Mean lean green
It is based on the hierarchy:
- Mean. Reducing the demand for materials, energy, water and other resources. For example, creating guidelines for building designers to ensure demand is low from the outset, by utilising passive measures such as natural heating, lighting, ventilation and external shading.
- Lean. Ensuring that materials and systems are used responsibly and efficiently. For example, reducing distribution losses for energy (or water) between generation and usage. This might involve supplying heat, cooling, power and water from an on-site source.
- Green. Supplying any remaining requirements from renewable sources to minimise residual carbon emissions. For example, solar power or rainwater harvesting.
Developers can tend to jump straight to the ‘green’ aspect , that is, renewable energy generation, but the other two – using less and making sure as much as possible gets to the point of usage – are equally important.
The philosophy applies to environmental assessments and strategies at all scales, including; the design of buildings and infrastructure, new city developments and climate change adaptation projects, as well as implementing strategies to reduce carbon and take advantage of carbon finance and trading. Being Mean, Lean and Green in its broadest sense requires integration of central and local government policy, legislation, building regulations, client policy and design strategy.
Whilst the Mean Lean Green approach is popular in the ‘Global North’ it can be less useful in the ‘Global South’ where the ‘lean’ aspect may already happen through necessity, and in fact increased resource consumption may be required to improve quality of life.
NB The term 'Lean Construction' was coined by the International Group for Lean Construction in 1993. It is, in part, an adaptation of the principles of lean manufacturing concerned with maximising the value delivered to clients/customers/end-users while minimising cost and waste through the entire construction supply chain.
- Circular economy.
- Climate Change Act.
- Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA).
- Emission rates.
- End of life potential.
- Energy targets.
- Green plot ratio.
- Green supply chain management.
- Just-in-time manufacturing.
- Lean construction.
- Lean construction - a quality perspective.
- Lean Six Sigma.
- Off site, on track.
- Quantification of construction materials in existing buildings (material intensity).
- Recyclable construction materials.
- Smart cities.
- Sustainable materials
- Wood and the Circular Economy.
- Zero carbon homes.
- Zero carbon non domestic buildings.
 External references
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 About CIRCuIT
The Circular Economy wiki is supported by the Circular Construction in Regenerative Cities (CIRCuIT) project, which is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. CIRCuIT is a collaborative project involving 31 ambitious partners across the entire built environment chain in Copenhagen, Hamburg, Helsinki Region and Greater London. Through a series of demonstrations, case studies, events and dissemination activities, the project will showcase how circular construction practices can be scaled and replicated across Europe to enable sustainable building in cities and the transition to a circular economy on a wider scale.