected in an environmental product declaration (EPD). EUMEPS has contracted theRightenvironment to assess the current environmental performance.
Website

 

September 2007
Our president a triple winner in the Austin Chronicle Kill-A-Watt challenge
The Austin Chronicle and Austin Energy organize a challenge to save as many 'kilo-watt-hours' (kWh), or electricity,
during Austin's most energy-intensive months of the year: June through September. Every month home owners, renters, neighborhoods and businesses are challenged to save as many as they can as compared to 2006. Joep Meijer signed up and he and his wife Courtney were amongst the price winners for home owners in July (4th), August (3rd) and September (3rd), averaging over 80% savings with less than 250 kWh per month. They came in second over the entire summer. It is amazing to see what lifestyle can do.
Website

 

August 2007
UT Sustainability Colloquium on Life Cycle thinking in Sustainable Design 11/07/07
The UT Centre for Sustainable Development organizes
a weekly series of colloquia where academics, professionals and community activists are invited to discuss their unique approaches to sustainability and sustainable development issues. theRightenvironment will present her views and experiences on November 7th from noon till 1:00 pm in the Battle Hall 101 UT Campus, on the environmental part of sustainable design. The question is whether it is possible to quantify sustainability in terms of footprints over the lifetime of a structure with no trade-offs in life cycle phases or environmental impact categories? Based on the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology and software an answer will be drafted.
Website      Flyer      Presentation

 

August 2007
Prenormative building guidelines for water resilient housing
Building in a flood prone area, such as a river delta, requires special attention to the design and construction of buildings and infrastructure. Katrina showed us how critical building below sea level can be. More than 1/3 of the Netherlands is below sea level. They have built dikes, coastal defenses and pump water out. However, thinking about water resilient housing is only now taking shape. Several pilot projects are built or planned. The biggest hurdle for wider application is a set of guidelines that will enable local governments to permit new construction according to water resilient principles. theRightenvironment is participating in a
multi-stakeholder process involving local governments, contractors and building regulation experts. The goal is to gather available knowledge and experience and draft prenormative guidelines. We are contracted together with INTRON by the SEV. The SEV (The Steering Committee for Experiments in Public Housing) is an independent organization which actively supports a broad range of innovations in housing and construction.
Website

 

July 2007
Partnership with Sunergie
Patrick van Haren, president of Sunergie, is committed to enabling rural communities to convert local resources into valuable renewable energy, increase productivity of natural resources, improve soil properties and improve water holding capacity, all of which are essential for regions in areas like the central plains Texas and Texas hill country. theRightenvironment and Sunergie are partnering to demonstrate the macro-economic advantages of Sunergie strategies in local energy and carbon cycles, thereby improving the overall sustainability of rural economies. We are collaboratively engaged in an effort to scale Sunergie’s strategies and approach from a small group of farmers to potentially all of the Great Plains.
Website

 

June 2007
June 22nd: Seminar - The power of LCA - Green Building Program on Life Cycle Assessment
Austin was the first city in the U.S. to start a Green Building Program. They are promoting green building in numerous ways. They perform ratings, give rebates and set up guidelines and building standards. The key part of their work is sharing good experiences. One of their activities is to organize a monthly seminars.
On Friday June 22nd The Right Environment organized a seminar based on the power of life cycle assessment (LCA). The seminar included an introduction to the LCA methodology and showed examples of the power of life cycle thinking using local examples. Moreover, it challenged the audience to start thinking in cradle-to-grave decision making. More then 50 people showed up and enjoyed a session that we really enjoyed preparing and even more delivering. More info about the Green Building Program can be found here. You can download the presentation, the Austin Climate Protection Plan and the USGBC risk and health assessment of PVC products, both were used as examples during the seminar.
Website

 

June 2007
Draft ASHREA standard 189 open for comments - LCA is a performance option alternative
A proposed new standard that will provide minimum guidelines for green building practices is nearly complete and has been released for public review and comment. Comments will be accepted through July 9, 2007 at www.ashrae.org/publicreviews. The standard is being developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in conjunction with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and will be the first of its kind in the United States.

Standard 189P (Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings) will provide a baseline for sustainable design, construction, and operations in order to drive green building into mainstream building practices. It will apply to new commercial buildings and major renovation projects, and will address key areas of performance including energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable site selection, water usage, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Standard 189P is being developed using USGBC’s LEED® Green Building Rating System™, which addresses the top 25% of building practice, as a key resource. Upon completion, Standard 189 will be an ANSI-accredited standard that can be incorporated into building code. It is intended that the standard will eventually become a prerequisite for LEED certification.

LCA is included as a performance option alternative. All services needed for this option can be provided by theRightenvironment.

the draft standard
the technical committee

 

May 2007
C-Fix, a new binder with a Carbon potential
Refineries produce fuels that are richer in hydrogen everyday. This leaves more carbon behind. C-Fix is a binder based on carbon rich residue of refineries. It is mixed with aggregates to arrive to a product with properties with a performance that pairs both concrete and asphalt.
TheRightenvironment assist C-Fix to determine its environmental performance, and in particular, its effect on Climate Change. Compared to cement and burning of fossil fuels it shows great promise. Currently C-Fix is introducing coastal defense elements called C-Star. Fighting sea level rise with C-Fix, a double win?
Website

 

April 2007
Healthy products from a healthy building for Presence SouthWest Inc.
Presence SouthWest Inc.
is a premier independent natural products brokerage. It is born from a desire to work in a dynamic and environmentally conscious industry. Because of their awareness of the necessity to take better care of the planet and ourselves, it is their mission to join with, and support, through open and communicative partnership, those companies who share this goal.
Due to expansion they are moving to a bigger office. They chose to remodel an existing building into a building that fits the company profile: healthy and natural products from a healthy and natural office. The Right Environment helps Presence SouthWest Inc. out by defining a green building strategy. From this strategy choices are being made for the energy plan and choice of materials. All adaptations are measured according to their environmental potential.
Website

 

March 2007
Royal Ahrend wants to know its environmental footprint to prepare for a strategy on sustainability
Royal Ahrend is a producer of office furniture. They excel in creating
a productive working environment that  demands both attention to detail and consideration of the overall design: everything must match the needs of organizations and their employees in order to make their work as satisfying and efficient as possible. We are pleased to be able to assist them in integrating the environmental footprint into their business strategy. The first step is to set a baseline: to know where Ahrend is today. The entire assembly will be modeled in such a way that environmental design will be possible. Results will comprise of a DfE (Design for the Environment) tool and procedures to keep the information up to date over time.
Visit the website

Ahrend
 

February 2007
Database for environmental road design receives large update
When you design a road and you want to integrate an energy and material flow assessment in terms of global warming, summer smog and acidification you need two things. An design and an assessment. We provide guidance for the translation of the design into energy and material flows and perform the assessment.
Some clients perform environmental optimization on a structural basis using environmental impact assessment tools. One of these tools assesses the environmental performance of a road during its entire life span, from the design phase to the end of life stage. We are commissioned to deliver an update for the database.
 

February 2007
Virgin Earth Challenge: Who can save the world from global warming?
Much attention is given to Al Gore and his battle to address the challenges that Global Warming poses. Together with Richard Branson '
The Virgin Earth Challenge' has been launched. It offers a prize of $25m for whoever can demonstrate a commercially viable design which results in the removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases so as to contribute materially to the stability of Earth’s climate. More info is available at the challenge website.
Visit the website


January 2007
Amendment of the Water Protection Decree based on evaluation of new conservation techniques
The life span of steel bridges and road works depends on the performance of protective coatings. Maintenance can be spot-treatment (small scale) or the removal of all the paint (large scale). Dutch legislation prevents spot-treatment because of the restrictions of shielding and capture of paint and shot blasting material to ensure the water quality under bridges. The shielding is so expensive that only large scale maintenance is economically viable. Changing the legislation may permit small scale maintenance, if the environmental exposure can be determined as 'safe'.

We were able to prove that for certain paints the environment is protected at a level where the water quality is still assured, based on the following:
- a life cycle analysis with maintenance modeling over 100 years
- a toxicological assessment based on emission-immission
- current threshold values for toxic substances
- a model to determine the optimal frequency of a combined cycle of small and large scale maintenance

The results will be used to substantiate a proposal to change current legislation. If granted, this can save the Dutch taxpayer 15% of the national conservation budget for steel bridges. This is equivalent to 7.5 million U.S. dollars per year.

foto van de Maeslantkering (de stormvloedkering in de Nieuwe Waterweg) voor de desktop (bron: Meetkundige Dienst)foto van de derde brug over de Lek bij Vianen in aanbouwfoto van de Oosterscheldekering voor de desktop (bron: Meetkundige Dienst)

 

December 2006
Find out your CO2-Balance in 15 minutes
We can assist you in defining your CO2-balance. To show you what it is we have developed an internet-based scan that will guide you through a short questionnaire. The result will be that you will receive a report with your footprint and a comparison to U.S. economy indicators. It is free. Just give it a try.

Start your scan now
EU EPLCA definition of carbon footprint - 2 pager

 

January 2007
Proposal reviewer for the USGBC Greenbuild 2007 in Chicago, November 7-9
The successful Greenbuild 2006 in Denver will be continued in Chicago. The program is under development. Over 1100 proposals for presentations, educational sessions and workshops will be reviewed by
the Greenbuild Program Committee assisted by a group of qualified reviewers. The program should be finalized and announced in April 2007. The Right Environment is helping the program committee by participating in this process.
Visit the conference site

 

November 2006
Peer review of the environmental performance of cladding panels
The ETEX Group is a specialist in manufacturing and marketing building materials. The group is active in 39 countries and is a specialist in roofing materials, boards, roof and wall coverings. For four cladding materials it has drafted environmental product declarations (EPDs) in co-operation with EcoBilan, part of PriceWaterHouseCoopers. We are performing a peer review. This gives the ETEX Group and the market an objective assurance of the quality and methodology of the data presented in the EPDs. With a positive result they will be certified to use the MRPI-logo, a Dutch EPD system for the environmental performance of building materials.
tell me more about EPDs

Etex Group

 

November 2006
How to promote large-scale water resilient housing?
The SEV is setting up a program for water resilient building in the Netherlands. They wanted to know what to focus on and what role they could play for the coming years.
Based on desk-research and after consultation of a wide range of national and international experts the following recommendations have been made:
Position the SEV as a knowledge center, it does not exist
Focus on the decision making process, not on the technique
Draft guidelines and manuals
Support, participate or initiate experiments
summary

 

November 2006
Partnership with PE Americas
Together with PE Americas we have the ambition to serve America with the best serviced on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Building Performance and Sustainability and Strategy. Software development, building simulations, environmental performances, database mining are just a few possibilities that can be offered to you.
More than 15 years of experience in LCA, strategy and green procurement brought together by more than 40 people are available for you.
website

 

November 2006
Inspiring meeting with Pliny Fisk III
Pliny Fisk has been a leading sustainability promoter for decades and will be for more to come. At the Center for the Maximum Potential of Building Systems, CMPBS, he and his partner Gail Vittori show examples of green building, reuse of waste materials, energy concepts and more. They offer an inspiring place for interns to grow into an architecture that looks at the built environment in its surroundings. They offer monthly open-house sessions every first Friday of the month starting at 5.30 p.m.
website

CMPBS Logo

 

October 2006
Office opens in Austin, Texas
We are now located on Rocky Spring Roadin Austin TX. Details are available under contact


October 2006
Partnership with INTRON
Together with INTRON we have the capacity to include material sciences. Assessment, improvement and prediction of the performance of building materials and elements are key competences. Innovation is our trademark. We have developed prefab asphalt that can be used as carpet (Rollpave) and storage of access heat or cold in building materials through Phase Change Materials (PCM) to safe energy are just two examples. The combination of a laboratory, consultancy and certification body makes INTRON unique.


 

September 2006
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for EPS producer
Producers of Expanded Polystyrene associated in
Stybenex want an update of their LCA-based environmental product data. The result will be included in the calculation tool for sustainable road design owned by the CROW.

Members of Stybenex are:
F Bouwstoffenindustrie Weert B.V.
F IsoBouw Systems B.V.
F KNAUF INSULATION
F Polycel B.V.
F
Schulpen Schuim Nijmegen B.V.
F Unidek B.V.

 

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