Monthly Archives: November 2019

Building Sand Transition Forecast (draft)

Transition Timeline to Green Building

China may be the biggest consumer of sand right now, but the issue is a global one. A UN report published earlier this year showed that sand extraction is far outstripping the rates at which it is replenished. According to a team of scientists who recently wrote about the topic in Science Magazine ($) and The Conversation“Sand and gravel are now the most-extracted materials in the world” – measured by weight, they surpass fossil fuels and biomass. By every measure, our current level of sand use, particularly for concrete production, is totally unsustainable.

With the High Yield Analysis Matrix, a forecasting model, performance in one key area (sub industry and/or supply chain feeder component) can substitute for the entire industry when forecasting disruptive change and most profitable and secure investments.

How Sand transitions from Legacy to High Yield predicts the entire city centered building industry. When Sand is green, sustainable (likely from substitutes), the majority of city central building will also be green and sustainable. When will this occur? How to hasten?

Let’s look at several articles discussing sand as a necessary building material in short supply with heavy negative environmental impacts.

Important Transition Questions are

  • When will sand transition from Legacy to High Yield?
  • How do High Yield Communities Pay for Transition?
  • When will sand no longer be a viable large scale industry?
  • No longer desired as an investment nor building material?

The Axios and Forbes articles can be used to draft a Transition Timeline for sand and building industry in general. These articles are suitable for this method for several reasons:

  • Mainstream fact wise.
  • Present a widespread accepted POV.
  • Not about culture.

The articles discuss problems formed from using sand in urban construction. The problems are international. Describe the current status and lack of any way forward to sustainable remedies. 2019, very few viable Green High Yield products or services.

So what’s causing this growth in demand? The answer is rapid urbanization, driven largely by China’s recent construction boom. In his book, Making the Modern World, historian Vaclav Smil shared a truly mind-blowing fact (which Bill Gates went on to feature on his blog). Between 2011 and 2013, China used more concrete than the US did in the entire 20th century. I think that point is worth reiterating, because it astonished me when I first read it. In just three years, China consumed roughly one-and-a-half times as much concrete (6.6 gigatons) as the US used in 100 years (4.5 gigatons). And to make that much concrete, you need a lot of sand. Hence the current market.

To get sand waste hazard industry to transition into an all ways sustainable one, it will have to develop green substitutes and government policy and procedures have to move forward to become biased towards sustainable substitutes.

This layouts the transition graph. The Legacy industry dominates, its replacement products and services are small potatoes, they’re in Stage 1.

Insert graph

Other story. From Forbes

High Yield/Legacy Fork

Diagram current Legacy sand industry with Forbes and Axios. Human suffering. Away from clean air/clean water. Lack of paying taxes (solution on how to pay, change tax base to builders, suppliers, other users). Real profit based on demand and market share? Optimization seen as good investment reason? Public investment?