Beyond Eco-efficiency

Historically, management theory systematically ignored the constraints imposed by the natural environment. Despite the growing magnitude of ecological problems it was not until the mid 1990s that the impact of environmental issues on firm strategies has led to a variety of academic perspectives most notably focusing on resource respectively eco-efficiency. Our research attempts to investigate the limits of strategies towards efficiency with respect to the natural environment as well as to their capability to sustain a competitive advantage over the long run, and to examine eco-effective strategies as an alternative model of sustainability. In addition to our research work, we explore these issues by actually engaging in real innovation initiatives. Current projects are the award winning self-sustained media facade ‘Solar Display’ and ‘Radical Wood,’ a house that has been built purely out of wood (no chemicals).

Solar Display: self-sustained optical display apparatus

Solar Display provides a self-sustaining media facade based on individual turnable photovoltaic cells. This invention provides the first real sustainable "green" display for large area communication. A huge photovoltaic field is attached to the building's facade in a curtain-like manner. It has a modular structure and a segmental maintenance. Each solar cell in this field acts as a Solar Pixel that can be turned individually to a certain position. Seen from far these Solar Pixels function as pixels in a display. In collaboration, the position and inclination of these Solar Pixels create a large scale images and/or text display. In addition the solar pixels can also be used as sun blinds. The surplus energy that is not used for operation can be fed into the public power network. Project team: Laurent Mignonneau, Michael Shamiyeh, Christa Sommerer

Radical Wood: eco-effective building practice

Information on this research project will be updated soon.