850°C Ash concrete

Carmen Reus

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- story by MaterialDistrict

Ashes from our burned waste reused in terrazzo.

The consumer society in which we live produces more and more waste. Waste is burned in incinerators at 850 degrees Celsius (1560 degrees Fahrenheit). What remains at the bottom of the incinerator are chunks of unburned material and ashes, called bottom ash. Because we produce evermore waste, there is a surplus of bottom ash. Currently, companies even pay to get rid of the ashes.

Dutch designer Carmen Reus has been experimenting what can be done with bottom ash and discovered it can be added in terrazzo. It’s a new way to reuse this material as secondary resource in terrazzo. By doing so, the ‘waste from waste’ becomes the base for a valuable product and an alternative to primary resources. The structure of the terrazzo shows the richness of the bottom ash. The surfaces give an impression of the things that we throw away and show the remnants of our throw-away society.

Material Properties