Archive for the ‘Sustainable Building’ Category

What I wanted for Christmas

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Thats it, time is nearly up on another year as the clock draws closer to the end of 2010.

Did everyone get what they wanted for christmas. The older you get the more detached you seem to get from the emotional sense of christmas and more tuned into the overpowering sense of commercialism related to the annual event.  However this year was different as i did have a present i really wanted for xmas. An automatic road paving machine.

Not for everyone, granted, but for us as we are looking at developing Green Pavers for the market, and we like to use the phrase follow the green brick road, imagine how much quicker we would get there with this machine laying them. I love modern man and his ability to mechanise just about everything.

Check out the video to see this machine at its best.

Please will you get me one for next Christmas. I promise i will be a good boy.

Quality Protocols for Fly Ash

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

What is a Waste Quality Protocol, and how does it relate to Fly Ash?

The Waste Quality Protocol Project is a joint venture initiative between the UK Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and the environmental agency that will clearly define the processes required in order to convert a waste product into a non-waste product within specific industries. This enables recycled waste products to be used without the need for waste regulation controls.

Fly Ash or pulverised fuel ash (PFA) and furnace bottom ash (FBA) are the ash bi-products from burning coal within coal fired power stations to produce electricity. Fly ash is the largest commercial/industrial waste stream with the UK, however it is also be recycled into valuable aggregates to be utilised with construction materials.

The quality protocol for Fly Ash is expected to deliver the following benefits:

  • divert approximately 300,000 tonnes of PFA and FBA from landfill per year
  • save businesses £5 million each year, largely due to landfill charges
  • create markets worth over £8.5 million a year
  • save 15,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions annually
  • help save over 425,000 tonnes of virgin raw material

Any protocol guidance that can help deliver these benefits and cut down on the endless paper trail associated with recycled products has to be a step in the right direction.

Please refer to the Environmental Agency for the Pulverised Fuel Ash and Furnace Bottom Ash Quality Protocol

Unfired Green Bricks with a Difference.

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

What do you get when you cross wool, seaweed and clay bricks? A salty furry brick of the future! Sounds more like the dark ages, Maybe not.

In an effort to promote locally sourced building materials & sustainable building, a team of Spanish and Scottish scientists have combined wool fibers and seaweed to produce a composite, sustainable, non-toxic environmentally friendly brick..

Composite Unfired Earth Bricks

The team added wool fibers as well as alginate – a natural polymer found in the cell walls of seaweed – to clay, creating a brick that is 37 percent stronger compared to traditional bricks made using unfired stabilized earth.

“The objective was to produce bricks reinforced with wool and to obtain a composite that was more sustainable, nontoxic, using abundant local materials and that would mechanically improve the bricks’ strength”, said Carmen Galan and Carlos Rivera, researchers at the schools of architecture in the universities of Seville in Spain and Strathclyde in Glasgow, Britain.

They analyzed the impact of strengthening different soil types with sheep’s wool and identified numerous advantages in integrating wool with clay to form compressed bricks.

“These fibers improve the strength of compressed bricks, reduce the formation of fissures and deformities as a result of contraction, reduce drying time and increase the bricks’ resistance to flexion,” they concluded.

The new brick can be manufactured without firing, which results not only in energy savings, but also makes it a sustainable alternative to conventional building materials such as baked earth bricks and concrete blocks.

The findings were recently published in the journal Construction and Building Materials.