Engineers have used recycled glass to make fire-safe building claddings that observe circular economy principles
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Spotted: Right now, people are undergoing massive efforts to make sure humanity slashes its greenhouse gases. From individuals making eco-conscious choices to researchers trying to uproot the wasteful systems we use, our global response strengthens day by day. Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) researchers are a player in this effort, with their new fire-safe building claddings made from recycled glass.
Alongside materials technology company Livefield, the RMIT team worked to make the composite cladding, which the team claims is cheap, structurally robust, and fire-resistant. The sustainable innovators use 83 per cent recycled glass to make their claddings, along with relatively low amounts of plastic binders and fire-retardant additives.
According to lead researcher Associate Professor Dilan Robert, we make a lot of glass waste. In fact, about 130 million tonnes of glass are produced yearly, with only 21 per cent of this being recycled. “By using high amounts of recycled glass in building claddings while ensuring they meet fire safety and other standards, we are helping to find a solution to the very real waste challenge,” explains Robert.
After passing the central compliance requirement of claddings set by Standards Australia, panels were installed at RMIT’s Bundoora campus to prove the technology’s feasibility.
Springwise has previously spotted other innovations that strive to make building materials more sustainable, including a rubber made from recycled rubber and construction waste and a technical wood designed around the sustainable use of wood.
Written By: Georgia King