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Building green

Taiwan’s industries promote environment-friendly property materials, energy-saving technology

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Text & photos by Johannes L. Chua

Glass recycling is not something new, but to put it as part of construction – as wall or partition, or even as a sound-proofing solution – is innovative.  This is what Spring Pool Glass Industrial Co. has recently introduced in the market – a lightweight, fireproof insulation block made from recycled glass.  To demonstrate its capability, representatives from the company placed a blaring speaker inside a box made from the material.  Once sealed, even a bit of sound can’t be heard emerging from the box.

Spring Pool Glass Industrial, founded in 1970, is Taiwan’s leading waste glass recycling company. Annually, it recycles more than a hundred thousand tons of glass (or roughly around 300 million beer bottles) and the output is used in various applications, to be resold as raw material, remade into glassware, or to be utilized in construction and engineering works.

  • Neo Solar Power Corp. offers high-quality solar cells and modules.

  • Spring Pool Glass Industrial’s AH Lightweight Insulation Block is made from recycled LCD glass.

  • UW-700 electrolyte gold stripper, an eco-friendly product that can strip gold from ‘e-waste.’

  • Everlight LED streetlight.

  • Allan Lin (left), president of Taiwan Association Inc. hands a gift to Walter Yeh, president & CEO of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). They are organizers of Taiwan Expo.

  • Eterbright’s products are sturdy. Their panels have a dual purpose and can be used as a dining table.

  • Patrick Liao, PAP Business Development AVP of Acer Cloud Technology Taiwan, presenting the Acer Air Monitor.

  • Acer Air Monitor

    Its sustainable practice – ensuring no glass goes to waste – has garnered the company various citations, including Taiwan’s Golden Root Award in 2015.

    The company is one of the dozens of firms which will showcase its latest products in Taiwan Expo 2017 that is set at the SMX Convention Center.   What makes their booth eagerly awaited is its product named “AH Lightweight Insulation Block” which is made from recycled LCD glass.

    “Aside from being fireproof and soundproof, it is environment-friendly, non-toxic, and insulates heat well. Made from recycled LCD glass, it contains silicon oxide and aluminum oxide. Alumina is a main component in rubies so it has a hard structure. A component like silicon oxide has a low coefficient of expansion, therefore it has a low thermal conductivity and is ideal as a heat-resistant material,” according to a company statement.

    “Because of these qualities, it makes for an ideal construction material that is applicable to use for bathrooms, rooms with musical equipment or instruments, or even for commercial venues such as theaters, galleries, or museums.”

    Harnessing solar

    If a material from recycling glass can enhance living spaces, what makes a space more environment-friendly?

    Harnessing solar energy has been a trend in recent years but homes in the Philippines have yet to catch up.  A lot of factors come into play such as high cost or a general dearth in information regarding installation, maintenance or upkeep.

    In Taiwan, two companies are levelling up solar technology development by providing more home-and eco-friendly panels.

    Founded in 2010, Eterbright Solar Corporation, specializes in research, development and manufacturing of CIGS (or Copper Indium Gallium Selenide solar cell, a thin-film solar cell used to convert sunlight into electric power) PV (photovoltaic) modules. Its products are widely used in roof-type solar energy systems to large-scale power plants and so forth.

    What’s impressive with Eterbright’s products is it sturdiness. In fact, their panels have a dual purpose and can be used even as a dining table.  It is easy to maintain and since it is lead- and cadmium-free, it has been widely used in green residential and commercial properties.

    On the other hand, Neo Solar Power Corp. offers its high-performance, high-quality solar cells and modules. As a pioneer in Taiwan, it used its edge to expand its global solar systems business and helps clients build a green supply chain, allowing them to reduce the need for electricity and industrial waste to save the environment.

    Both of these companies will be present at the Taiwan Expo to show Filipino business and even homeowners that there is no reason why going green is not possible.

    Greener exposure

    “Over the years, Taiwan has made big strides in the development and use of green technology. It is at the forefront of many technological advancement in green industries and a leader in the export of PV cells, LEDs and bicycles. Taiwan values its relationship with its South Asian and Southeast Asian neighbors such as the Philippines as geographically, we are so near,” said Walter Yeh, president and CEO Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), co-organizer of the Taiwan Expo.

    Aside from the three companies mentioned, also joining the expo are Everlight Electonics Co., one of Taiwan’s leading LED manufacturer.  It is showcasing its Everlight Victory 2 series, considered the lightest high wattage streetlight in the world.  Aside from having an excellent heat dissipation and smart design, it is more energy efficient.

    “Other LED streetlight are only 100 lumens/W, while the Everlight Victory 2 can achieve up to 140 lumens/W. This translates to better brightness and performance, and thereby will be more environment friendly in the process,” according to the company’s representative.

    Also commendable is the business of “green alchemy” of UWin Nanotech Co.  The company showcased its UW-700 electrolyte gold stripper, a cyanide-free eco-friendly product that can strip gold especially from “e-waste” such as discarded consumer electronic or appliance products.  This technology could drastically help recyclers and eliminate the need for toxic chemicals.

    Cleaner home

    For a truly green home, it is not enough to utilize recycled materials or to use solar panels for generating additional electricity.  It has to also “take care” of the health of the dwellers.

    Acer, one of Taiwan’s most renowned brands all over the world, is helping create a smart home ecosystem through its Acer Air Monitor.

    “Do you wonder about the air you’re breathing at home?  It might be the source of cough or diseases.  We have to make sure that the air we breathe inside our home is as clean as it can be,” said Patrick Liao, PAP Business Development AVP of Acer Cloud Technology Taiwan.

    The Acer Air Monitor uses a variety of sensors to help protect customers from invisible threats and delivers accurate, detailed information about air quality. By using the IFTTT protocol (a website and mobile app), the Acer Air Monitor is capable of “working together” with nearly all smart products found in the home.

    “Aside from providing real time, at-the-moment reading of air quality, the device can work together with smart lighting to change the lights in the room or household the moment that a poor air quality is detected, warning homeowners instantly,” he added.

    With all these technologies – from ideal raw materials to ensuring quality of life – Taiwan is leading the way in terms of sustainable practices.  Through the Taiwan Expo, the organizers hope that whatever technological advancement enjoyed by Taiwanese homeowners and businesses can also be experienced by its neighbor down south.

    “Through the expo, we want to share our experiences and achievements, showcase our innovative green products to Filipino business and consumers, and hopefully, it will benefit not only both of our countries but also the environment in the long run,” concluded Yeh.

    The Taiwan Expo 2017 is set on Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at the SMX Convention Center. The event is organized by the Taiwan Association Inc. led by its president Allan Lin and honorary president Seimo Huang; and co-organized with TAITRA.

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