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Plastic scraps become cladding innovation

A recently completed building in the Netherlands is clad with exterior panels made entirely from waste plastic. Known as Gamplanken, this new cladding material is unique not only in its appearance but also in terms of its sustainability as a building product.

Gamplanken is produced by Gampet Products in Ulft, the Netherlands. For the past 25 years, they have been producing products such as Gamplanken from waste plastics that otherwise would have been burned in an incinerator. To date, the material has been mainly used as sheet piling for construction operations and the lining of waterfronts and banks. However, Gamplanken has recently seen its first architectural application in the new headquarters and warehouse of Dutch cosmetics company Oolaboo. Located in an industrial district within the Dutch municipality of Zutphen, the exterior of the building is clad with Gamplanken panels that measure 1800 x 300 x 35 mm each. In total, 20,000 kilograms of waste plastic were processed and recycled to dress this very large building.

Taking the leap from an industrial product into panel for architectural applications required the co-operation and teamwork of property developer Kreunen Bouw Lochen, client Oolaboo, designers I’M Architecten Deventer, Gampet Products and the municipality of Zutphen. The result is a building product with a lifespan of around 40 years. This makes Gamplanken one of the most durable cladding materials available on the market and a viable alternative to traditional panels which are often made of steel, aluminium or composite plastics. Furthermore, it is estimated that the C02 emissions that result from burning waste plastic in order to dispose of it are far higher than the emissions that result from processing and recycling waste plastics in order to create Gamplanken panels.

Co-operation leads to sustainable innovation!