Technological watch

New living lab Biobased Boulevard to encourage use of natural building materials

To accelerate the use of natural materials in construction, today The Green Village, iCircl and the Province of South Holland opened the new living lab Biobased Boulevard. This living lab, part of fieldlab The Green Village on TU Delft Campus, will help to use biobased building materials in construction and renovation on a large scale.

Our construction sector faces the major challenge to build and renovate many homes. Only if we use sustainable building materials can we achieve the climate goals: CO2 neutral and a circular economy in 2050. Natural raw materials such as hemp, bamboo, mycelium or seaweed are an important link: they are renewable, store CO2 and can be grown, harvested, used and reused in an ecologically responsible way. Yet building products made from biobased materials are not yet widely used.

From living lab to building projectThe aim of the Biobased Boulevard living lab is to get from pioneering in the living lab to scalable building products such as roof tiles and walls that are actually used in large construction projects.

Marjan Kreijns, director of The Green Village: “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.”

The province of South Holland and iCircl play an important role in the upscaling ambitions. Gert-Willem van Mourik, transition manager circular and biobased building province of South Holland: “The province supports the initiative at The Green Village, it shows that biobased building is alive and well!”

“We challenge people to bring in their biobased issues,” said Nico van Hoogdalem, iCircl.

Three innovationsThree projects have already found their way

1.    The Bio-Circular interior wall made with seaweed – BlueBlocks & CircuWallThis is a new, flexible and remountable system for interior walls. 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 as a raw material for building materials 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. © TU Delft2.     Fairm FoamVeel deuren komen al na vijf jaar op de afvalstapel en bevatten toxische lijmen. Fairm maakt een deurvulling van bio-composiet, bestaand uit mycelium en regionale vezelgewassen zoals stro, hennep of olifantsgras. De deurvulling is volledig natuurlijk, composteerbaar, licht van gewicht en geluidswerend.

Two test doors have been installed in event annex NoNo House at The Green Village. In the coming years, the performance of the door and also the circular business model, with take-back and disassembly, will be further developed. In addition, Fairm will start work in 2023 to 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. © TU Delft3.     Wool call booth – The Dutch Wool CollectiveThe Hollands Wol Collectief makes designer felt from raw wool to cover call booths.  Sheep’s wool is considered waste in the Netherlands, for which you have to pay to dispose of it. However, wool has excellent acoustic characteristics. That makes it suitable as insulation material in call booths and conference rooms.

At The Green Village, the Dutch Wool Collective has lined one of two call booths with designer felt. In this way, they tested the acoustic properties and compared it with the right call booth where no felt was applied. Moth exclusion and disassembly of the installation are also being extensively researched, as the material must be suitable for reuse or recycling. © TU DelftAbout The Green VillageAt 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 at district, street and building level. In our field lab people live, work and learn. With access to TU Delft’s innovation ecosystem, science is literally around the corner. There are currently more than 60 innovations active in our field alab nd 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 we accelerate the transition to a more sustainable world.

Publication date: 28/06/2023

Author: Yago Destro de Oliveira

Bio-based News

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2022-01-31