Go Green Recycling Awards for Sustainability

go green - lebanon officeToday’s Pulse local news online writer Lisa Knodel wrote a piece called “Warren County organizations go green”.

The article discussed how Warren County organizations are able to integrate green initiatives intended to benefit the environment. One such initiative, the “Go Green Warren County”, was a contest that the Warren Country Solid Waste Management District came up with that recognizes the earth-friendly, waste reduction and recycling efforts done by leaders in the industry.

“Each of the award recipients has made an impact on not only their own organization but on the surrounding community. Each demonstrated a commitment with their time and finances to recycle and protect the earth,” said Susanne Mason, Director of the Warren County Solid Waste Management District.” http://www.todayspulse.com/news/news/local/warren-county-organizations-go-green/nY74h/#sthash.JHKuMrXn.dpuf

Having a contest promoting sustainability provides benefits on both the company and their surroundings.

“Recycling protects the environment, preserves landfill space and saves energy. It is easy to do, and everyone should be a recycler,” Mason added.

Go Green Recycling for 2014

This year one of the recepients of Go Green Recycling is Plast-Fab’s Lebanon Ohio operation. Just like with previous winners, Plast-Fab was recognized for a job process that had the environment in mind; in this case their recycling methods resulted in less amounts of waste significantly lower than other facilities in the vicinity.

The plant would re-use EPS material by returning it back into the block to create more insulation products. When this is not possible, the EPS are thermally compacted then sold to recyclers. The recyclers in turn manufacture plastic products such as picture frames, wall/ceiling moldings and other consumer products. As a result, less EPS would go to the landfill.

To learn more about PFB’s Sustainability practices, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.

The Life Cycle Benefits of SIPS

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS)

Reduce Global Warming

 

Life Cycle Benefits of SIPS

The basic design concept for SIPS is elegant in its simplicity, and offers several advantages for constructing walls and roofs. There is general agreement that SIPS provide better overall air tightness and practical thermal performance than conventionally framed walls.

– NAHB Research Center

SIPS Environmental Advantage

By providing substantial energy savings and critical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the energy invested in the production and delivery of SIPS yields an exponential benefit to the environment, when compared to traditional stick framing.

The exceptional performance of SIPS as an insulator coupled with low air leakage for the built environment offers the construction industry the tools and technology needed to achieve superior thermal performance while making a significant and restorative contribution to the reduction of global warming.

Read the rest of “Life Cycle Benefits of SIPS” here.

SIPs could be the future of home construction

By ROBERT KOOPMANS
Daily News Staff Reporter

An untrained eye would have a hard time seeing what’s different about the house being built at the corner of Linfield Drive and Aberdeen Way.

To those in the know, however, the level-entry rancher is the cutting edge of a new wave of high-tech home construction, using new methods and materials that could make traditional dimensional lumber framing a thing of the past.

Check out the full article here.

Wrong Turn Taken: Embodied Energy & LCA

Have you seen the claims of cellulose insulating materials to be the “Greenest of the Green”? Embodied Energy is used as a basis for the claim. Cellulose has many noteworthey Green attributes, but if you look to the footnotes on the embodied energy tables for insulating materials you will see that the numbers include the “caloric BTU value of the EPS”. That is to say that the BTU value of the EPS was included as if the EPS feedstock were going to be burned for fuel. Cellulose insulation on the other hand does not include the BTU value of the wood it is made from if the wood were burned thus severely distorting the comparison of cellulose to EPS insulation. Petroleum and Natural Gas which are the primary feedstocks in EPS should be viewed as  minerals, of which there is a finite supply.  The choice seems to be; should we burn gas and oil and dump more CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere or make it into a durable good that can be recycled indefinitely and save huge amounts of energy with that durable good.

Embodied energy is a factor used in Life Cycle Analysis LCA to compare the merits of materials, processes, etc. When embodied energy includes all the important energy inputs into the extraction, transport, processing and disposing or recycling of a material it can be very useful. However if a short term view is adopted which puts more  emphasis on supply side dynamics than on preservation of resources then we have a distorted result which can lead us down the wrong path of material selection. Most of the best known LCA tools, like the Athena model, treat EPS in this fashion.  I would strongly argue that including the energy value of burning a raw material in embodied energy calculations is just this type of inappropriate emphasis on short versus long term environmental vision. We should be preserving petroleum products for long term durable goods manufacture, which in the case of EPS insulation, saves about 100 times more energy over the life of a building than the energy used to produce it. And the bonus is that we still have the polystyrene molecule to reuse over and over again and the carbon in the petroleum is sequestered keeping it out of the atmosphere. Since plastics account for less than 3% of all petroleum and natural gas consumption and in most cases is very recyclable, its makes much more sense to preserve oil and gas for these types of use and replace them with renewable energy sources. This would be a Win, Win, Win for us all.