Category: Products + Technology

C2C: Sustainable Products for Sustainable Buildings

Here’s an article I wrote for the October 2008 issue of Illuminate that talks about the C2C product certification program: In 2005, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), founded by architect…

Here’s an article I wrote for the October 2008 issue of Illuminate that talks about the C2C product certification program:

In 2005, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), founded by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, launched the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) product certification program. The program resulted from manufacturer requests for a label that could be displayed to potential customers and other stakeholders to demonstrate their leadership in sustainable product design and manufacturing.

Litecontrol gained Silver certification for its entire line of architectural luminaires, such as its V3 wall-mount and P-I-98PF pendant luminaire shown here in the Doyle Convention Center, designed by HKT Architects, Inc. Photography by Charles Mayer Photography.

Litecontrol gained Silver certification for its entire line of architectural luminaires, such as its V3 wall-mount and P-I-98PF pendant luminaire shown here in the Doyle Convention Center, designed by HKT Architects, Inc. Photography by Charles Mayer Photography.

Ken Alston, president and CEO, says that the Cradle to Cradle concept replaces the traditional goal of reducing the negative impacts of commerce—“eco-efficiency”—with a new model of increasing its positive impacts—“eco-effective design.”

“Cradle to Cradle takes the safe and productive processes of nature’s biological metabolism as a model for developing a technical metabolism flow of industrial materials,” he points out. “Product components should be designed for continuous recovery and reutilization as biological and technical nutrients within these metabolisms, through composting and recycling.”

MBDC awards Cradle to Cradle certification to products that meet a rigorous set of criteria related to eliminating waste through innovative design and sustainable manufacturing. The five major criteria include the use of environmentally safe and healthy materials, product design for material reutilization (such as recycling), energy efficiency and use of renewable energy in manufacturing, and efficient use of water. Products can be certified at one of four levels: Basic, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Those that receive certification can use the C2C mark in advertising and product labeling. The certification must be renewed annually.

“Green claims are everywhere,” Alston says. “Manufacturers are using self-applied benchmarks that lack independent analysis or verification. Bombarded by advertisements for products and services that claim to be environmentally friendly, cautious buyers are increasingly looking to third-party certifications to help separate the truly sustainable from what is just type.”

He adds that Cradle to Cradle certification has even broader applicability for architects and designers who design sustainable buildings. “In 2007, the U.S. Green Building Council named Cradle to Cradle certification an approved tool to help architects and designers select building and interior products for their human health, environmental and lifecycle attributes,” he says. “The use of at least 2.5% of Cradle to Cradle products can qualify suppliers for a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Innovation Credit.”

The Cradle to Cradle certification program’s participating companies include Steelcase, Haworth, Herman Miller, Milliken, Shaw and other manufacturers of interior furnishings and materials. Litecontrol, a manufacturer of luminaires, and MechoShade, a manufacturer of daylight shading devices, are the first companies in the lighting industry to gain Cradle to Cradle certification for select products. Litecontrol gained Silver certification for its entire line of architectural luminaires (not including the lamp and ballast), while MechoShade gained Silver certification for its Mecho/5 with Ecoveil product.

“For us, Cradle to Cradle documents our efforts to lead the lighting industry into a more sustainable way of operating,” says Dr. Robert Davis, director of product management for Litecontrol.

Davis says the certification process took more than a year and was challenging. One of the difficulties involved providing proprietary information and accessing proprietary information needed for certification from the company’s vendors. Getting this information required getting all parties to understand the program.

In the end, he says, the business and environmental benefits are worth the investment.

“Certification provides assurance to designers and owners that they are specifying and using products that have a third-party assessment and certification of many aspects of their sustainability,” he says. “Now architects can combine our lighting systems with other C2C products to put together a package of sustainable products for a building.”

For more information about Cradle to Cradle certification, visit c2ccertified.com.

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A New Meaning to the Term “Light Fixture”

Hat tip to Jim Hutchison for digging up this gem! For me it was love at first sight with this product… DEMO/Design Clinic of Israel has created a small line…

Hat tip to Jim Hutchison for digging up this gem! For me it was love at first sight with this product…

kozo1_fixture

DEMO/Design Clinic of Israel has created a small line of hand-made light fixtures made from old reclaimed plumbing parts, including a spigot that turns the light on and off. These KOZO lamps are designed by David Benatan of Tel Aviv and come in several different styles. The materials are left raw and alive, with a little authentic rust at the joints and the marks from hand tools that were used in the assembly process.

kozo-lamps-04

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Wireless Control

There are a number of interesting new wireless products coming out this year. Here’s one: Leviton’s partnership with EnOcean, a developer of wireless building automation technology, has resulted in a…

There are a number of interesting new wireless products coming out this year. Here’s one:

leviton-wireless-product

Leviton’s partnership with EnOcean, a developer of wireless building automation technology, has resulted in a new line of self-powered, wireless occupancy sensors, remote switches, wall switches and integrated wireless receivers that automatically turn lights on and off based on occupancy.

Designed as “install and forget” devices, the sensors include an integrated solar cell that harvests power from ambient light in the space, eliminating the need for batteries.

Click here to learn more.

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Dimmable CFL?

PureSpectrum, Inc. will be launching a new line of high-performance compact fluorescents at Lightfair. The company says its new products are fully dimmable, priced affordably, have high power factor, turn…

PureSpectrum, Inc. will be launching a new line of high-performance compact fluorescents at Lightfair.

PureSpectrum booth at the Middle East Electricity Trade Show.

PureSpectrum booth at the Middle East Electricity Trade Show.

The company says its new products are fully dimmable, priced affordably, have high power factor, turn on instantly and work in place of any traditional incandescent lamp.

One of my biggest complaints about household CFLs is dimming issues, so I’ll definitely be stopping by their booth (#569) to check it out.

The company will also be exhibiting dimmable technology for linear fluorescent luminaires and a wireless lighting control system for commercial building retrofits.

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What’s New in Lamps and Ballasts

This year, I have the pleasure of joining Howard Wolfman, recently retired from OSRAM SYLVANIA and now principal of Lumispec Consulting, in presenting the “What’s New in Lamps and Ballasts”…

This year, I have the pleasure of joining Howard Wolfman, recently retired from OSRAM SYLVANIA and now principal of Lumispec Consulting, in presenting the “What’s New in Lamps and Ballasts” seminar at Lightfair International in New York City.

lamps

The seminar (course #L09S22) will be held 4:30-6:00 PM on Wednesday, May 6.

This seminar is a veritable institution at Lightfair, very well attended. It has gotten some criticism for alternately being too generally focused on trends in some years, without enough focus on what’s truly new, and too specifically focused on what’s new in other years, with too much promotion of individual manufacturers.

Howard and I are trying to take a different approach this year. We went to the product managers at a large number of lamp and ballast companies and asked them to report the top innovations in the field over the past 1-2 years. For each innovation, we are identifying 1) what it is, 2) how it compares to the standard offerings in the field, and 3) how it changes design or lighting application. Needless to say, everybody promoted their own companies’ innovations, but we removed all references to manufacturers to satisfy our requirement to make the presentation generic.

Hopefully the result will strike the proper balance and offer the lighting community a satisfying presentation!

We will also be covering LED replacement lamps. While there have been some strides in this area recently, to date the results have been disappointing so we won’t be presenting individual innovations but rather presenting the DOE CALiPER results of testing of a large number of LED A-lamp, candelabra and T8 lamp replacements.

If you’re attending Lightfair, be sure to attend this important event. Click here to see the conference program in a quick-glance format (PDF file).

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Researchers Boost Efficiency of Blue OLEDs by 25%

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) can be used for TVs, computer displays, cell phones and PDAs. These multi-layered devices produce light by running an electrical current through a specially engineered host…

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) can be used for TVs, computer displays, cell phones and PDAs. These multi-layered devices produce light by running an electrical current through a specially engineered host material into which light-producing phosphorescent molecules are embedded or “doped.”

oled_blue_light

The technology also holds significant potential as a general area light source, creating the potential for lighting wallpaper and integration of lighting within furniture, equipment and building materials.
The white light envisioned for large-scale applications consists of red, green and blue light. Right now, however, OLEDs emit less light per area than point-source LEDs.

“The weakest link in OLED research is the absence of an efficient, long-lasting blue light to accompany the red and green,” said Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientist Asanga Padmaperuma. Development of better host materials to manage the flow of electricity through the device could help solve that problem.

Padmaperuma and his colleagues recently announced that they have designed, synthesized and tested new materials that improve the power efficiency of blue OLEDs by at least 25%, bringing us one step closer to the possibilities offered by OLED architectural lighting.

As my colleague Kevin Willmorth has told me numerous times, the Revolution is not about LEDs, it’s about solid-state lighting.

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How It’s Made: Outdoor Luminaire

How It’s Made is a TV series consisting of short 24-minute episodes showing how everyday products are made. While visiting the in-laws today, I caught a segment showing how pole…

How It’s Made is a TV series consisting of short 24-minute episodes showing how everyday products are made.

While visiting the in-laws today, I caught a segment showing how pole outdoor luminaires are made at a manufacturing plant operated by Canadian manufacturer Lumec.

I found it very interesting, and later found it on YouTube. Here it is below–simply skip ahead to the 4:00 time mark.

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ElectricTV.net Publishes Video Segment on Hi-Bay T5HO Lighting

ElectricTV.net, operated by NECA, has published a short video about hi-bay T5HO lighting here. It’s a little basic and attempts to characterize T5HO lighting as “new,” but has interesting visuals…

ElectricTV.net, operated by NECA, has published a short video about hi-bay T5HO lighting here.

It’s a little basic and attempts to characterize T5HO lighting as “new,” but has interesting visuals and makes a simple case for T5HO lighting. It makes no mention of high-performance T8, however, which is also suitable for many hi-bay lighting applications.

electrictv

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Temperature Controlled Faucet Light

On the lighter side of things, here’s a fun little gadget: the “temperature controlled faucet light,” which activates based on water pressure and changes color based upon water temperature. Blue…

On the lighter side of things, here’s a fun little gadget: the “temperature controlled faucet light,” which activates based on water pressure and changes color based upon water temperature. Blue when the water is cold or simply turned on, and red when the water hits 89 degrees F.

temp-faucet-light

Would probably be a hit with kids and for parties. There’s also a model for taking colorful showers.

You can check it out here.

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Pink Lighting Found to Discourage Loitering

Via Yahoo, AFP has distributed an article about Mansfield, UK using garish pink lighting, normally used by dermatologists to reveal acne, to deter youths from loitering. It’s apparently achieving its…

Via Yahoo, AFP has distributed an article about Mansfield, UK using garish pink lighting, normally used by dermatologists to reveal acne, to deter youths from loitering.

pinklights_bbc

It’s apparently achieving its intended result.

Click here for the full story.

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