Monday, February 18, 2013

Recycled paper bricks!

An accomplishment in the field or recycling. The collaboratory efforts of Proffesor Rahul Ralegaonkar and Proffesor Sachin Mandavgane of the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in India  
(VNIT) have developed a way of creating paper bricks from recycling waste! The bricks constitute of 90% recycled paper mill waste (RPMW) and 10% cement. Firstly, the mixture is mechanically mixed, pressed into moulds and lastly cured in the sun. This not only makes this brilliant recycled brick low-cost but also efficient and serves as a good alternative.

Mandavgane and Ralegaonkar visited a recycling plant in 2009. Later they discovered that 15% of the paper utilized was left to sit as sludge. They decided to bring the slurry back to their labs at VNIT, they experimented on that mixture and concluded that it would make a good building material. Their bricks are made from 90% recycled paper materials. They have been successfully used in false ceilings and partition walls.

Blocks made from these cast- off materials are half the cost of normal bricks and are way lighter in comparison. The Indian construction market ( 30% supply deficit) will highly benefit from these inexpensive bricks. Currently their team is working on waterproof coating for the bricks ( so they can be used on housing exteriors) and determining the material's efficacy in earthquake prone areas.

“Recycle Paper Mills (RPM) contribute 30 percent of [the] total pulp and paper mill segment in India. With 85 percent being the average efficiency of RPM, 5 per cent waste (RPMW) is produced annually. RPMW which otherwise is land filled has been utilized to make construction bricks that serve a purpose of solid waste management, new revenue generation and earning carbon credits,” says Mandavgane.

Image : Inhabitat

Friday, February 8, 2013

The bamboo bridge

Locals at Davoa, Phillippines, waited eagerly for their government to help them by building a footbridge to allow them to cross the Matina River. No one coming for their aid, the villagers decided to undertake this task themselves and build it for them and the local community. Utilizing the material that they had at hand - bamboo, they were assisted by several architects,  that included bamboo master Andrea Fitrianto.  All their efforts collectively resulted in a gorgeous new bridge.

The volunteers selected Dendrocalamus asper bamboo for building the Matina River's footbridge which grew around the city's outskirts. First they brought the fast-growing canes on site and it was followed by treating the material to create a long lasting structure. Led by traditional Indonasian bamboo carpenters, the construction of the bridge provided local people with new skill sets and a bigger sense of commitment towards their community.

To make the bamboo even more stronger and long lasting, the main joints were held with bolts while bolts of cement was poured inside the canes. In order to make it grounded and sturdy, reinforced concrete made a good base on each side. The Bamboo Bridge - (Tulay Na Kawayan) Matina River is just an astounding structure made to cross from side to another, it is an example of what togetherness and cooperation can achieve with a hint of craftsmanship. The time frame? Just a month!

Photo : Andrea Fitrianto

Thursday, January 31, 2013


If anyone in China is planning to get rid of their old music collection and discarding their old CDs and DVDs, well they should think twice. Their music collection could now get a second life! MINIWIZ Sustainable Energy Development Ltd recently announced their plans to build the Igreen. It will serve the purpose of an aviation museum featuring a 5D movie theater that will also play the role of the centerpiece to Dream World near Shanghai. At a diameter of 50 meters, iGreen will be one of the largest spherical structures in the world, and it will be constructed using 100% recycled CDs and DVDs. In addition to housing the museum complex, iGreen will create a microclimate allowing tropical plants to grow and flourish. Designed in a way that is will be immune to typhoon-strength gusts, acid rain and UV radiation, the futuristic building is slated to be one of China's most impressive landmarks.

Utilizing and recycling trash is nothing new for the company.MINIWIZ has also been involved in projects such as EcoArk Pavilion in Taipei that relied on Polli-Bricks made of recycled PET plastic. Up-cycling poly carbonate and agricultural waste for iGreen is the newest innovation resulting from the efforts of the organization's engines, architects and chemists. Turning waste and outdated into modern materials, MINIWIZ is on it's way to setting standards for sustainable building.

Expected to be completed in 2015, the iGreen will use cutting-edge recycling technology to turn post-consumer waste into a shining exterior, furniture, ceiling, flooring, and lighting fixtures. Visitors to the sphere will be able to enjoy a 5D flight simulator, coffee shops, and green rooftop. In addition to being environmentally friendly, using recycled materials had the benefit of also being cost-effective.
“Normally extravagant structures like iGreen come at a steep premium. Using up-cycled materials, modularization and speedy construction we were able to make this a commercially viable effort.” said Donald Saga Head of Project Management.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hotel made of snow and ice!

Ever dreamt of a hotel made of snow and ice? Well, Canada's ethereal Hotel de Glace recently opened specially for the winter season! Each winter season, this one of a kind hotel is built again with just snow and ice. Guests are specially invited to enter and wander the grounds. Not only that, they are invited to spend a night in the beautifully designed snow suites. Hotel de Glace launched this year with a spectacular display of fireworks, spell bounding all who witnessed!

This beautiful hotel has been built since the last 13 years. Hotel de Glace has been transforming a simple field outside of Quebec City into an ethereal winter wonderland for all age groups!

"Journey to the center of winter" was the artistic theme chosen by Hotel de Glace. Inspired by none other than Jules Verne himself, it is guaranteed to transport people thirty thousand leagues from their ordinary day to day lives into a frozen fantasy land.

Each room in Hotel de Glace is decorated to pay homage to winter. Evergreen snow sculptures are paired with tree shaped cut-outs glowing with LED lights. The hotel consists of forty four winter themed guest rooms that can accommodate couples and families for a warm and cozy night in the special Arctic sleeping bags.

Wish to indulge in something fun? People can visit the Ice bar, a place to imbibe from glasses made of ice while dancing and grooving under ice chandeliers to DJs. In the Ice workshop, guests can make their own ice glasses. They also have an option to visit the Old- Time Sugar Shack, where traditional maple syrup is poured onto snow, and spun on popsicle sticks to satisfy their sweet tooth.

This majestic Hotel is open for day visitors or overnight guests until March 24th, and it has an array of exciting events on their roster for the entire family!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Antony Gibbon's Treehouse