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"Next generation zero emission system" test operation using IC tags initiates in the new house construction sites
- Reducing the generation of construction by-products and promoting recycling -

March 30, 2007

The Japan Research Institute, Limited (President Yasuyuki Kimoto, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; hereinafter called "JRI") applied for and received a grant for "Technology development contributing to housing-related resource saving and waste reduction" in FY 2006 in relation to a "government-subsidized project for housing/construction-related leading technology development" (hereinafter called "this subsidized project") of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Japan in collaboration with Sekisui House, Ltd. (President Isami Wada, Osaka-city, Osaka, Japan: hereinafter "Sekisui House"). Since May 2006, JRI has been promoting the establishment of a "next generation zero-emission system" (hereinafter called "this system") using IC tags. The test installation was initiated in January 2007 and is currently operating with no problems.

JRI had tried to develop a new field to apply a waste measurement system using IC tags as the "next generation waste management system" (abbr. MATICS system: This system was established by a JRI-sponsored MATICS consortium activity and is currently operating in a major medical agency in Saitama prefecture: http://www.jri.co.jp/press/press_html/2006/061120-2.html).

Sekisui House acquired its industry-first "recognition system for a large area" in September 2004 and has established its own recovery treatment system for construction by-products. In this system, by-products produced in the new house execution sites are taken to a resource recycling center established in Sekisui House's own factory after being separated into 27 categories. The by-products then are treated by being placed on the traceable recycling route after re-separating them into about 60 categories. Sekisui House achieved zero emission of waste produced in the new house execution sites in July 2005 under its complete management system without resorting to intermediate disposal firms. Since then, Sekisui House has shown remarkable results in strengthening the traceability of construction by-products and controlling the generation of those construction by-products in the new house execution sites, while at the same time working to improve the system. (Reference:http://www.sekisuihouse.co.jp/company/newsobj386.html )

In the circumstances mentioned above, JRI and Sekisui House have shared the same goals and reached a cooperative development agreement based on this subsidized project using part of the MATICS system of JRI. The devices/systems are developed by the Marubeni Corporation (including the affiliated companies) which is a member company of the MATICS consortium.

1. Outline of the next generation zero emission system

The purpose of this system is to measure the weight of construction by-products produced at each execution site for each house and to grasp the emission situation correctly including any problems with the process of waste separation by using both IC tags and IT technology effectively. By gathering, analyzing and investigating such measurement data, the situation of a site will be fed back to the people involved and will lead to the improvement of production and construction processes.

2. Effects of operation

(1) Effects in the main business
By conducting feedback based on the accurate measurement of construction by-products by each house, beneficial effects such as an awareness-raising of workers, a reduction of the waste, a guarantee of a safe environment, a beautification of sites and an improvement in the working efficiency are created. Furthermore, we are also seeing an improvement in customer satisfaction.
It is expected that the reduction in the generation of by-products, which means the reduction of material input to the sites, will lead to the rationalization of the production process and cost reduction. In some branches which have conducted the test operation, the generation of waste has been reduced to half of the average generation. This means reduction by about 2.4% against primary material input.

(2) Recycling quality enhancement
By conducting measurements, further improvement of separation accuracy is expected. As a result, it has become possible that previous recycling by heat recovery through incineration can be replaced by material recycling, and some waste can be disposed for profit.

3. Efforts in the future.

The MATICS system promoted by JRI aims to prevent various kinds of recovery/recycling systems from eroding and to promote the further reduction of emission and operational improvement by benchmarking the correct measurement of volume of waste by site and thoroughness of separation operation, analyzing factors for improvement and promoting feedback to the sites. Therefore, this system will be applicable in many industry sectors/fields. Even in the sites where IC tags are not appropriate, this system can be applied by a combination of various technologies including both manual input and barcode sensors and we will be seeking to expand the sites where we can employ this system in the future.

For more information on the content of this report, please contact: Kazuhiro Muto , the Japan Research Institute, Limited.

Tel: 03-3288-4649

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