Where Environmental Impact and Compliance Meet Design

In support of USGBC’s efforts to further the conversation on building materials, human health, and environmental performance, David Cebon of the University of Cambridge and Granta Design speaks about his work to increase access to materials information, address supply chain challenges, and offer software and data solutions.

The proliferation of legislation world-wide that places restrictions on the manufacturing and use of substances in the supply chain creates regulatory compliance challenges for enterprises that supply products to many territories worldwide, and it also creates a number of serious (previously un-encountered) business risks. Disruption to the supply of materials due to the advent of REACH and increasing pressure on critical and conflict materials along with substance reporting requirements for manufacturing companies also pose unique challenges. Environmental performance is increasingly important for engineering enterprises, and often cannot be retrofitted easily. It is therefore essential for designers to have tools for assessing the environmental performance of their products during early stage design.

This presentation provides an overview of software tools and data products that can be applied to help enterprises meet the challenges of this brave new world. Specific use cases are addressed such as understanding an enterprise’s exposure to legislation and its related business risks, as well as the decision support tools and data that can be deployed to support design for environment, substance data management, and material and process substitution.

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