University of Limerick
Browse
Russell_et_al_2021_Measuring_the_benefits.pdf (412.38 kB)

Measuring the benefits of cascading-use of wood furniture within the circular economy via value-retention processes

Download (412.38 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2021-06-17, 18:50 authored by Jennifer Dianne Russell, Kendria Huff, Eva Haviarova
As utilized technical products, durable wood furniture has an important role to play in a future circular economy (CE). However, contemporary CE literature predominately focuses on the biochemical properties and potential for wood as consumable materials within the bio-cycle. This perspective prevents meaningful consideration of CE strategies for the wood products sector, particularly for value-retention processes (VPRs), including reuse, repair, and refurbishment. Adapting and applying the VRP model introduced by the UN International Resource Panel (IRP) (2018) to wood furniture products, we quantify select environmental benefits made possible through the use of VRPs (vs. new manufacturing) for wood furniture. Unlike traditional life-cycle analysis (LCA), this model accounts for the impacts incurred and avoided through product life-extension and VRPs, relative to new manufacturing, disposal, and replacement within a linear system. To demonstrate the model and the potential for wood furniture as technical products within the CE, three case studies of wood-based chairs are conducted and analyzed. In collaboration with industry partners, new material requirements (kg/unit), energy requirements (kWh/unit), emissions (kg CO2-e./unit),and waste generation(kg/unit)are calculated for newly manufactured chairs and subsequent reuse, repair, and refurbishment. Results highlight that, similar to industrial products, VRPs enable the avoidance of environmental impacts for wood furniture relative to linear single-life systems. Further, design configuration and material selection for wood furniture have significant implications for CE potential, thus reinforcing the necessity of an appropriate design perspective for enabling effective CE across all products and sectors.

History

Publication

4th PLATE 2021 Virtual Conference, 26-28 May 2021;

Note

non-peer-reviewed

Language

English

Usage metrics

    University of Limerick

    Categories

    No categories selected

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC