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Innovative materials at Dutch Green Building Week

As part of Dutch Green Building Week, Materia is highlighting the latest in its green materials collection along with some inspiring images of how some of these materials have been creatively applied in built projects around the world.

At Materia, we believe that many of the highly innovative green materials in our Amsterdam-based collection have yet to reach their full potential in the built and furnished environment. ‘Kranthout,’ or NewspaperWood is a great example. Invented by Mieke Meijer and developed together with and licenced to the Dutch design label Vij5, this new material is a reversal from the traditional production process of making wood from paper. The idea is simple. Each day, piles of newspapers are discarded and recycled into new paper. Mieke Meijer devised a solution to transform, or rather upcycle, this surplus paper into a new material called NewspaperWood. With a material texture that looks like the grains of wood or rings from a tree, NewspaperWood is a series of newspaper layers glued together. Because the binding glue is completely free of solvents and plasticisers, NewspaperWood can be easily sawn or taken to the scrap yard for recycling. Check out the material here and some images of its innovative use in furniture designs above.

Another great green material on display in our Amsterdam collection is a bio-composite board known as Kokoboard Peanut Shell, which is made from discarded peanut shells. The waste peanut shells are transformed into particle boards by a hot-press procedure and the use of a formaldehyde-free adhesive. The product takes little energy to produce and reduces CO2 emissions by offering farmers an alternative to the usual procedure, which is simply to burn their harvest waste. Furthermore, local farmers are able to increase their income by selling their agricultural waste. With their moisture and flame resistant properites, such composite boards offer a great range of material properties for building. But despite its fantastic properties, peanut board has to date only been used in limited applications, albeit with great results. As shown in the images above, the Peanut Bar and Restaurant in Thailand has used this peanut shell composite to create fantastic interior feature walls.

Our collection of innovative materials holds some unexplored material gems and we hope you take the chance to visit our collection, either in our new Material Inspiration Centre or online. Many of our materials are inspirational not only for their sustainable and green properties but also because they have great potential for creative application in designed and furnished environments. We can’t wait to see how designers utilise the innovative materials we search for and present to creative professionals in the Netherlands and beyond.

The 2013 edition of Dutch Green Building Week is taking place from the 16th until the 20th of September, 2013.