In Taipei, Taiwan, the nine-story EcoArk exhibition hall boasts an interesting accomplishment in green construction – its walls are constructed from more than one and one half million recycled PET plastic beverage bottles.
Designed by the architects at Miniwiz Sustainable Development, the use of recycled plastic is a key highlight designed to show other architects and construction professionals what is possible when non-traditional building materials are used.
The company also has another sustainable building in the development phase, this one for e-waste recycling firm Super Dragon Technology. That building will be built using discarded computer and electronic waste as well as waste polymers.
With a recent United Nations report showing that buildings are responsible for as much as forty percent of greenhouse gas emissions, Miniwiz is looking to expand and take their message of using recycled materials in construction worldwide.
Miniwiz success in Taiwan has been due in part to its ability to make materials and products cost-effective through a network of Taiwanese suppliers. Taiwan has both a well-developed recycling infrastructure and manufacturing industry. Taiwan recycles more than ninety percent of PET bottles which greatly exceeds the recycling rates of thirty percent in the United States and fifty percent in Europe.
The company currently produces three recycled plastic products for use in construction: iPolli-Bricks, a wall system made from one hundred percent recycled PET, Natrilon, a fiber made from rice husks and one hundred percent recycled PET, and Polli-Ber, a composite made from agricultural waste and recycled polymers.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you’re involved in construction it pays to be aware of the changes and innovations happening in the field. While ideas like walls made from plastic and electronics waste may seem novel and impractical, isn’t that what people once said about cell phones, the internet, and robotics?