A new report from Arup demonstrates the potential of using organic waste for the creation of construction engineering and architecture products.
The Urban Bio-Loop: Growing, Making and Regenerating report suggests that the “use of [these materials] in construction would possibly allow the exploitation of its untapped value with a positive impact not only from an environmental perspective but also from a technical, social and economic standpoint”.
This is of particular importance when we consider that the construction industry is one of the largest users of raw materials at a global scale. But a circular economy-based approach, says Arup, “would provide the rationale for a shift from a linear – disposal model – towards a circular value chain where natural waste is the main resource”.
Arup outline six applications that currently exist for products based on natural resources.
Some of the applications identified include:
- Interior partitions and finishes
- Acoustic absorption
- Thermal insulation
- Carpets and moquette
- Envelope systems
Furthermore, the report looks at a number of construction products where organic waste has been used as a resource, and are assessed on a range of factors.
Organic waste products featured in the report include:
- Seeds, stalks and leaves
- Hemp and flax
Arup itself has been involved in projects where alternative materials have been used to realise building systems. One of these projects is the David Benjamin-designed Mushroom Tower, the first example of a structure – though temporary – made by using mushrooms as base materials.
The full The Urban Bio-Loop: Growing, Making and Regenerating report can be read here.