A number of new collaborative business models have emerged in recent years that aim to take advantage of the overcapacity that can be found in many industries. With these ideas in mind, a project developed between Thomas Rau and Philips sought to design out overcapacity from the start by selling light as a service. The 'Pay per Lux' concept consists of providing the exact amount of light for workspaces and rooms that employees need when using them for specific tasks -with maintenance costs included. Whenever the lighting needs to change, Philips can either adapt the existing system further to the client's wishes or simply reclaim its materials and recycle them via LightRec (Philips' partner responsible for the re-use of lighting components). Effective systems management resulted in a total energy reduction of 55% – 35% as a result of the LED installation, as well as another 20% through Philips' optimization process.
6. Furniture Re-Usability
In the United States alone, 15 million tonnes of furniture is wasted annually, and only 2% is recovered for recycling. At the same time, each year in a city like New York, a quarter of a million people either move in or move out. The actual potential in the used furniture market has been estimated at $10 billion per year. Alpay Koralturk set up Furnishare (now Kaiyo) in 2014, after a series of frustrating moves, having to sell and buy furniture each time.
Tired of the waste and cheap quality of furniture caused by this linear production and consumption model, Koralturk patented the Kaiyo model in which a number of components revolve around a central concept: to keep high-quality furniture in use, thereby creating additional value for previous owners and more flexible access options for future buyers. The model gives people a chance to monetize a burdensome or underutilized asset rather than simply disposing of it, a process that might itself cost money. When items are returned to Kaiyo after the lease period they are repaired, cleaned, and re-introduced into the market.
The demand for office furniture is growing rapidly - by 2024 the size of the industry will be estimated at 100 billion dollars (USD). Manufacturing office furniture requires a lot of materials and energy, and 80-90% of these valuable resources are lost after a short use period. Ahrend, a Dutch workspace design company, offers their customers furniture-as-a-service (FAAS) where customers pay a monthly fee and return the furniture when they no longer need it.
"Furniture as a Service is a subscription in the form of an operational lease. This means Ahrend remains the owner of the furniture and you only pay for the period you use the product. So you keep your working capital available for your core activity and never pay too much because you only pay what you are using," says Ahrend former Senior Vice President Peter Veer.
8. The Possibilities of Post-Consumer Glass Concrete
Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) material comprises high-strength, alkali-resistant glass fibers which are embedded into a concrete matrix. These fibers act as the main load-carrying component, while the surrounding matrix keeps them in position, and transfers loads between the fibers. Both the fibers and matrix are good at retaining their physical and chemical identities, combining these properties to create a high-performance composite. This differs from traditional pre-cast concrete, which uses steel as the main load-carrying element. While this works well in the medium term, we all know that steel has a tendency to corrode, leading to potential structural issues within a couple of decades. Glass fibers do not rust.
The trend towards sustainable building and the circular economy is a huge influence within the current climate of architecture – and the new generation of lightweight GRC is definitely a key building block of this movement. Recent tests show that GRC is now seen as an energy-efficient building material that is capable of achieving a BREEAM A+ material rating. The Rieder Group is an Austrian company that offers GRC products using raw and natural materials. The panels made of glass-fiber reinforced concrete, are non-combustible, sustainable, and durable. They can be fastened visibly or concealed onto a metal substructure, and dyed throughout with natural color pigments.