Orb (organic refuse biocompound)

United Kingdom

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- story by MaterialDistrict

Biohm converts one of the world’s fastest growing waste streams – food waste – into valuable and functional materials that are formed into sheets or moulded to create intricate three-dimensional products. Orb is 100% biodegradable, vegan, sustainable and renewable. Biohm achieves this by sourcing waste by-products from the food production or agricultural sectors and processing it into a homogeneous filler which is bound together with a unique and completely organic binder to form an affordable and sustainable replacement for wood-based sheet materials.

Biohm’s unique binder creates a material that can be cold composted or reused as an input in the same manufacturing process. They have developed a variety of mechanical and aesthetic properties to meet a wide spectrum of applications that surpass industry equivalent materials; presenting a viable, sustainable alternative to chipboard, MDF, OSB and plasterboard use cases such as dry-lining.

As Biohm continues to develop the characteristics of the product with respect to mechanical strength, durability and waterproofing, they anticipate the potential market to expand further.

Orb is a highly versatile material that can be formed into standard sheets for the construction sector for use as dry lining without the need for additional training or safety equipment. For interior design applications Orb can be moulded or compressed into a diverse range of forms and is easily workable with various forms of tooling.

Orb is manufactured from difficult to reuse or recycle by-products; utilising resources that would otherwise go to landfill. As a completely natural material that does not contain synthetic or toxic binders, Orb surpasses current standards of ‘biodegradability’ and does not require intensive processing to be broken down. It can also be reintegrated into the manufacturing process at the end of its life.

Orb is a natural material that can be regarded much in the same way as wood or other natural materials that we are more familiar with. It is currently moisture resilient, maintaining form, performance and breathability when exposed to moisture within the build.

Health and Well-being

Orb is 100% natural and does not emit harmful VOCs – such as formaldehyde – that affect indoor air quality and the health and well-being of occupants (tested by BRE in accordance to BS EN ISO 16000-10:2006). As an air permeabel material, Orb allows the passage of gasses throughout a building, preventing the build-up of damp.

Material Properties