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Sustainability, Volume 2, Issue 2 (February 2010), Pages 400-701

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Reduction of CO2 Emissions in Houses of Historic and Visual Importance
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 443-460; doi:10.3390/su2020443
Received: 10 December 2009 / Accepted: 18 January 2010 / Published: 27 January 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
According to the ‘Climate Programme’ the municipality of Amsterdam has the ambition to reduce the CO2 emissions within the city limits by 40% in the year 2025 compared to the year 1990. To realize this ambition substantial CO2 savings have [...] Read more.
According to the ‘Climate Programme’ the municipality of Amsterdam has the ambition to reduce the CO2 emissions within the city limits by 40% in the year 2025 compared to the year 1990. To realize this ambition substantial CO2 savings have to be realized at the 375,000 current houses in the city. A special challenge is formed by the houses of historic and visual importance, as the implementation of standard energy saving measures may conflict with the ambition to protect their cultural and historic values. Nyenrode Business University was asked to study the possibilities for a successful combination of ambitions in both fields. This article shows an overview of suggestions that focus on the combination of technical and process orientated innovations which can contribute to the acceleration of the reduction of CO2 emissions in houses of historic and visual importance. The article therefore addresses political and technical as well as financial and process related aspects in implementing energy saving measures in this category of buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle Energy Renovation of Buildings Utilizing the U-value Meter, a New Heat Loss Measuring Device
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 461-474; doi:10.3390/su2020461
Received: 15 December 2009 / Accepted: 22 January 2010 / Published: 29 January 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new device with the ability to measure heat loss from building facades is proposed. Yet to be commercially developed, the U-value Meter can be used as stand-alone apparatus, or in combination with thermographic-equipment. The U-value meter complements thermographs, which only reproduce [...] Read more.
A new device with the ability to measure heat loss from building facades is proposed. Yet to be commercially developed, the U-value Meter can be used as stand-alone apparatus, or in combination with thermographic-equipment. The U-value meter complements thermographs, which only reproduce surface temperature and not the heat loss distribution. There is need for a device that measures the heat loss in a quantitative manner. Convective as well as radiative heat losses are captured and measured with a five-layer thermal system. Heat losses are measured in the SI-unit W/m2K. The aim is to achieve more cost-effective building renovation, and provide a means to check the fulfillment of Building Regulation requirements with respect to stated U-values (heat transmission coefficients). In this way it should be possible to greatly reduce energy consumption of buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle Reducing Energy Subsidies in China, India and Russia: Dilemmas for Decision Makers
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 475-493; doi:10.3390/su2020475
Received: 18 December 2009 / Accepted: 26 January 2010 / Published: 1 February 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article examines and compares efforts to reduce energy subsidies in China, India and Russia. Despite dissimilarities in forms of governance, these three states have followed surprisingly similar patterns in reducing energy subsidies, characterised by two steps forward, one step back. Non-democratic [...] Read more.
This article examines and compares efforts to reduce energy subsidies in China, India and Russia. Despite dissimilarities in forms of governance, these three states have followed surprisingly similar patterns in reducing energy subsidies, characterised by two steps forward, one step back. Non-democratic governments and energy importers might be expected to be more likely to halt subsidies. In fact, the degree of democracy and status as net energy exporters or importers does not seem to significantly affect these countries’ capacity to reduce subsidies, as far as can be judged from the data in this article. Politicians in all three fear that taking unpopular decisions may provoke social unrest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Cluster vs. Single Home Photovoltaic Solar Energy Systems in Rural Nepal
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 494-504; doi:10.3390/su2020494
Received: 2 December 2009 / Accepted: 25 January 2010 / Published: 2 February 2010
PDF Full-text (1306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyzes the socio-cultural dimensions of obstacles facing solar photovoltaic projects in two villages in rural Nepal. The study was conducted in Humla District, Nepal, one of the most remote and impoverished regions of the country. There are no roads in [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the socio-cultural dimensions of obstacles facing solar photovoltaic projects in two villages in rural Nepal. The study was conducted in Humla District, Nepal, one of the most remote and impoverished regions of the country. There are no roads in the district, homes lack running water and villagers’ health suffers from high levels of indoor air pollution from open cooking/heating fires and the smoky torches traditionally burned for light. The introduction of solar energy is important to these villagers, as it removes one major source of indoor air pollution from homes and provides brighter light than the traditional torches. Solar energy is preferable in many villages in the region due to the lack of suitable streams or rivers for micro-hydroelectric projects. In the villages under study in this paper, in-home solar electricity is a novel and recent innovation, and was installed within the last three years in two different geo-spatial styles, depending upon the configuration of homes in the village. In some villages, houses are grouped together, while in others households are widely dispersed. In the former, solar photovoltaic systems were installed in a “cluster” fashion with multiple homes utilizing power from a central battery store under the control of the householder storing the battery bank. In villages with widely spaced households, a single home system was used so that each home had a separate solar photovoltaic array, wiring system and battery bank. It became clear that the cluster system was the sensible choice due to the geographic layout of certain villages, but this put people into management groups that did not always work well due to caste or other differences. This paper describes the two systems and their management and usage costs and benefits from the perspective of the villagers themselves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Entrepreneurship in the Dutch Construction Industry
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 505-523; doi:10.3390/su2020505
Received: 1 December 2009 / Accepted: 22 January 2010 / Published: 4 February 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article discusses the strategies that sustainable entrepreneurs use to interact with their environment in the Dutch construction industry. The Dutch construction industry is under great pressure to move towards sustainability, and entrepreneurs are believed to be able to play a large [...] Read more.
This article discusses the strategies that sustainable entrepreneurs use to interact with their environment in the Dutch construction industry. The Dutch construction industry is under great pressure to move towards sustainability, and entrepreneurs are believed to be able to play a large role in this transition by introducing new products and new business practices. But how can entrepreneurs prosper in an environment that is not geared up towards such a change? And which strategies do they use to bend conditions in their favor? In this article we make use of the Market and System Failure Framework to analyze the pressures that entrepreneurs are confronted with when introducing sustainable innovations. We recognize that these pressures can be seen as bottlenecks, but that market and system failures can also create entrepreneurial opportunities. We interviewed 16 entrepreneurs in the Dutch construction industry to determine the influences they experienced from their environment and the strategies they use to deal with these. We conclude that we can distinguish between system building and following entrepreneurs, where the former aims to build a new system to challenge the old one, whereas the latter rather makes use of existing structures to build a business. We find that both strategies can be successful and that overall, the entrepreneurs confirm the belief that sustainability on people, planet and transparency aspects, can contribute very well to the long term profitability of the businesses the entrepreneurs are running. These in-depth insights into the influences from the context on the one hand, and the entrepreneurs’ strategic reactions on the other hand, contribute to our understanding of the interactions between entrepreneurs and the system context. This can help us to more effectively stimulate and support innovating entrepreneurs to contribute to the transition towards sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessArticle Solar-Powered Compaction Garbage Bins in Public Areas: A Preliminary Economic and Environmental Evaluation
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 524-532; doi:10.3390/su2020524
Received: 16 December 2009 / Accepted: 4 February 2010 / Published: 8 February 2010
PDF Full-text (42 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An excel-based model was developed to evaluate economic and environmental benefits of the solar-powered compaction garbage bins in public areas in Australia. Input data were collected from Brisbane and Wollongong City councils, and Sydney Olympic Park. The results demonstrate that solar-powered compaction [...] Read more.
An excel-based model was developed to evaluate economic and environmental benefits of the solar-powered compaction garbage bins in public areas in Australia. Input data were collected from Brisbane and Wollongong City councils, and Sydney Olympic Park. The results demonstrate that solar-powered compaction garbage bins would provide environmental benefits in all scenarios. However, results of the economic analysis of the three studied areas varied significantly. The unique situation of Sydney Olympic Park made implementation in that facility particularly appealing. A lower monthly rental cost is needed for the implementation of this novel waste management practice. Full article
Open AccessArticle Statistics for Categorical Surveys—A New Strategy for Multivariate Classification and Determining Variable Importance
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 533-550; doi:10.3390/su2020533
Received: 20 December 2009 / Accepted: 9 February 2010 / Published: 10 February 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (329 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Surveys can be a rich source of information. However, the extraction of underlying variables from the analysis of mixed categoric and numeric survey data is fraught with complications when using grouping techniques such as clustering or ordination. Here I present a new [...] Read more.
Surveys can be a rich source of information. However, the extraction of underlying variables from the analysis of mixed categoric and numeric survey data is fraught with complications when using grouping techniques such as clustering or ordination. Here I present a new strategy to deal with classification of households into clusters, and identification of cluster membership for new households. The strategy relies on probabilistic methods for identifying variables underlying the clusters. It incorporates existing methods that (i) help determine the optimal cluster number, (ii) directly identify variables underlying clusters, and (iii) identify the variables important for classifying new cases into existing clusters. The strategy uses the R statistical software, which is freely accessible to anyone. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing Sustainability Transition in the US Electrical Power System
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 551-575; doi:10.3390/su2020551
Received: 7 January 2010 / Accepted: 9 February 2010 / Published: 12 February 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines sustainability transition dynamics in the US electricity system, drawing on the socio-technical systems approach. We view system change as unfolding along several critical dimensions and geographical scales, including dynamics in the environment, science, civil society, discourse, and state regulatory [...] Read more.
This paper examines sustainability transition dynamics in the US electricity system, drawing on the socio-technical systems approach. We view system change as unfolding along several critical dimensions and geographical scales, including dynamics in the environment, science, civil society, discourse, and state regulatory institutions, as well as in capital and technology formations. A particular emphasis is given to the interaction of discourses, policy networks, and institutions. We trace four distinct regimes which have characterized the evolution of this discourse-network-institutional nexus over the last century. The research examines dynamics that present a challenge to the incumbent energy regime based on fossil fuels, nuclear and hydropower, and demonstrates how the actor-network supporting renewables and energy efficiency has grown stronger and more capable of moving toward a sustainability transition than at any time since the sustainable energy movement began a generation ago. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle How Does Car Parking Availability and Public Transport Accessibility Influence Work-Related Travel Behaviors?
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 576-590; doi:10.3390/su2020576
Received: 6 January 2010 / Accepted: 11 February 2010 / Published: 12 February 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (629 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the relationships between car parking, public transport, travel behaviors, and health outcomes for adults (n = 1,188) traveling to a worksite. Public transport was used for 12.1% of the work-related commute. Those who had higher levels of walking, no [...] Read more.
This study investigated the relationships between car parking, public transport, travel behaviors, and health outcomes for adults (n = 1,188) traveling to a worksite. Public transport was used for 12.1% of the work-related commute. Those who had higher levels of walking, no worksite car park access, lived proximal to a public transport stop, had limited automobile availability, traveled to the main business district, perceived public transport as accessible, or did not have company car access were more likely to use public transportation. Accordingly, proximal residential transit stops and restrictions for company car accessibility and parking at the worksite are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Is Humanity Doomed? Insights from Astrobiology
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 591-603; doi:10.3390/su2020591
Received: 19 January 2010 / Accepted: 8 February 2010 / Published: 12 February 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (96 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, offers profound insights into human sustainability. However, astrobiology is commonly neglected in sustainability research. This paper develops three topics connecting astrobiology to sustainability: constraints on what zones in the universe are habitable, the absence [...] Read more.
Astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, offers profound insights into human sustainability. However, astrobiology is commonly neglected in sustainability research. This paper develops three topics connecting astrobiology to sustainability: constraints on what zones in the universe are habitable, the absence of observations of extraterrestrial civilizations, and the physical fate of the universe. These topics have major implications for our thinking and action on sustainability. While we may not be doomed, we must take certain actions to sustain ourselves in this universe. The topics also suggest that our current sustainability efforts may be of literally galactic importance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Astrobiology and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Natural Resources Management: Life Cycle Assessment and Forest Certification and Sustainability Issues
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 604-623; doi:10.3390/su2020604
Received: 22 December 2009 / Accepted: 9 February 2010 / Published: 21 February 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forest sustainability and forest certification are important natural resource management and environmental issues. Forest certification addresses the social and environmental issues in the acquisition of raw materials (e.g., lumber to be used in the building process). Life cycle assessment is a common [...] Read more.
Forest sustainability and forest certification are important natural resource management and environmental issues. Forest certification addresses the social and environmental issues in the acquisition of raw materials (e.g., lumber to be used in the building process). Life cycle assessment is a common technique used in the evaluation of forest sustainability issues and forest certification programs. Life cycle assessment is a tool to evaluate multiple issue environmental and some social impacts attributed to a product or process (e.g., wood as a building material). Inputs (like raw material extraction) and outputs (like pollution) are measured over the entire life process, with a goal to minimize negative environmental impacts over the life cycle of a product or process. The relationship between forest certification schemes and life cycle assessment is examined and assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resources Management: Life Cycle Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Feasibility Analysis of Sustainability-Based Measures to Reduce VOC Emissions in Office Partition Manufacturing
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 624-644; doi:10.3390/su2020624
Received: 1 December 2009 / Accepted: 10 February 2010 / Published: 21 February 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A feasibility analysis is reported of reduction opportunities for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in manufacturing office furniture partitions, aimed at contributing to efforts to improve the sustainability of the process. A pollution prevention methodology is utilized. The purpose is to provide [...] Read more.
A feasibility analysis is reported of reduction opportunities for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in manufacturing office furniture partitions, aimed at contributing to efforts to improve the sustainability of the process. A pollution prevention methodology is utilized. The purpose is to provide practical options for VOC emissions reductions during the manufacturing of office furniture partitions, but the concepts can be generally applied to the wood furniture industry. Baseline VOC emissions for a typical plant are estimated using a mass balance approach. The feasibility analysis expands on a preliminary screening to identify viable pollution prevention options using realistic criteria and weightings, and is based on technical, environmental and economic considerations. The measures deemed feasible include the implementation of several best management practices, ceasing the painting of non-visible parts, switching to hot melt backwrapping glue, application of solvent recycling and modification of the mechanical clip attachment. Implementation, measurement and control plans are discussed for the measures considered feasible, which can enhance the sustainability of the manufacturing of office furniture partitions. Reducing VOC emissions using the measures identified can, in conjunction with other measures, improve the sustainability of the manufacturing process. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estimating Arrival Numbers for Informal Recreation: A Geographical Approach and Case Study of British Woodlands
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 684-701; doi:10.3390/su2020684
Received: 14 January 2010 / Accepted: 21 February 2010 / Published: 25 February 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes a novel methodology for generating models of demand for informal outdoor recreation. We analyze visitor data from multiple forest sites across Great Britain. We introduce a wide range of variables typically omitted from most economic demand models of recreation. [...] Read more.
This paper describes a novel methodology for generating models of demand for informal outdoor recreation. We analyze visitor data from multiple forest sites across Great Britain. We introduce a wide range of variables typically omitted from most economic demand models of recreation. These include on-site characteristics, and off-site locational drivers of visitation including substitute and complement availability. A Poisson multilevel model is used to model visitor counts, and the methodology is applied to a dataset of more than 10,000 visits to open-access woodland sites. Results confirm it identifies a broader range of demand drivers than previously observed. The use of nationally available explanatory variables enhances the transferability and hence general applicability of the methodology. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Sustainable Non-Metallic Building Materials
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 400-427; doi:10.3390/su2020400
Received: 7 December 2009 / Accepted: 18 January 2010 / Published: 27 January 2010
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Buildings are the largest energy consumers and greenhouse gases emitters, both in the developed and developing countries. In continental Europe, the energy use in buildings alone is responsible for up to 50% of carbon dioxide emission. Urgent changes are, therefore, required relating [...] Read more.
Buildings are the largest energy consumers and greenhouse gases emitters, both in the developed and developing countries. In continental Europe, the energy use in buildings alone is responsible for up to 50% of carbon dioxide emission. Urgent changes are, therefore, required relating to energy saving, emissions control, production and application of materials, use of renewable resources, and to recycling and reuse of building materials. In addition, the development of new eco-friendly building materials and practices is of prime importance owing to the growing environmental concerns. This review reflects the key tendencies in the sector of sustainable building materials of a non-metallic nature that have occurred over the past decade or so. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
Open AccessReview Analysis of Barriers and the Potential for Exploration of Deconstruction Techniques in Portuguese Construction Sites
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 428-442; doi:10.3390/su2020428
Received: 1 December 2009 / Accepted: 22 January 2010 / Published: 27 January 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (484 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Deconstructing a building is the careful dismantling of that building so as to make possible the recovery of construction materials and components, promoting their reuse and recycling. However, deconstruction remains a rare procedure in Portugal. Using previous studies and data collected from [...] Read more.
Deconstructing a building is the careful dismantling of that building so as to make possible the recovery of construction materials and components, promoting their reuse and recycling. However, deconstruction remains a rare procedure in Portugal. Using previous studies and data collected from present experiences, this paper presents a critical discussion on the importance of deconstruction for rehabilitation. Its aims are to discuss the main advantages, barriers and opportunities of this demolition technique, as well as the guidelines to the design process, aiming at assuring a successful management deconstruction process. Suggestions to impel this technique in Portugal are also described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Sustainability and the Built Environment)
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Open AccessReview The Rhetoric of Sustainability: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy?
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 645-659; doi:10.3390/su2020645
Received: 30 December 2009 / Accepted: 9 February 2010 / Published: 22 February 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (227 KB)
Abstract
In 1991, development economist and American public intellectual Albert O. Hirschman wrote the Rhetoric of Reaction [1]. In this book, which was prescient of more contemporary popular books such as Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine [2] and James C. Scott’s Seeing Like [...] Read more.
In 1991, development economist and American public intellectual Albert O. Hirschman wrote the Rhetoric of Reaction [1]. In this book, which was prescient of more contemporary popular books such as Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine [2] and James C. Scott’s Seeing Like a State [3], Hirschman proposed a way to understand the kinds of arguments made by conservatives about proposals for change. His compelling trilogy of modes of arguments included arguments of perversity, futility, and jeopardy. I argue here that this schema can additionally be used as a way to understand the limits that are seen to exist to approaching sustainable development. I will demonstrate the pervasiveness of arguments that our best attempts to move toward sustainability in our cities today may present threats that are just as grave as those of not acting. This exercise serves two purposes. One is to urge those who would call themselves sustainability scholars to think critically and carefully about the lines of thought and action that may separate different sustainability motivations from the far reaches of interdisciplinary work in this field. The other is to suggest that, because of the persistence of certain kinds of arguments about the impossibility of sustainability, suggestive of deep and enduring instincts of doubt through human history, we should be skeptical of the legitimacy of these claims about the limitations of achieving sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Managing Cuscuta gronovii (Swamp Dodder) in Cranberry Requires an Integrated Approach
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 660-683; doi:10.3390/su2020660
Received: 11 December 2009 / Accepted: 5 February 2010 / Published: 24 February 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dodders (Cuscuta spp.) are parasitic plants that threaten the sustainability of many crops. Because this parasite is very adept and successful from biological and ecological perspectives, a single control strategy is unlikely to provide sufficient economic control. Dodder (C. gronovii [...] Read more.
Dodders (Cuscuta spp.) are parasitic plants that threaten the sustainability of many crops. Because this parasite is very adept and successful from biological and ecological perspectives, a single control strategy is unlikely to provide sufficient economic control. Dodder (C. gronovii) is a particularly serious pest in commercial cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) production. Multiple viable strategies must be integrated and tailored into a weed management plan to provide acceptable control. The key to sustainable management of this serious pest will require a combination of chemical and cultural approaches, supported by understanding the complicated nature of dodder biology. Research from small fruit production systems like cranberry into the biology of dodder (e.g., germination patterns, host preference, use of plant growth regulators) may provide insights that could ultimately be useful for other crop system management plans. This paper will present the current knowledge base for integrated management of dodder in cranberry as well as highlight relevant research from other crops and potential topics for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Agriculture)
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