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Farreny R.,University of Barcelona | Farreny R.,Indit Innovacio SL | Gabarrell X.,University of Barcelona | Rieradevall J.,University of Barcelona
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2011

Rainwater harvesting (RWH) presents many benefits for urban sustainability and it is emerging as a key strategy in order to cope with water scarcity in cities. However, there is still a lack of knowledge regarding the most adequate scale in financial terms for RWH infrastructures particularly in dense areas. The aim of this research is to answer this question by analysing the cost-efficiency of several RWH strategies in urban environments. The research is based on a case study consisting of a neighbourhood of dense social housing (600 inhabitants/ha) with multi-storey buildings. The neighbourhood is located in the city of Granollers (Spain), which has a Mediterranean climate (average rainfall 650 mm/year). Four strategies are defined according to the spatial scale of implementation and the moment of RWH infrastructure construction (building/neighbourhood scale and retrofit action vs. new construction). Two scenarios of water prices have been considered (current water prices and future increased water prices under the EU Water Framework Directive). In order to evaluate the cost-efficiency of these strategies, the necessary rainwater conveyance, storage and distribution systems have been designed and assessed in economic terms through the Net Present Value within a Life Cycle Costing approach. The pipe water price that makes RWH cost-efficient for each strategy has been obtained, ranging from 1.86 to 6.42/m3. The results indicate that RWH strategies in dense urban areas under Mediterranean conditions appear to be economically advantageous only if carried out at the appropriate scale in order to enable economies of scale, and considering the expected evolution of water prices. However, not all strategies are considered cost-efficient. Thus, it is necessary to choose the appropriate scale for rainwater infrastructures in order to make them economically feasible. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source


Santolaria M.,University of Barcelona | Oliver-Sol J.,University of Barcelona | Oliver-Sol J.,Indit Innovacio SL | Gasol C.M.,University of Barcelona | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2011

This study attempts to contribute to the scarce knowledge on how eco-design, and to broad extent sustainability, is connected to innovation driven companies. In particular, this cross sectional research verifies i) perception and knowledge of eco-design of the professionals from innovation driven companies in Spain, ii) specific eco-design strategies towards sustainability that innovation driven companies are integrating in their strategic plans and their application in the supply chain and iii) the companies' future predictions on innovation and eco-design linkage. The methodology of this paper is based on a survey, developed defining measurable proxies for both eco-design and innovation approaches and conducted on 10,000 multidisciplinary professionals from Spanish innovation driven companies. The study shows that sustainability is a cardinal driver for innovation and that responses have specificities regarding company size, activity or respondent position. Innovation and eco-design strategies for the future aim to use materials with a lower environmental impact and to develop new concepts. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Farreny R.,University of Barcelona | Farreny R.,Indit Innovacio SL | Oliver-Sola J.,University of Barcelona | Oliver-Sola J.,Indit Innovacio SL | And 5 more authors.
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2012

Museums are one of the most longstanding, deeply rooted cultural services in society owing to the function they perform (communication, education and conservation of our heritage). The research in this article focuses on analysing the energetic and water metabolism of 28 museums in the province of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) in order to quantify and model its demand of resources during the operation of museums. The results show that in museums' energy profile, consumption of electrical energy predominates. A visit to a museum is associated with an average energy consumption of 15.7 kWh whilst the average energy consumption per square metre is 102.9 kWh. This consumption is associated with greenhouse gas emissions of 2.34 kg of equivalent CO 2 per visit. Besides, a visit to a museum is associated with an average water consumption of 27.3 L. Energy and water consumption have a significative strong correlation with the area and the number of visits and also among them. Several regression models have been developed in order to analyse in depth these relationships. A power equation model between energy and water consumption has been obtained, which could become a simple management tool for monitoring and controlling the consumption of museums. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

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