GIGA commits to officially launch the GIGA website and the first of it's tools for action, GIGAbase, as well as commits to commence the development of two supporting databases, GIGApages, which will link GIGAbase to a directory of green service providers, and GIGAcase, which will link GIGAbase to a number of best practice case studies serving to inspire designers on how to best use green materials, highlight success stories, and foster green competition in design. Taken together, the three databases educate users about the importance of green materials, fosters their development, and drives their use in all construction projects.
Although GIGA is a non-profit, it is designed to function with a business model, similar to the LEED system for green building. The commitment is being accelerated by seed capital.
- Weekly training in influential design offices, with a one-month follow up with appointed users/projects. This component educates users and creates a direct feedback loop allowing GIGA to ensure the website is both useful and user-friendly.
- Monthly lectures for students and professionals, serving as continuing education and increasing users.
- Regular special lectures in universities, chambers of commerce, and industry forums
- Awareness campaign through print, web, and television media in the form of articles, interviews, and free advertising.
- Teaching and training students in universities, educating designers, and creating content for the user database.
- First installment of seed capital.
- Addition of sales and material review staff.
- Direct 'sales' to manufacturers for material evaluation. Free material evaluation will be offered to manufactures for the first 6 months in order to build out the database.
- Awareness campaign through paid advertising in industry and increased presence in magazines, forums and fairs.
- GIGApages content development and build-out. (6 months)
- GIGAcase content development and build-out. (9 months)
- Replacement of interim director with appointed director / CEO.
Second & Third Quarters
- Second installment of seed capital.
- Addition of sales and material review staff.
GIGAbase. Modifications based on user feedback. (6 months)
Developing support from related Government bodies and other third party certifiers.
- Developing strategic alliances with implementing partners, particularly with respect to education and further developing our sales and marketing team.
- Developing strategic alliances with research partners for sharing / pooling best practice information.
- Developing strategic alliances with other consultants: Analyzing statistics derived from the website.
Official China launch and press release at the Central Government level with our Chinese partner & NRDC
Third installment of seed capital. (Upon completion of GIGAcase and GIGApages)
Growth of the activities listed above.
Currently, most of attention in green building is spent on energy efficiency, while green materials play a secondary role and are included in projects only where available.
This is highly disturbing when one considers that today's energy efficient models will be out-dated in a decade or less. However, the toxins that result from the materials chosen today will continue to cripple all living systems for tens of thousands of years.
The topic of green materials is new to China, and although awareness about the health impact of materials is rising, their presence in projects is not. This is mostly due to a lack of information and confusion as to what green materials actually are. In addition, many of these materials are very difficult to find, let alone have installed properly. This means that they remain marginal, lack credibility and do not benefit from the economies of scale possible in China.
A final critical issue is the cost and time required for analyzing the total environmental impact of materials. Cut-throat competition in China means that most manufacturers live and die on trace margins. They have no cash reserves to afford standard systems of analysis. Yet, these are the manufacturers that need it the most.
Regardless of these significant challenges, the commitment maker has identified a number of enabling factors in China, which GIGA has been designed to leverage. The principal enabling factor is the development of a method of review suited to China: one able to produce actionable information in a timely and cost-effective manner. This dramatically reduces the barrier to entry for Chinese manufacturers and allows materials from around the world to be compared according to their entire life-cycle.
Other enabling factors are burgeoning in various forms, and will mature over time. These include:
- Top-down: To understand China one must understand its most important priority: social stability. Targeting this with the understanding that 'sustainability = social stability'
ensures that policy related to environmental sustainability will continue to become more stringent.
- Bottom-up: The young, web-based generation is highly informed, armed with a new set of values, and is accustomed to having a voice and being involved. Their growing awareness to environmental issues is driving demand.
- Market forces: China is one of the most capitalistic countries in the world. Thus, as green manufacturers begin to gain market share, market forces will become an increasingly powerful enabling factor. Cultural relevance: China is finally beginning to develop a language for sustainability that is all its own, centered on the Asian understanding of health as opposed to the Western concept of environmental protection, and its important that work in the field of sustainability frames the issue in terms of this cultural relevance.