Bio-based Building Materials Developed in Holland

The Green Village, iCircl and the Province of South Holland opened a new living lab, called Biobased Boulevard, part of The Green Village on TU Delft Campus. The intention is to use bio-based building materials in construction and renovation on a large scale. Natural raw materials such as hemp, bamboo, mycelium and seaweed are renewable, store CO2 and can be grown, harvested, used and reused in an ecologically responsible way.

The aim of the Biobased Boulevard to produce building products such as roof tiles and walls that are actually used in large construction projects. The director of The Green Village: says, “Our rule-free field lab is the practical place for entrepreneurs, construction companies, clients, researchers and governments to test, develop and demonstrate bio-based building products and circular innovations. Here we bring all stakeholders together to gain knowledge, exchange and cooperate. This is an essential step to stimulate upscaling and to ultimately ensure biobased building products are used on a large scale.”

Three products have already been developed.

1.    The Bio-Circular interior wall made with seaweed

The wall consists of stackable frames made of reclaimed wood, into which bio-based insulation mats are incorporated. The frames are covered with sheet material made of seaweed.

The advantage of seaweed is that it is a fast-growing crop that can be sustainably cultivated, requiring no land or fresh water. At the same time, the seaweed absorbs large amounts of CO2 and nitrogen, which is stored in the material. By mounting the seaweed panels on the frames with detachable glue, the panels themselves, as well as the frames, can be separated without damage and reused elsewhere.

2.     Fairm Foam

Many doors end up in the waste pile after only five years and contain toxic adhesives. Fairm makes a bio-composite door filling, consisting of mycelium and regional fiber crops such as straw, hemp or elephant grass. The door filling is completely natural, compostable, lightweight and soundproof.

Two test doors have been installed at The Green Village. In addition, Fairm will set up their first production line, where initially the door filling and later also insulation boards for other applications will be produced in large numbers.

3.     Wool call booth – The Dutch Wool Collective

Wool has excellent acoustic characteristics. That makes it suitable as insulation material in call booths and conference rooms. The Dutch Wool Collective has lined one of two call booths with designer felt. Moth exclusion and disassembly of the installation are also being researched, as the material must be suitable for reuse or recycling.

At The Green Village, knowledge institutions, companies, governments and citizens together research, experiment, validate and demonstrate their sustainable innovations. It is an open-air laboratory on the TU Delft Campus with a focus on the built environment, where testing takes place. In our field lab people live, work and learn. There are currently more than 60 innovations active in the field lab and numerous more in development. The team at The Green Village helps projects to quickly reach their goal and to scale up their innovations in buildings, neighborhoods and cities. This is how they accelerate the transition to a more sustainable world.

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