Tuesday 18 October 2016

Sustainable Goods and Services in Built Environments

Goods and services can be defined as the ‘most basic products of an economic system that consist of tangible consumable items and tasks performed by individuals'.In households, goods and services can be listed as follows (Redefining Progress, 2003)

Clothes and textiles
Furniture (wooden)
Furniture (plastic/metal)
Major appliances
Computers and electronic equipment
Small appliances
Durable paper products (books) and hygenic paper products (toilet/tissue paper)
Car parts for repair
Metal items, tools
Plastic products and photos
Porcelain, glass
Hygiene products, cleaning stuff
Cigarettes, other tobacco products

Postal services
Hotels, motels
Water, sewer, garbage service
Dry cleaning or external laundry service
Medical insurance and services
Household insurance

Consumption of these goods and services have a significant impact on ecological footprints. Goods and services consumption data from households can be entered into ecological footprint calculators to understand existing patterns of consumption and how these need to change to become more sustainable.

This analysis is being carried out to support the development of building assessment criteria which support more sustainable goods and services. This is leading to the development of interesting new criteria which have an increased focus on:

  • Access to the internet and communications technology
  • The promotion of sharing economy services such as Uber and Air BnB
  • Improved access to higher quality, and more durable, equipment and furniture
  • Repairs and maintenance of equipment, services and buildings. 

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