Food Waste To Be Used In Construction Projects

Nowadays, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has never been truer. We’re turning garbage into anything from furniture to vodka, and it seems we can push the limits even further. Engineering group Arup is proving just that, proposing the use of food waste in building materials.

The report aims “at demonstrating that a different paradigm for materials in construction is possible.” This could be done by diverting, in part, organic waste that is traditionally managed through landfill, incineration and composting to become a resource for the creation of construction engineering and architecture products.

According to Arup, bananas can produce textiles, while mushrooms can grow actual towers. It seems, with food waste, it’s best to let one’s imagination run wild — and for good reasons.

Using food waste for building materials would help create a circular economy where organic waste, instead of being disposed, is the main resource… This would help ameliorate rising levels of waste and shortfalls of raw material, as well as providing the industry with cheap, low carbon materials.

Looking to renovate your home? No need for concrete fillers — just use rice!

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Dutch City Creates First Habitable 3D Printed Houses

These days, it’s as if my childhood fantasies are all coming true — surprisingly enough, through architecture. I’ve always wanted to go to a school straight out of a fairytale: sprawling woods, fireflies, and all. I also remember being so captivated by paper dolls, wishing I was one so I could wear their printed dresses and pet their printed puppies and live in their colorful printed houses. Certainly that, too, doesn’t seem far-fetched anymore as a construction company launches an important project that will create 3D printed houses that are actually habitable.

Dutch company Van Wijnen calls the endeavor Project Milestone and it is being executed in an area near the city of Eindhoven.

Currently, there are five houses in total, each with a unique shape and size that shows off the flexibility of the cutting-edge tech. Since the printer is essentially a giant concrete nozzle that moves along a two-dimensional track high up in the air, architects are able to design homes in pretty much any shape they like.

How is the construction done, you ask? First, the pieces of the house are printed off-site then brought to the area for assembly. That’s pretty much it. The team, however, hopes they will be able to bring the printer on-site soon for more convenient adjustments. This entire process results in a far smaller timeframe than the usual building structure, which takes months and months.

The simplified assembly isn’t the only advantage 3D printing has to offer over conventional building methods. The process requires less workers, keeping costs down and accidents to a minimum. Further, the amount of cement, and transportation required are kept to a bare minimum, reducing the environmental impact.

Of course, improvements on structural integrity and environmental impact are continuously being researched. With the 3D technology behind printed houses still developing, we can’t really expect new villages or cities to suddenly sprout up from the ground (or the printer). But one thing is for sure, this is a game-changer for architecture.

And well, maybe, another: let’s just say kids like me who grew up on paper dolls and other kids who grew up playing The Sims will be very elated.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Concrete Can Withstand High Magnitude Earthquakes

If a bamboo building can withstand several sorts of natural disasters, surely, any other structure can. Unfortunately, it isn’t really the case — until, maybe, now. Researchers at the University of British Columbia are testing a type of concrete that can resist high magnitude earthquakes.

Researchers at . . . UBC have created a fiber-reinforced concrete called eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC), that can withstand high seismic activity. The engineered material combines “cement with polymer-based fibers, fly ash and other industrial additives,” according to a university press release.

Simply adding a 10-millimeter layer of the material to existing walls is enough to make it practically impenetrable. But the strength to withstand high magnitude earthquakes — up to a magnitude 9.0! — isn’t the only fantastic feature of the material. It is also linked to sustainability efforts. Considering that normal concrete contributes to nearly 7% of carbon emissions, using mostly fly ash or a coal combustion byproduct definitely earns EDCC points. Hopefully, it will lessen the damages caused by the cement industry to the environment.

“This UBC-developed technology has far-reaching impact and could save the lives of not only British Columbians, but citizens throughout the world,” said Melanie Mark, the minister of advanced education, skills and training in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “The earthquake-resistant concrete is a great example of how applied research at our public universities is developing the next generation of agents of change.”

In the near future, EDCC will also be used for strengthening home structures and blast-resistant buildings. A proud salute to public universities making a difference!

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

3D-Printed House Is Affordable And Easy To Build

Who needs retail therapy when you have 3D printing? From furniture to electronics, the process has surpassed its own limits in just a few years. Now that brain tissue and functioning ears are part of 3D-printing catalogues, why not up the grandeur? Thanks to startup ICON, it’s totally possible to zap a 650 square foot home into existence in just under 24 hours.

“We have been building homes for communities in Haiti, El Salvador, and Bolivia,” [says] Alexandria Lafci, co-founder of New Story.

“It’s much cheaper than the typical American home,” [founder Jason] Ballard says.

ICON spends a modest $10,000 printing a single home, and aims to lower costs down to $4,000. The Austin-based group will initially bring houses into El Salvador and eventually the Americas. The modern huts will slash labor costs and produce minimal waste.

“(ICON) believes, as do I, that 3D printing is going to be a method for all kinds of housing,” [co-founder Alexandria Lafci] says.

If ICON can come up with affordable space habitats, I’d be the first off the planet.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Las Vegas Mourners Put Up Garden For Victims

At the center of the Vegas tragedy, loved ones and strangers are finding ways to ease the pain of mourners. This includes landscaper Jay Pleggenkuhle, owner of Stonerose Landscapes, who proved design can make an impact. To allow victims’ families to recover from the disaster, Pleggenkuhle, with the help of volunteers, put up a healing garden.

A local nursery donated 59 tupelo trees to line the stone pathway that would carve through the garden. Another nursery offered shrubs and smaller trees to create a patch of green unmatched in Las Vegas. Famed magicians Siegfried and Roy donated a thick oak tree to stand in the center, surrounded by a planter in the shape of a heart.

The garden’s construction brought together people of all strains. From fraternity brothers to Buddhist monks, the unity was quiet but joyful.

“One of the main intentions in doing this garden project wasn’t necessarily the end result, but just the process,” Pleggenkuhle said. “Bringing the community together to work together and to do something that would create joy and beauty instead of destruction.”

With Vegas famed as a concrete neon jungle, the healing garden will stand as a temporary escape.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Students Build Bamboo Pavilion For Chinese Farmers

Bamboo as a building material is rising in popularity. Panyaden International School in Thailand hosts a sports hall made entirely of bamboo. Now, students at the University of Hong Kong, along with the craftspeople of Peitian, have created a bamboo pavilion for local farmers.

The shelter’s concept derived from a desire to regenerate the area’s tea houses, which are used as resting spots for farmers working on the surrounding land and to provide shelter from storms in rainy seasons, or from the sun during the hottest part of the day.

The structure pays homage to traditional bamboo weaving, an art form that has seen great decline over the years. While students incorporated digital software to map the structure’s features, locals managed to assimilate traditional techniques.

“Historically, these pavilions were often used by craftsmen to demonstrate their skill or to trial new construction methodologies. Today these structures have, for the most part, been replaced by generic outbuildings in concrete and brick,”

With only one surviving bamboo weaver in Peitian, the pavilion is a valiant attempt to keep Chinese customs alive.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends: