Fields of expertise

GFSC Consultants and Engineers offers its services worldwide to different kinds of clients in the profit and the non-profit sector as well as to educational institutions such as universities. As such GFSC is involved in a great variety (in type and size) of sustainability projects. To get an idea of the scope of activities, here are some focus areas.

Sustainability in Education

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In order to increase a sustainable mind-set in the construction industry, it starts with teaching new engineering students all the principles of sustainable construction. As such, this new generation will be able to support the process of implementing new thoughts and building practices in order to achieve the necessary transition to a sustainable world of construction.

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Stakeholder engagement

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As innovations in the built environment are often hampered by rigidities in traditional, public sector and government structures, entrepreneurs generally have to overcome a lot of burdens in order to introduce new sustainable products and services to the market. In minimizing dangers and maximizing opportunities, we believe that (future) clients need to know and understand the social and environmental impacts that come with these innovations. Communication then becomes an important issue.

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Reducing, reusing and recycling

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All raw materials and all energy are provided by our environment and have to be collected, cleaned, concentrated, and transformed to generate primary raw materials that are usable for people and industry. In physical terms, this means that the entropy of the system 'environment' have to be lowered. Recycling assures that a part of the initially used raw materials and energy are utilizable again to produce new goods for lower costs and with a lower environmental impact, whereby primary raw materials only should be used to balance the losses during the recycling process, to increase the quality of the secondary raw materials, and to fill up the gap between available secondary raw materials and current demand. With that, the assignment of any recycling effort is to re-concentrate the raw materials, re-decreasing the entropy of the system.

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Energy efficient indoor heating

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There is no place like home, but homes are responsible for more than a quarter of the carbon emissions. Therefore, the UK has developed a strategy to achieve 80 per cent reduction in emissions from the housing sector by 2050 by making homes more energy efficient and eradicating fuel. As a side effect, this will also will deliver both enormous social and environmental benefits.

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Energy efficient outdoor heating

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Roads are there to facilitate mobility, they should be safe and accessible at all times. Unfortunately not in winter time when, due to the influence of ice and snow, roads become slippery. As a result, drivers often are confronted with car damage, personal injuries and severe congestion or even a complete standstill of traffic. The current way of countering these problems is sprinkling salt. Besides that it has a negative impact on the environment, it doesn’t provide an effective solution for de-icing.

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Sustainable construction materials

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Concrete is the most commonly used construction material for buildings and infrastructure. One of the main ingredients of concrete is cement, one of the strongest binding agents in the world. However, cement has two main disadvantages: large quantities of limestone have to be quarried for its production and during the production large amounts of CO2 are released, more than in any other industrial process.

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Sustainable asphalt production

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In the next decade, energy savings and carbon emission reductions will become a main issue, especially for asphalt plants as they use great amounts of energy for their heating and mixing processes. Due to the high level of humidity of many of the used raw aggregates, a considerable amount of the heat destined to bring the materials to the mixing temperature, is lost due to the evaporation of this moisture. The remaining heat which comes out of the mixer is blown in the air.

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Extending the lifetime of asphalt layers

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At GFSC we’re, on a daily basis, trying to make our working and living environment more sustainable by applying sustainability considerations to all our projects, consultancy and management services (right across the value chain) in order to realize lasting solutions with respect to the future. In this regard we want to be leading in sustainable design, engineering and management consultancy for the built and natural environment.

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Sustainable mobility

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Travel has become an indispensable aspect of daily live as we travel more often and longer distances than in the past, whether commuting between home and work or school, to shop or for holidays. But the freedom of personal mobility has come into collision with the finite limits of our planet. On a global scale, personal mobility is now responsible for 26 % of carbon dioxide emissions. In Europe, mobility has the fastest growing energy demand of all sectors and is the only sector with consistently increasing emissions in most countries.

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Research and transition projects

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The core business of GFSC Consultants is sustainable business development. Therefore we, like no other, know what it means to be inspired and engaged in the innovation process and what it takes to implement the best ideas that enable to change the game in order to drive growth and improve performance. As we stand for the best solutions, within GFSC we do research on a continuous basis in order to keep a sharp and creative mind.

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Sustainability in tendering processes

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Governmental authorities who are responsible for tendering processes in the field of construction increasingly have to deal with sustainable/environmental procurement policies. As such specific requirements upon the principles of sustainability have become a major issue within tendering contracts. This means, that the bidding party (contractor) have to identify innovative methods and materials and actively encourage their use in schemes that will lead to improved delivery of the sustainability objectives as part of the contract in order to be successful.

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Combatting Carbon Illiteracy in the construction industry

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ENCORD, the European Network of Construction Companies for Research and Development, assisted from like-minded worldwide construction organisations, in June 2012 launched the CO2 Measurement Protocol for the construction industry. The protocol, that represents over two year of collaborative work by some of the largest construction companies in the world, uses best practices and will ultimately encourage and enable the next steps for reducing carbon emissions form construction process to be taken.

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Biobased Economy

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The economic, political and social demands for biobased chemicals, materials and energy are expected to radically transform the materials industries, particularly the plastics industry as well as the biofuel industry. These changes will be based on the principles of sustainability, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology, and green chemistry and engineering.

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Modular Construction

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Modular construction is a process in which a building is constructed off-site, under controlled plant conditions, using the same materials and designing to the same codes and standards as conventionally built facilities – but in about half the time. Buildings are produced in “modules” that when put together on site, reflect the identical design intent and specifications of the most sophisticated site-built facility – without compromise.

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