NJIT Library - John Cays Book Talk: An Environmental Life Cycle Approach to Design

Aug 4, 2021 15:41 · 9468 words · 45 minute read

Yes, can you. Good afternoon. Everyone Thank you so much for coming and joining guys today.

00:10 - I’m very pleased to welcome you to the newest addition of the author book for.

00:15 - Guest speaker is John case and I think John doesn’t need any introductions.

00:21 - We all know him as an indicator as a person with world knowledge and wide range of interest.

00:27 - As, as the associate dean for academic affairs, and the interim director of the school part.

00:34 - And the colleagues of architecture and design.

00:37 - John faults a bachelor of science and architecture from the University of the attitudes and industrial architecture degree from.

00:47 - As a professional experience, in different areas of design in 1, John confounded great architects and architecture and interior design firm in New York City. Right to that.

01:00 - John work as the project manager at Robert storing architect.

01:04 - And since 1002 people, his appointment at, and Jay.

01:10 - Johnson his time and effort to various professional associations.

01:15 - Including his service as the Northeast regional director.

01:19 - Well, the associate association of the collegiate schools of architecture, a PSA.

01:25 - 2014th to 2017. And the director of the National architecture, pretty big board, and eat.

01:34 - From 2017, 2000. Today, John presents his monitor.

01:41 - And environmental life cycle approach to design.

01:45 - For designers and the design market. I didn’t have this book intend to show you, but you can access it via the library catalog.

01:54 - It’s available at electronic format, this book published by spring and fair log.

01:59 - In Switzerland, just a months ago, can already be found in libraries into as Canada space.

02:06 - Netherlands, Japan, United Kingdom in Australia.

02:09 - It is the result of several years of John scholar.

02:14 - And the reflection of his view of the design of the critical role of design in the complex world, we live in.

02:21 - Based on the most recent scientific research discusses global challenges to which out the French.

02:30 - A taxable event, right? John uses the boundary and that’s the only other factor. Tony. Please me your time.

02:42 - John used the broad range of data and reference point related to such design issues as sustainability.

02:51 - Technology and adaptive, he also draws into other areas like physics, chemistry, psychology, history.

02:59 - And consumer behavior, this makes his research appealing, not only to narrow group of professionals.

03:06 - But also to a wide range of general readers, this well, crafted work, makes it difficult to understand concept more accessible.

03:13 - It also demonstrate creative ways to visualize where the abstract and complex data.

03:18 - The inclusion of detail information on the LCA methodology.

03:22 - Available instruments, case study should have designers to make more informed decision. It also provide their clients with way to join them.

03:31 - In better understanding, framing and solving every big problem.

03:36 - And now welcome, John, and the book of John.

03:41 - Thank you very much Maya. I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has put this event together. I wish we were able to deliver this brief presentation and discussion to you in the Michael must all regroup.

03:54 - I look forward to someday soon when we gather there again to enjoy hot tea and Russian cookies.

04:00 - Uh, thanks also to, for designing this lovely poster announcing today’s at that.

04:04 - I often Crowe about our faculty and students in public.

04:08 - But I rarely get to thank you all directly. Nothing arises absent the right conditions.

04:13 - This book traces some of the key forces that create and exacerbate our present ecological situation.

04:19 - I hope you will and tells me as I read a few passages from the book throughout the presentation that will serve to give you a sense of what’s in it.

04:26 - I start by acknowledging the conditions that allow it to exist at all from the acknowledgments. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my colleagues at the New Jersey Institute of technology, and the hill, your college for creating an atmosphere of free inquiry.

04:40 - To Dean shot, the 1st encouraged me to look into the topic of life cycle assessment and how it might benefit the world in the hands of designers.

04:49 - He insisted that I set aside dedicated time each day to learn and write about the topic to help.

04:57 - Tell me the planet better for my daughter, her friends and their children.

05:01 - To Dean, Toni, Schumann, who continues to serve as an example.

05:05 - Of an activist scholar to Dean Bronco. Who enthusiastically made sure I completed the mission.

05:13 - To provost funny geek, who always gave me a gentle encouragement to persist in writing the 1st book.

05:20 - Special things go out to David brothers. Martina Dekker Christina Atlas.

05:25 - Darius solar hub, and for their interest in the subject of LCA and design, and their perennial invitations to me to introduce it in their design to their design students.

05:37 - Also, Glen Goldman, who encouraged me to think broadly.

05:41 - Be curious and to see the vital connections between design and technology.

05:44 - To my parents who could always anticipate my questions and needs on which library resources would best lead me to fertile areas of exploration.

05:53 - Also for the general support, she provided with library resources on extended loan.

06:01 - To all the design students in my classes over the years, who asked honest and earnest questions to learn and practice how to back up their sustainable design claims.

06:10 - And to the skeptical ones, who needed to dig deeper to know how we know what we know.

06:15 - About our individual and collective impact on this living world.

06:19 - I especially want to thank Aaron huddle burger who followed farther than any design student and tenaciously persisted in an entire year of rich and challenging dialogue.

06:28 - She appeared at the perfect time in her own soft spoken, but determined way.

06:32 - To make meaningful contributions to this book she has on her way to help design, making measurable difference.

06:38 - I started researching this topic when my daughter was born over 10 years ago.

06:42 - But it was only after offering LCA classes to design students in 2013, but I realized.

06:48 - What the real challenge was students want to design better.

06:53 - More ecologically responsive product systems, but their enthusiasm wanes quickly when confronted with a bunch of technical language required to back up their sustainable claims.

07:05 - Before learning technical facts and methods.

07:08 - For students to use life cycle, thinking to improve the environmental environmental impact and profiles of their designs. I found that I had to 1st carefully present the problems.

07:19 - Before discussing approaches to address them.

07:23 - We humans have been recording our activities in the world for approximately 30000 years.

07:31 - Much of this time was spent without negatively impacting the natural world through industry.

07:36 - In the last 1T seconds of human civilization.

07:41 - Only the last 10B seconds or so have impacted the environment on a global scale.

07:46 - Some refer to this at a new age as the. We, as designers can have a positive impact on the probably face, as we provide for growing number of people.

07:59 - All striving for better lives for themselves.

08:02 - And those they care about. Our industrial economy has supported orders of magnitude and growth in global population.

08:10 - Understanding and engaging in conversations around means and methods have industrial production designers can have clear roles and responsibilities and how to mitigate our collective environmental impacts.

08:21 - It is why I wrote this book. The book was originally pissed, uh, pinched.

08:28 - Pitched simply as a life cycle approach to design.

08:33 - Lca for designers and the design market with the same subtitle LCA for designers in the design market.

08:39 - After writing, you’re writing it though, I decided to add the qualifier environmental to distinguish it from the other life cycle assessment types, present on a growing field of social life cycle assessment.

08:53 - For example, which is certainly beyond the scope of this work.

08:56 - Environmental life cycle assessment, narrowly balances concerns to only 4th of the sustainability triple bottom line that balances people planet and prosperity.

09:07 - Reasonable boundaries around environment. Can help to obtain the wicked problems and apparently presence and sustainability studies.

09:17 - It is also helpful to focus on what we can know and ultimately control as designers.

09:23 - The books, 9 chapters can be divided into 3 main sections.

09:28 - The 1st part discusses how we got into the situation we find ourselves in.

09:34 - The 2nd, what our collective responses have been once the crisis.

09:38 - I became clear, and the 3rd part goes into how designers can integrate new lifecycle assessment, methods and tools into their design. Workflows.

09:48 - I present energy as the root cause of the crisis.

09:51 - And present ways for designers to understand what it what it is and how it affects absolutely every consideration regarding climate change.

09:58 - Our deep dependency on fossil fuels, and the inherent qualities that make them easy to use and hard to replace compound. The numerous.

10:06 - Practical challenge is to develop clean high density forms of energy coal, oil and natural gas have unique combinations and portability.

10:15 - Completeness high energy, concentration and relative stability that are well matched with human needs and habits.

10:22 - The easiest to reach fossil fuel stores are already depleted.

10:26 - Challenges and extraction continues continue to grow.

10:30 - But new technical means and methods have kept pace to increase output.

10:34 - Of these finite resources. I start by explaining the basic energy unit and how it was established. For instance, James, Prescott, jewel was a 19 century British physicist to explore the relationship between heat and work.

10:50 - And a series of experiments carried out between 184547.

10:54 - Joel use 3 custom built instruments to precisely measure the settled temperature rise from the friction caused by gravity driven small paddles, rotating.

11:04 - Through a vessel filled with water, the jewel apparatus, which you see here.

11:08 - Experiments demonstrated the direct mechanical transfer, diminishing gravitational potential energy.

11:16 - As a string connected to a descending weight.

11:19 - Fun the bearing mountain, brass, paddle shaft to proportionally.

11:23 - Increase internal heat energy in the water.

11:27 - This early experimental proof of the conservation of energy was according to jewel carried out in a spacious cellar, which had the advantages of possessing a uniformity of temperature.

11:37 - And recorded the results to 1, 207 degrees Fahrenheit.

11:42 - For his contributions to the field of thermodynamics, the international standard base unit of energy in any form is the jewel.

11:49 - 1, human scale example of the amount of energy measured in a single Joel, is the work done by lifting an Apple with a mass of a bit over 100 grams off the floor to height of 1 meter.

12:00 - But energy itself is difficult to define since the 19 century. We have described to energy indirectly as units of work.

12:08 - In his lecture on the conservation of energy, the Nobel laureate, Richard Feynman States, as a matter of fact that.

12:14 - We have no knowledge of what energy is. We do not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of definite amounts.

12:23 - Energy is a word that describes the potential of abstract physical forces to transform a system.

12:29 - The language scientists and engineers use to discuss practical effects deal, largely with him, and an accepted understanding of the relationship between the units of force energy and power.

12:41 - The work that is accomplished, takes place a place in space over time.

12:46 - No, how fundamentals of general energetics begins by identifying energy as a phenomenon as fundamental as that time and space.

12:55 - The concepts that find application in all branches of science involving measurements are space time and energy. The significance of the 1st, 2 has been accepted without question since the time of con.

13:08 - That energy deserves a place beside them follows from the fact that because of the laws of its transformation and its quantitative conservation, it makes possible and measurable relation between all domains and natural phenomenon.

13:22 - It’s exclusive right to rank long space. And time is founded on the fact that besides energy.

13:27 - No, other general concept finds application in all domains of science.

13:31 - Whereas we look upon time is unconditionally flowing and spaces, unconditionally at rest.

13:38 - We find energy appearing in both states in the last analysis. Everything that happens is nothing, but changes in energy.

13:45 - Experience shows that the decrease of energy at 1 place is always associated with an equal increase somewhere else.

13:52 - Essentially, if if Cartesian space a 3 D and the whole of the.

13:58 - In definite progression of existence and events from past to present and into the future is 40 that energy can be considered as.

14:09 - An 80 or all dimensional phenomenon other terms are helpful to define what we mean, for example, describes the portion of it of an energy source that does actual work.

14:21 - Energy is the portion of energy that exists as weight as waste heat.

14:27 - Entropy is a concept that grounds the entire field thermodynamics, which underpins the 18th century.

14:35 - And that’s for a revolution with these and other key concepts regarding energies.

14:40 - Designers can begin to consider what the deeper applications are among several design alternatives.

14:47 - Chapter 3 outlines global environmental impacts that 200 years of industrial productions have brought.

14:53 - The main impact categories. Lca assesses include.

14:57 - Air quality impacted by increasing are small.

15:01 - Greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, organic nutrient loading and our fresh and coastal waters.

15:07 - And stratospheric and depletion potential that strips away the natural protection our atmosphere provides and the sons harmful, harmful radiation.

15:17 - I also discussed the magnitude of our global impact in the form of solid waste since it is the 1 clearly and easily form per per capita for capital marker.

15:29 - The influential artist filmmaker Chris Jordan gave me permission to include 1 of his photographs in my book.

15:36 - This series and photographs powerfully illustrate the impact our consumption has on our closed ecosphere.

15:43 - Each 1 of these colorful plastic pieces was fed to this albus chick by its parent, mistaking it for nutritious food.

15:50 - Each plastic piece was designed manufactured and used by a human being.

15:56 - I explored the earliest roots of the life cycle concept in the mid 2000 century U. S military industrial complex.

16:04 - I use historical documents to show how it was eventually.

16:08 - Uh, migrated to corporate use and then making sixties and seventies, and then was distilled and transformed that group of dedicated scientist into the rigorous environmental assessment method used today.

16:19 - The last hasn’t discusses life’s lifecycle inventory database is used to feed geometric design model and software.

16:28 - I emphasized the resources available to the North American market.

16:31 - We still lag behind many European and Asian countries.

16:35 - We, as designers need to do a better job to effectively use these LCA methods and tools to measure, assess and mitigate our environmental impacts.

16:44 - The last 3 chapters are written to show how LCA can be directly applied to improve design decision making.

16:53 - Chapter 9 compares various approaches to modeling.

16:58 - And the level of detail included in different scenarios.

17:02 - 1 of the main takeaways is that it doesn’t matter so much how you conduct a study as how consistent you are are when you are comparing results.

17:10 - The main point is that is that the approach.

17:14 - Proves trustworthy and consistent provided the design tools and results from design studies are not arbitrarily compared.

17:23 - So, I wanted to give you the basic. Overview of the book, I would be happy to discuss more and answer questions that you might have about it.

17:34 - But I did want to again, thank you all for creating the conditions that allow it to exist. So, if you if I mean, some of you have had conversations with me about this.

17:45 - But others might have questions about still what is lifecycle assessment and how can designers really use it? So, I’m I’d like to open the floor to questions.

17:57 - This is this is us. Delighted to see the book in its full glory.

18:10 - And I remember the beginning of our conversations about.

18:14 - Writing a book on the subject, and it seems to me that at the time you said.

18:20 - This is really written for my daughter with the next generation.

18:25 - In mind, and they can better than we did and that, uh, uh, parents did. So, how is this book going to impact your daughter Sarah or her generation? I mean, you’ve given us a very technical, a marvelous explanation of what is in this book.

18:45 - But how does this, I mean, if you were to rewrite this book at the children’s book.

18:51 - What would you put in it? And how would that change the cost of events? Uh, in the future, well, you’re still asking me these questions so I appreciate that or is so much.

19:05 - In fact, I have thought about writing this as a children’s book and the I found that the.

19:12 - It gets harder and harder. The more simple you make the language. So I worked pretty hard at at boiling down. Some of the technical language. Yes there is still some technical language in there. The way that I see it though is.

19:25 - These techniques this way of thinking about looking at resources, how we deploy them and make new things.

19:36 - And what happens to those things throughout their life.

19:40 - You know, in our benefiting us, those kinds of issues are technical issues. The, the challenge.

19:51 - For designers is, they got into this into this game for reasons other than those engineers get into it or scientists get into it.

20:01 - We want to make things we want to design things. We want to make the world.

20:04 - Uh, beautiful, we want to make the world function. Well, all these things.

20:09 - We don’t necessarily want to to do detailed analysis.

20:13 - So, the way that I would, I have to frame this work in each of the chapter is chapters is a.

20:22 - To give designers ways to approach. The fundamental issues, understanding the concepts, and then give them the tools and techniques to build into their sort of native, natural, organic workflows.

20:39 - For instance, we have. All of these were of packages that designers use from solid works.

20:47 - To rabbit and at different scales. We have tools that allow designers to.

20:54 - To run, analyses on their different. A different alternatives that they run, but each of these.

21:04 - These tools takes kind of a step away from the design process so you designed something then you analyze. So what I’m working on right now.

21:13 - Is a way to to unify all of these, these pieces. So, the next book, in fact, which were already talking about with the American Center for life cycle, assessment is really focused on.

21:27 - Reducing the friction of all of the data that goes into these considerations.

21:33 - So, how it would affect Sarah, is the design is in this generation.

21:39 - Will be more easily. Informed by this other set of data sources.

21:47 - Those kinds of workflows are really critical to.

21:51 - I think the improvement of of the next generation of designed.

21:56 - Product systems. I use the word product system because that it.

22:03 - That term encompasses small things large things.

22:08 - Systems that don’t necessarily have a physical manifestation, like a glass or a book or a shoe or a building.

22:17 - But to understand. Thinking that whatever we manifesting requires energy requires matter.

22:27 - Requires information and the judicious use of all of those is, I think the thing that will make or break our, our future.

22:36 - So, as we lower the, the barriers. To integrating these workflow into tools and techniques that designers use. I think the world stands a better shot at, at improving. It’s, uh.

22:51 - It’s overall environmental impacts. But the children’s book, it’s really coming down to starting.

23:03 - With natural resources, we’re taking out of the ground. What are we chopping down? What are we growing.

23:09 - And what goes into manifesting those things.

23:14 - What is the is the rich store that we are are spending down right now.

23:19 - The mineral well, the plant well, the. Uh, the natural resources that we have on the planet are finite and we’re going to have to, um.

23:28 - Build different relationships to them. I know that that Tony Schumann brought in a a friend to speak about the circular economy.

23:41 - Walter style spoke very eloquently on that that topic and that’s 1 way of looking at sort of making 1, 1 processes waste into another processes. Beanstalk.

23:56 - The interesting thing that I found out and looking at a circular economy though, through the lifecycle assessment lens is that not all circular processes are the best processes.

24:08 - So, it’s really looking at at each. Approach in and of itself and bounding it properly so that they can be compared. So, a linear process is not inherently worse than the circular process.

24:23 - Often it is, but not always so. It’s again expanding the boundaries, the language that designers can use.

24:31 - To interface with other groups to learn some basic languages of science.

24:37 - Uh, not be afraid of it not be afraid of the metric system. Not be afraid of.

24:44 - Of words, like putrification and and a certification.

24:47 - Those things are not inherently scary and once you get used to.

24:53 - But when you 1st, I think approach them, they can be a bit daunting to the designer.

25:02 - So, John, let me jump in, you know, you, you haven’t really given us your definition of the.

25:09 - Life cycle assessment and you haven’t really spoken about the kind of challenges in your work. So just wanted to ask you if you can give us your definition of life cycle assessment because there are many that I’ve seen out there.

25:22 - And again, what was the principal challenge that you encountered in writing this book? So, an environmental life cycle assessment is different from, say a social.

25:31 - A life cycle assessment I, I tried to bracket it in terms of making it clear that it’s only dealing with certain set of.

25:42 - Of conditions and, um. And looking only at those things that impact the environment.

25:49 - There is a broad set of sustainable studies that really look at people planet and profit.

25:57 - This 1, environmental lifecycle assessment, just deals with those impact categories that can be measured.

26:07 - Um, either by mid point, or end point. A set of criteria. So what I mean by that is.

26:14 - What we do how we. Manifest things in the world all come from the transformation of natural resources into, through industrial processes.

26:28 - And then through a market, given to people to use and then discard.

26:33 - So those are essentially the life cycle stages.

26:38 - The book itself goes into a a very detailed discussion of exactly what the life cycle phases are.

26:46 - I mean, if it might be. Helpful to go back to 1 of the slides I can do that.

26:55 - So the picture on. Our left is essentially a diagram showing the standard.

27:07 - Way that life cycle assessment is described in the profession.

27:13 - Can you make that bigger? I don’t know. I don’t see if I can.

27:22 - Great Thank you. Okay. So, for instance, lifecycle assessment as as a.

27:38 - Process as a study. Is the technical 1? It’s not 1 that designers typically.

27:46 - Uh, carry out and it’s, I’m in no way hoping that designers are going to become.

27:52 - Lca experts that requires a separate set of skills.

27:58 - And 1, that usually the, the domain of the economists.

28:03 - Scientists engineers, and people who really deal with the, with the fundamental issues of of measurement unit and and boundary conditions.

28:14 - However, there are some things that in the end, say, looking at the, and how can you see my cursor.

28:20 - So, colon scope, definition, inventory, analysis, impact, assessment, interpretation. These are iterative steps in a, the life cycle assessment process.

28:30 - So some of these things go very well with the design process goal and scope definition, for instance, is an interactive exercise that, that asks us to come up with something called a functional unit.

28:44 - Which is, what am I going to be? What’s the point? What is the problem I’m trying to solve? So, this is something that I think is very helpful for designers. For instance.

28:53 - Who some of whom like to design. A solution in search of a problem that’s not what LCA does. It defines a problem.

29:02 - And then looks looked to analyze the issue.

29:06 - When we’re combining it with design LCA can, I think be a complimentary exercise so, goal and scope definition, for instance.

29:17 - Uh, deals with, what is the boundary condition of this of the design system.

29:23 - Or the product system that you’re looking at, if you’re designing a shoe.

29:26 - What are the materials that go into the shoot? What are the.

29:32 - What are the, what are the data sources that you’re using? How what is the prominence of that data? Is it good? Is it new enough? Is it numerous enough? Is it.

29:44 - Does it allow for people to to get a really accurate.

29:51 - View of of the thing that they’re studying, and also alternatives to that that 1 solution.

29:57 - So, the scope definition deals with how large is this? Uh, is this question and the goal is really what is the point of life cycle assessment studies? What is the point of the study? What is the goal goal? Who is the audience? All of these things design similar things and and.

30:16 - Establishing what it is that that it’s about.

30:20 - Inventory analysis in the 2nd bubble here is really just looking at the data. What are what the data that are available and it’s 1 of the things that is a, it’s a.

30:32 - A phase unto itself that is a much larger treatment of the 1. that was.

30:39 - Initially proposed in the 1st goal and scope definition phase and then once you have established a reasonable set of data.

30:48 - And you can, you can point to this is what the.

30:53 - The data show about, or describe about your processes, then you can say, okay, let’s see. Are they correct? And if they’re not, then you go back to the goal and scope definition and iterate again.

31:05 - And then impact assessment brings into a 3rd phase.

31:10 - What happens after you have come up with a reasonable inventory of data.

31:15 - And then you assess it based on either mid point.

31:19 - Which is say, for instance, how much carbon dioxide equivalence are.

31:24 - Emitted into the atmosphere based on a particular kind of industrial process.

31:30 - That would be a mid point category. What how many tons of that? It doesn’t say, what will the temperature rise to if we continue to do this that’s an end point.

31:40 - Or consequential approach to the use of, which is fine, but it’s usually not what we as designers are charged with.

31:50 - Considering, so, in each case, the interpretation phase is it’s critical and in that way, I think it is.

32:01 - Iterative in the same way. Design is so. Defining what LCA is it’s helpful when we compare it to what design.

32:10 - Is and those 2 systems as they kind of come closer together.

32:15 - And integrate 1 into into the workflow and the other.

32:19 - I wonder if that answers your question it does, but what I know, but the challenges related with Lsa LCA is in this kind of.

32:29 - 2nd step, where are you talking about? Inventory analysis.

32:32 - That you really have to make some educated guesses.

32:35 - As to what the, what what some of the kind of.

32:39 - Things that are trying to quantify are, and what are the, the way in which you’re kind of quantify them are adequate or not the issue at hand.

32:48 - So then, at the end, when you’re doing the impact assessment, you do it with a certain degree of certainty.

32:53 - And you could kind of define that margin margin of error. So it’s a kind of very.

32:57 - An inaccurate way of of assessing the impact of things around us.

33:04 - So, the issue of of. Of certainty or uncertainty this is a, this is a whole study in and of itself for lifecycle assessment experts. They often talk about. What are we going to? How do we, how do we.

33:21 - Quantify the uncertainty, how do we say? Well, this is a really good study. This is not such a good study.

33:29 - As you’re dealing with the options and the different ways of considering what you’re what’s available to, you, you see all of these particular kinds of inventories you look at.

33:44 - Their provenance you look at their quality, and you can say you can, you can basically give a.

33:50 - You can qualify it through a quantitative method. Some of those are.

33:57 - Monte Carlo simulations all the different ways of looking at the way that these things will produce of.

34:05 - Quantity are a number some kind of measure.

34:09 - The way that I approach it for designers again, we’re not trying to create.

34:15 - Lca experts, we are taking those existing inventories.

34:21 - That, and this was a challenge, but the solution is also present today in our tools.

34:27 - And, for instance, that the plug into rabbit from tally from Karen Timberlake that developed this tool in, in concert with Autodesk as well as with.

34:39 - 1 of the world’s largest lifecycle inventory providers, a company called sphere.

34:46 - These these tools have a sort of. Baked in set of inventory, so irrespective of which tool you’re using, you’re not as a designer necessarily going into.

35:02 - Querying individual points within the inventory. It is an enormous kind of.

35:08 - Of undertaking, if you were to do that. So to take that out of the of the kind of challenge for the designer is to liberate the designer, and maybe give the designer a bit more confidence that they can use the.

35:22 - The tools at hand, the way I addressed the question that comes from, that is, well, how do you know that the tools are are really giving you the right information? We looked at as several different tools. In fact, I can use some of these here are the relationships between the databases.

35:45 - As well, as some of the both LCA tools built for it.

35:51 - Uh, experts as well as those who are that are that are just interfaced in the design process.

35:58 - And then we, for instance, compared 1 click, LCA tally.

36:05 - We looked at theana as different ways of of querying a particular design scenario and then we compared to see if those.

36:17 - If those tools would yield something that is generally in agreement with each other. So the tools we find are in agreement.

36:25 - The individual values. From each assessment, those buried, but they vary proportionately. So they all kind of go up and down at the same time.

36:37 - And that’s the so once you understand what’s behind LCA, then you have that, that the question that you asked about uncertainty.

36:45 - Well, sure we’re not. This is not about giving the answer.

36:49 - It’s about giving an informed set of piece of information.

36:54 - That allow the designer to consider what the impacts of different design alternatives are.

37:00 - Does that make sense? It does. Thank you. I have more questions and let others ask. Okay, Andre, thank you John. A philosophical question but 1st, I’d like to. Thank you for being an ex time for your for tower.

37:15 - On life cycle assessment and really, I always see those reviews, and I see who is putting how much energy and thought to those, and you are really on the top of the return on this aspect.

37:30 - But philosophically, it’s maybe a framing with Brian count. I actually see this as a kind of pretty precise way.

37:39 - But it’s more resigning in a probabilistic science, like medicine or social. So it’s not.

37:46 - Physics as mechanics. But I think it’s but there’s still some kind of questions for me about methodology because a.

37:56 - It is, I think, ultimately will be viable based on a size of the data set and understanding of tools, but it may give us a certain.

38:06 - This direction in a sense that we trust because it works in many ways. And in Europe.

38:13 - Example, you lecture you focused. A lot of energy obviously I know you talk about a carbon and carbon superstation and so on. But this, how do you analyze.

38:28 - Things across multiple categories, and it’s not like looking at design and looking to designs from different covered footprint or different energy for this goes to my, for example, you know, this because we discuss this often it’s our policy from 10 years ago when we shifted from tax lightbulbs to compact fluorescent instead of waiting for allergies and we saved energy and carbon, but we introduced a lot of mercury to the air because we had 10% of recycling of come back to our suppliers.

39:02 - So how do we. And evaluate across different scenarios, not energy scenarios, not cover scenarios, but against carbon versus energy versus Mercury versus some other comments.

39:17 - Like, your favorite example, is the fire intelligence that talk to the. How do we do this? Because right now with a focus on energy and carbon, we may be a kind of skipping bigger issues.

39:33 - That’s my right. So how do the life cycle goes? Laterally not forward as a time, but laterally as is a very different how we compare Mercury versus carbon.

39:44 - Right so and this is the, I think that the greatest.

39:49 - A contribution that LCA as a discipline brings to that conversation, you’re asking exactly the right question.

39:55 - I frame my talk in terms of energy because that is the is the fundamental thing irrespective of which impact categories were really considering energies at the root. So, for instance, Mercury.

40:08 - You bring up the mercury in these complex, compact, fluorescent light bulbs, also existing coal, right? I mean, the kinds of of toxicity Eco, toxicity.

40:18 - These are values that are that are actually a raid, not foot forward and backward, but but laterally.

40:26 - That can be compared they cannot none of these can be compared 1 to 1 say, which is, which is the worst thing in the world. That’s that’s your real question, which is, I think they can. My theory is that they can be compared with.

40:42 - That is another dimension on axis. Multi dimensional, so we look at the human health impact cost. That’s kind of my, my private a.

40:52 - But the way that is handled in LCA, for instance, by the experts is through normalization.

41:00 - And so the way that these kinds of of. Heterogeneous categories.

41:08 - Are then compared 1 to the other apples to apples to oranges to bananas to elephants? Um.

41:14 - Is a is a way of giving a value based on a value judgment. So you’re saying that I, I care about say stratosphere goes on.

41:25 - Depletion potential right. Versus. Greenhouse gas emissions versus unification potential those 3 things are very different things. However, they exist in the framework.

41:38 - It’s up to us to say, which things when we look, especially at design, when we’re saying I’m looking at these alternatives and I see these values jumping around as I run them through the filtration of these different and tools.

41:58 - As we’re dealing with the plug INS to the different geometric data.

42:02 - So the non geometric data are the things that are driving and the values through that as you’re talking about through, through these probabilistic kind of modeling techniques.

42:14 - Those are things that are moving these, these different.

42:18 - Values up and down it’s for us to say, I care more about environmental toxicity.

42:24 - Than I do about a carbon, or I care about carbon in the short term and environmental toxicity in the long term.

42:31 - Each 1 of these things points to the, I think the fundamental issue around LCA and design that it is not an automatic kind of a procedure.

42:41 - It gives you some insight, but it is up to the human being to interpret and to ultimately say, which value judgment. Are you going to apply to making the decision? This design is better than that design.

42:53 - In that kind of lateral matrix of different.

42:57 - Of choices, so once you figure out what it is that you really care about, or your client really cares about.

43:04 - Maybe you do want to, in fact, most of the heat that I’ve gotten about this is that I don’t really go into empty a primacy to carbon.

43:14 - It is 1 among many and I think that. The other thing by looking at energy production, once you, once you figure out how to kind of green the grid.

43:27 - Right then you can live in a screened in porch, basically, in the middle of Boston, and you can.

43:34 - You know, that just turn the heat on so you’re comfortable you feel comfortable once you have that kind of of energy throughput.

43:41 - That is not predicated on, on carbon, fossil fuel, rich sources. At that point. It becomes a different. It is perfect.

43:50 - It’s not perfect because there are other trade offs because of all the, all, the in, the mineral mining that has to go into photo excels. The production of wind turbines, all the kinds of other.

44:02 - Energy infrastructure that that is going to eventually take take the place of of the carbon infrastructure.

44:09 - So the issue of energy is always there because it, it, as it manifests, it is setting into motion all of these different kinds of.

44:20 - Of environmental impacts, and the categories that we’re measuring across.

44:24 - But the, the framework, the LCA framework is robust enough and broad enough and balanced enough.

44:34 - That it can consider all of these things simultaneously, but we give different value judgments to which, which.

44:41 - Impact categories are the most significant.

44:44 - In any particular design system. Our product system, thank you.

44:52 - Good question as always. Anybody on the product that you had some other questions that.

45:01 - I think you wanted to ask, but I want to give out as a chance to speaks. Okay.

45:17 - Hi, John. Hey, do you see here again previous comments the way the way we went about dressing contact for us, and the only fix to this was about 15 years ago we were installing Compaq for lessons where the lamp could be replaced.

45:35 - And it’ll be installed, knowing that this technology is going to be available within, within horizon. 5. we put 5 to 10 years and as much earlier than that.

45:45 - So, I think looking at that methodology, and if you have the foresight of information beforehand, we’re able to address it that way.

45:54 - So, I think that’s, I think it’s important to be able to get this information into as many hands as possible, and also making such a man or someone like myself as a small private practice would be able to implement it.

46:07 - And so the good news is that the way that these tools are going to develop, and the next.

46:15 - I’d say 5 years. It’s going to be staggering. I think I’ve been having conversations with folks at NVIDIA.

46:24 - Uh, I had a hunch that the, the relationship between geometric data, and some of the design software tools that we, as designers use, can be augmented in a much more robust and, and much faster way.

46:40 - Uh, by the non geometric metadata around, and as those things flow in the cost comes down, the effort comes down the time comes down and sort of running these simulations in real time.

46:54 - The 1 of the people who kind of also was a, was a North Star was and the architecture, 20, 30 discussions around.

47:06 - Uh, it’s back in 2008 when I heard him talk about.

47:10 - The requirement the hopeful requirement that every student would have a base little read out a real time readout in the corner of their screen.

47:19 - That is telling them exactly how that how their.

47:24 - Their design alternative is performing environmentally. Now. That’s a that’s a big tall order and it’s lacks detail. However, that’s the right the general rate approach I think, to give designers that kind of real time and input.

47:39 - So, they’re not kind of stopping running a report reading these with all these numbers. Just tell me which 1 if I tell you which thing I care about the most, if I care about inbound on toxicity and Mercury.

47:49 - Tell me how my design is, or isn’t impacting that in a positive way.

47:55 - That’s that’s kind of what I think we, as designers have to keep in mind. So, the big question is.

48:02 - What do we want to make? What techniques are we’re using to evaluate the relative benefits of 1 solution over another.

48:11 - And how do we, how do we work this? So that it’s not breaking the bank.

48:16 - So, that our clients don’t walk away saying, I’m not really that interested in an environment when it comes to, by comparison to time and money, because that’s really what drives still tries most of these conversations.

48:29 - So, as we bring the costs down. Even small practitioners, like, you will be able to benefit from these tools and methods, and also with those tool, those the questions who’s paying for the reports. No, wait wait a certain way.

48:43 - There’s always, you know, in the spinal side and being you guys an example. So, I think those are the things that you almost wish you a sense of national again. I’m sort of a value system given the products.

48:57 - So, you know, there’s some, it’s something again, doctors, testifying cigarette manufacturers are acting scientists, children testifying for your company.

49:14 - So, information is a fact of. Real news, not fake news. These are again fundamental philosophical issues dealing with. What is true. What do we know? What don’t we know how can we prove it? How do we qualify what we know.

49:36 - And that’s the great thing that I see about LCA and life cycle inventory, data.

49:41 - Those things are are extremely well documented well, qualified.

49:45 - So each 1 of these things, each 1 of these.

49:49 - These strands of proof, or or a reason supports the other other pieces. If you want to say, well, how do you know that? I don’t believe you okay, the whole thing goes out the window and this is kind of what I was faced with from the class of the students that I was dealing with. They said, how do you know that? I had to say, well, let me go find out and so finding out, I mean.

50:15 - I am convinced that the general methodologies used are sound.

50:21 - In at the at the root, and it’s at this route that flows into these tools.

50:26 - That gives me confidence that we can depend on on the results that that come out of the software queries.

50:36 - And here’s the last question John would be, I think, if you have the basis of understanding, then you can again figure it out yourself, you’re basing on the knowledge that you have and not someone just giving you a number. So going back to your book. Hopefully your book helps with that.

50:51 - Okay. Yeah. Send me that. And someone has a more of an understanding of material and not just looking at a number for them. It’s just domain the number of contextualize.

51:05 - That’s the other role of the designer is basically a Super consumer.

51:10 - The consumer LCA is by the way, not a tool for consumers, it’s not really built for that.

51:17 - But the designer is is in a position to be the Super consumer, because a, they specify enormous amounts of material.

51:25 - So the material flows that they’re choosing can be mindfully constructed in a way that lowers negative environmental impacts.

51:35 - And then also the 2nd, role, as I would say is as an interpreter, and to go to the client saying, this is good, better best. There aren’t any bad ones. So.

51:48 - If you run these simulations through the tools, you can find.

51:53 - You know, all of these kinds of solutions that are generally, okay, some might be better. So may be marginally better on 1 impact category or another. But generally you can kind of get a sense that this is not going to do.

52:08 - Severe damage to ecosystems in any of the impact categories.

52:13 - Thank you thank you. Hi, John how are you? Fine. Thank you. How are you? Thanks interesting. Book is great to see the design.

52:30 - Uh, you know, you have, you know, there has been around for a while for a long time, but seeing a specific book about targeting design and designers is really interesting, I can see you deliberately avoiding a avoid using the, the term embedded energy, kind of uh, you know throughout, and so I just wanted to know your thought about this and, um.

52:51 - You know, it’s how it’s hard to. I’m just going to talk about education.

52:55 - Just teaching basic building, kind of energy, operational energy stuff to students.

53:02 - So, um, so what do you think about, are there any priorities and all we should should we just leave it open in terms of importance in terms of environmental impacts of, of buildings? And or should we have kind of a list of priorities, or just leave it open to everyone to see what kind of a category they think it’s more.

53:25 - More important to consider in their design.

53:28 - So, I did, I did avoid the discussion of embodied energy also energy memory. I bring up the issue of energy briefly just to address that.

53:39 - Yes, there is this other other kind of accounting system that just deals with energy memory accounting.

53:45 - Which is if if you think. Um, LCA is verified the energy conversation is way out there.

53:55 - But it’s still it’s reasonable and valid. I think that if.

53:59 - My own approach is looking at environment, embodied environmental impact.

54:04 - In general and embodied energy is 1 of those things, but I think that the larger boundary condition is the environmental impact.

54:13 - So, if if what we wanted to say is, once we did this study, we decided in body energy or primary energy resources.

54:23 - Were the thing that we wanted to optimize for, and we can.

54:28 - But I think the, at least my approach is to present this as a, as a balanced way of dealing with multiple criteria.

54:38 - And looking at giving. Designers the tools and the wherewithal to make those those value judgments later on.

54:46 - So, 1 designer might say, invited energy is the whole show. The others might say absolutely not. It has to be we have to really look at the local issues around water or land use.

54:57 - Each 1 of these things has a different set of metrics, but the framework of LCA and this maybe goes to Broncos question, I’ll see has a framework.

55:06 - Our framework for thinking, considering what our options are.

55:10 - And it is, it’s a framework that is backed up by science and, and fact and data.

55:18 - And it is also, fortunately ready for integration into design tools, geometric design tools that the designers are generally more comfortable with.

55:29 - Now, this is a caveat if you are not comfortable with the geometric tools, geometric modeling, modeling tools, like solid works or rabbit, you’re not going to do anything with LCA. That’s not going to have.

55:42 - I can’t, I mean, there’s, there are some experiments with rhino into rabbit, these kinds of interfaces are emerging as big data as a ai all of these things as as enormous leaps forward and GPU processing.

55:59 - Improve that kind of work flow and easy. Uh, integration into the design process, I think.

56:06 - Those the ease of maybe choosing and looking at evaluating among all these different criteria become much much easier.

56:16 - And much cheaper, so that’s, that’s the other really big concern in speaking to professionals around the country about their willingness to use these different tools and different methodologies many are hesitant, because they have to concern the concern himself with the financial bottom line.

56:37 - Primarily, so, as as computation, because, I mean, we just had this incredible lecture from.

56:46 - Don Greenberg on the, the improvement of. Say that Moore’s law brains and really making computation essentially free as that is applied to these kinds of things then we can answer the question.

57:02 - So we have all this design technology design in the rather technology in the surface of design.

57:09 - The next question is, what do we do with it? How do we Yo, these kinds of of.

57:14 - Uh, technological marvels to actually. Influencing a better tomorrow for my daughter and for her friends. So I just answered your questions.

57:25 - There is another question in the chat from Amy, and we have 1 minutes left. Okay. Let me see, I, I’m not seeing the chat here.

57:38 - I can maybe augment the the question that Annie pose in. She’s saying this is a rather complex, um, agenda.

57:45 - And then, how do you introduce elsia in the curriculum? And I would kind of modify that question. It’s like, how would you introduce it in the studio? What would you do.

57:53 - In fact, I, it’s not a. A question that is just a, uh.

58:00 - Potential we’ve done it. We have introduced it. It didn’t go well.

58:05 - Because the, the. Fundamental framework of questioning was not present so 1st, you have to prime people to say, 1st of all this matters 2nd of all. It’s not that difficult to to get right into this.

58:23 - So, the tools are the real way of doing this class.

58:28 - I think probably has has been the most. Committed.

58:36 - To that, but even they are, they struggled.

58:40 - But these are the workflow issues are the way to get.

58:47 - This method to go into the studio, you have to use tools. You basically say, okay, you’re using that tool. This is the plug in that you use to yield some kind of analysis.

59:00 - Through that, so it’s again, I’m presenting the overall topic and you can drill down as deep as you’d like, but fundamentally use the tools. The data is tied to the tools.

59:12 - And you have to understand how to interpret the data, but even the interfaces and how the kinds of dashboard.

59:21 - How those are are evolving are improving, so.

59:25 - It becomes more intuitive. It’s really a matter of working very hard.

59:30 - To solve the problem for design is so we design a solution for designers to use and reduce that friction.

59:38 - It’s an issue friction and information and understanding.

59:41 - Thanks, Jeff. Well, I guess for 1 minute over.

59:46 - I really appreciate all of you showing up on the line today.

59:50 - And, you know, my, my 3 champions and mentors, ers Tony and Bronco, I so, appreciate everything you’ve done and it’s, it’s you, and my colleagues here that have made this, this book possible with the help of the students, and I see some of them here today as well, so I, thank you all very, very much.

60:11 - Thank you so much John for very distinct presentation and thank you everyone for attending this meeting.

60:18 - And our next book talk is in March, and it’s going to be both this.

60:23 - Written by our own alumnus, Mohammed and check and about the architecture of era.

60:29 - Thank you so much and we’re looking forward to see you again in the last last point is we have a symposium and international symposium on the same topic March, 30, a 30 person April. 1st.

60:42 - So stay tuned for information on that. It’s in conjunction with the American center lifecycle assessment and Andrea.

60:51 - Thanks everyone Thank you, John. Thank you. .