One of four Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prizes was allocated to a building materials research project using recycled plant-based agricultural waste in Nigeria by a consortium of universities in Nigeria and Switzerland.Read full media release – Holcim Awards 2011 for Africa Middle East »
The jury considers this project a remarkable approach to ameliorate through one innovation a number of current challenges experienced in developing regions in the world. The new building material creates additional uses for local resources, turns the former burden of waste disposal into a supplementary income stream for local farmers, and reduces dependence on expensive imported alternatives. In addition, the material has the potential to create a new industry, strengthening economic independence and a potential export. Beyond this, the product’s characteristics will provoke unique design responses.
This materials development project succeeded in processing agricultural waste into low-cost construction panels bonded with tannin-based adhesive. Plant-based agricultural wastes from the cultivation of rice, maize and cassava crops provide natural fibers that are a sustainable resource for the production of building materials to achieve a reduction in construction costs, reducing dependence on imported, higher-cost alternatives.
The panels are an affordable building material for housing economically disadvantaged communities and help to improve rudimentary living conditions. Diverting crop byproducts from the waste stream produces positive environmental side effects since waste incineration and considerable air pollution are avoided. The building material provides a tangible contribution to reducing the estimated deficit of 17 million low-cost dwellings in Nigeria alone.Download project entry poster (PDF, 1.74 MB) »See more
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