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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2017

Larisa Brojan and Peggi L Clouston

The accessible nature of straw bale building lends itself well to self-built and workshop-built housing; straw is known to be both relatively inexpensive and easy to work…

Abstract

The accessible nature of straw bale building lends itself well to self-built and workshop-built housing; straw is known to be both relatively inexpensive and easy to work with for people new to construction. A question then arises as to whether or not hiring an experienced builder can reduce overall costs of such a structure. This study conducts a worldwide survey to straw bale home owners to answer this question and to determine general economic data on straw bale homes, such as: what home owners value, who the main builder typically is, and what usually causes budgets to overrun. A key finding is that self-building is economically justified if the projected saving is higher than the cost of a contractor and if the usually longer time needed to build the home is amenable to the investor. An economic case study is also conducted on a straw bale home in Radomlje, Slovenia. All building expenses are categorized by building phase and subgrouped by cost in accordance with accepted building standards. A key observation is how demanding any specific building phase is in comparison to conventional building.

Details

Open House International, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

A.A. Adedeji

The purpose of this paper is to assess the effects of cement‐ and earth‐plastered straw bale walls against the appropriate vertical loads.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the effects of cement‐ and earth‐plastered straw bale walls against the appropriate vertical loads.

Design/methodology/approach

The effects of contact between two common types of plasters and the stacked straw bale by the optimal design analysis have been assessed in this work with the use of finite element method.

Findings

Cement‐ and earth‐plastered straw bale walls have shown adequate resistance against the appropriate vertical loads and showed that the earth‐plaster can bear higher stress than the cement plastered straw bale. There is the implication that the collapse or response of the earth‐straw bale wall will be significantly higher compared to that of cement‐straw bale wall.

Practical implications

The stress stability obtained of the analytical walls is adequate after using the best fit variables for the wall height and thickness.

Originality/value

The paper shows that the allowable stresses of 70.14 kN/m2 for cement plastered straw bale wall and 73.14 kN/m2 for earth‐plastered straw bale wall are higher than the calculated stress values using SAP2000 of 18.836 and 64.2 kN/m2 for cement plastered straw bale wall, respectively.

Details

Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1573-6105

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 1998

J. Allen, M. Browne, A. Hunter, J. Boyd and H. Palmer

Discusses part of a project conducted by the authors into the logistics planning and management and costs of supplying biomass fuels to biomass‐fired power stations in the…

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Abstract

Discusses part of a project conducted by the authors into the logistics planning and management and costs of supplying biomass fuels to biomass‐fired power stations in the UK. Defines biomass fuels and the reasons for the growth in interest in their use for electricity generation. The activities and parties involved in the biomass fuel supply chain are discussed together with the management of the chain in order to achieve smooth and consistent flow of biomass fuel to power stations. Explains the approach used to modelling the delivered costs of biomass fuels for four types of biomass fuel included in the project: forest fuel, short rotation coppice, straw and miscanthus. Comments are given on the environmental impacts of the fuel supply chains. The results indicate that straw supply systems are capable of producing the lowest delivered costs of the four fuels studied. Short rotation coppice and miscanthus, two new energy crops, are likely to have the highest delivered costs at present. This is due to the cost of growing these fuels and the financial incentives required by farmers to persuade them to grow these crops. Logistics costs (i.e. transport, storage and handling) are shown to represent a significant proportion of total delivered cost in biomass supply. Careful supply chain planning and logistics management will be of central importance to the success of the biomass industry.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 December 2021

Ramin Azargohar, Ajay Dalai, Ebrahim Hassanpour and Saeed Moshiri

Lignite coal-fired power plants are the main electricity generators in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. Although burning lignite coal to generate power is economical…

Abstract

Purpose

Lignite coal-fired power plants are the main electricity generators in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. Although burning lignite coal to generate power is economical, it produces significant greenhouse gases making it a big challenge to Canada’s international commitment on emission reduction. However, abundant agricultural crops and sawdust produced in Saskatchewan put the province in a good position to produce and use agri-pellets as an alternative fuel to generate electricity. This study aims to conduct an economic and environmental analysis of the replacement of lignite coal by agri-pellets as the fuel for Saskatchewan’s coal-fired power plants.

Design/methodology/approach

The study estimates the economic and environmental costs and benefits of two alternative fuels for power plants. The economic analysis is based on the pellet production and transportation costs from farms to production sites and from the production sites to power plants. In the production process, biomass precursors are densified with and without additives to produce fuel agri-pellets with appropriate mechanical durability and high heating value per volume unit. The environmental analysis involves estimation of greenhouse gas emissions and their social costs for lignite coal and different types of agri-pellets under different scenarios for pellet production and transportation.

Findings

The results show that although the total cost of electricity is lower for coal than agri-pellets, the gap shrinks when social costs and specifically a carbon price of $50/tonne are included in the model. The cost of electricity in lignite coal-fired power plants would also be on par with agri-pellets-fired power plants if the carbon price is between U$68 and $78 per tonne depending on the power plant locations. Therefore, a transition from coal to agri-pellet fuels is feasible if a high-enough price is assigned to carbon. The method and the results can be generalized to other places with similar conditions.

Research limitations/implications

There are a few caveats in this study as follows. First, the fixed costs associated with the transformation of the existing coal-fired power plants to pellet-fired plants are not considered. Second, the technological progress in the transportation sector, which would favor the net benefits of using pellets versus coal, is not included in the analysis. Finally, the study does not address the possible political challenges facing the transition in the context of the Canadian federal system.

Practical implications

The study results indicate that the current carbon price of $50 per tonne is not sufficient to make the agri-pellets a feasible source of alternative energy in Saskatchewan. However, if carbon pricing continues to rise by $15 annually starting in 2022, as announced, a transition from coal to agri-pellets will be economically feasible.

Social implications

Canada is committed to reduce its emission according to the Paris agreement, and therefore, needs to have a concrete policy to find alternative energy sources for its coal-fired power plants. This study examines the challenges and benefits of such transition using the existing agri-pellet resources in Saskatchewan, a province with abundant agricultural residues and coal-fired power plants. The findings indicate that a significant emission reduction can be achieved by using agri-pellets instead of coal to produce electricity. The study also implies that the transition to renewable energy is economical when social costs of carbon (carbon tax) is included in the analysis.

Originality/value

As far as the authors know, this is the first study providing a socio-economic analysis for a possible transition from the coal-fired power plants to a more clean and sustainable renewable energy source in one of the highest carbon dioxide (CO2) producer provinces in Canada: Saskatchewan. The study builds upon the technical production of three agri-pellets (oat hull, canola hull and sawdust) and estimates the economic and environmental costs of alternative fuels under different scenarios.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2011

Steffen Korsgaard

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of opportunity and its role in social entrepreneurship processes.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of opportunity and its role in social entrepreneurship processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a single‐case study of a sustainable community in Denmark. The data include interviews, documents and television programmes.

Findings

The case study finds that the opportunity takes a number of different forms in the process. These different forms are the result of a continuous mobilisation of actors. On the basis of these findings a model of social entrepreneurship processes is proposed, where the process is driven by mobilisation and transformation.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the case provide support for a creation view of opportunities and the view that opportunity discovery does not necessarily precede resource mobilisation. The proposed model contributes to the development of the creation view of opportunities as an alternative to the discovery view and to understanding of the role of opportunities in the social entrepreneurship process.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that the social entrepreneur is one who actively creates external circumstances rather than responds to opportunities already present therein. This implies a focus on different skills and ways of thinking.

Originality/value

The paper presents a model of social entrepreneurship processes grounded in a deep understanding of an empirical setting. The findings and model question the value of the discovery view of opportunities in the field of social entrepreneurship, while contributing to the development of the creation view of opportunities.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 21 July 2022

Lorenzo Fiorineschi, Leonardo Conti, Giuseppe Rossi and Federico Rotini

This paper aims to present the application of a tailored systematic engineering design procedure to the concept design of a small production plant for compostable…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the application of a tailored systematic engineering design procedure to the concept design of a small production plant for compostable packaging made by straw fibres and bioplastic. In particular, the obtained boxes are intended to be used for wine bottles.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic procedure has been adopted, which underpins on a comprehensive analysis of the design requirements and the function modelling of the process. By considering well-known models of the engineering design process, the work focuses on the early design stages that precede the embodiment design of the whole components of the plant.

Findings

The followed design approach allowed to preliminarily evaluate different alternatives of the process from a functional point of view, thus allowing to identify the preferred conceptual process solution. Based on the identified functional sequence, a first evaluation of the potential productivity and the required human resources has been performed.

Research limitations/implications

The procedure shown in this work has been applied only for the considered case of compostable packaging, and other applications are needed to optimize it. Nevertheless, the adopted systematic approach can be adapted for any context where it is necessary to conceive a new production plant for artefacts made by innovative materials.

Originality/value

The work presented in this paper represents one of the few practical examples available in the literature where systematic conceptual design procedures are presented. More specifically, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the very first application of systematic design methods to compostable packaging production.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Sophie Childs, Tilak A. Ginige and Hannah Pateman

Welwyn Hatfield Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2009] EWHC 966 (Admin), Welwyn Hatfield Council v. Secretary of State for Communities

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Abstract

Purpose

Welwyn Hatfield Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2009] EWHC 966 (Admin), Welwyn Hatfield Council v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2010] EWCA Civ 26 and Welwyn Hatfield Council v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] UKSC 15 (Beesley hereafter) and Fidler v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2010] EWHC 143 (Admin), Fidler v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] EWCA civ 1159 (Fidler hereafter) are two recent cases concerning deliberately concealed breaches of planning control. The defendants engaged in dishonest and misleading conduct, in an attempt to rely on a loophole within Section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (T&CPA). This study aims to critically analyse two solutions which were created to close the loophole; in addition, this study analyses various alternative remedies that have been suggested, and finally, whether the present law has been sufficient to remedy the situation.

Design/methodology/approach

The T&CPA is a key piece of legislation regulating planning controls; Section 171A-C provides the time limits for taking enforcement action against a breach of planning control. To achieve the above purpose, an evaluation of those provisions will be undertaken in detail. Subsequently, this study will analyse two solutions which were created to close the loophole; firstly, the Supreme Court (SC) decision (Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] UKSC 15) and, secondly, the governments’ decision to amend the T&CPA without awaiting the SC’s decision[1].

Findings

This research concludes that the government should have awaited the SC’s decision before amending statute to prohibit reliance upon the expiration of time where there is an element of deliberate concealment. Additionally, this study suggests that the statutory amendments were not required in light of the SC’s solution in Beesley. As a result of the governments’ ill-considered decision, uncertainty has permeated through the conveyancing process, causing ambiguity, delays and additional expense in transactions at a time when a precarious property market needs anything but uncertainty.

Research limitations implications

The scope of this research is limited to deliberate concealment of breaches of planning control and the four-year enforcement period; whilst considering the consequences of the solutions proposed, this study does not provide a detailed overview of the planning system, but rather assumes prior knowledge.

Originality/value

This study offers a unique assessment of the law relating to the deliberate concealment of planning breaches and offers a thorough criticism of the law with recommendations for reform. Additionally, a variety of alternative solutions are considered. Both legal academics, planning professionals and those interested in planning law will find the paper a thought-provoking digest.

Details

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 1987

WE WERE LISTENING, some time ago, to a television debate on old age. Mostly the speakers seemed convinced that it was something to look forward to, that a senior citizen…

Abstract

WE WERE LISTENING, some time ago, to a television debate on old age. Mostly the speakers seemed convinced that it was something to look forward to, that a senior citizen (as they call them nowadays) is a sort of privileged person, able to spend his time on hobbies or take repeated holidays in glamorous far‐away places.

Details

Work Study, vol. 36 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2017

Katri Joensuu and Taija Sinkko

There is growing interest in using crop residues, particularly cereal straw, to replace fossil fuels in heat and electricity production. The purpose of the present study…

Abstract

Purpose

There is growing interest in using crop residues, particularly cereal straw, to replace fossil fuels in heat and electricity production. The purpose of the present study was to assess and compare the environmental impacts of straw production in two European Union countries, Poland and Finland.

Design/methodology/approach

The selected environmental impacts were greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity and soil physical quality. The latter was represented by the indicators of soil erosion and compaction. For biodiversity and erosion assessment, the authors used two methods that could be used with existing easily accessible data and thus did not require excessive fieldwork.

Findings

Compared to the fossil reference fuel, coal, straw production caused minimal GHG emissions in both of the subject countries. Biodiversity and erosion impacts were greater in Poland, while the potential risk of soil compaction caused by field traffic is greater in Finland.

Originality/value

The study provides insight into the impacts of bioenergy production on biodiversity and soil quality, of which there is currently limited knowledge.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 November 2010

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Abstract

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

1 – 10 of 95