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The Environment & Recycling JEC Award winner is a demonstration part built for an exhibition organized during the Copenhagen climate conference.

The vision of the project was to create an energy-self-sufficient architecture using bio-based materials, that can both belong to and decompose in the biological cycle after use. The category winner was 3XN architects (DK), with core partners StageOne Freeform Composite (UK) and COWI A/S (DK).

NetComposites (stand F71) advised 3XN on bioresins and natural fibres, as well as signposting the company to potential suppliers.

Other partners were Ashland Inc. (US); Amorim Cork Composites (PT); BASF (DE); Libeco-Lagae (BE); Flex Cell (CH); Phillips (DK); Scenetek (DK); 3M A/S (DK); Noliac Motion (DK); Optima Projects Limited (UK); Danish Technological Institute (DK); Risø National Laboratory DTU (DK), NANO-X GmbH (DE).

The result illustrates just how far bio-composites have come in an Architectural application based on commercially available components. The composite is a sandwich laminate with biological and reusable materials. The outer shell uses a bio-composite from flax fibres cast in resin based on soybean oil and cornstarch. The inner core is made of sheets of cork. The gelcoat is covered by a nanoproduct that breaks down pollution particles from the air and rain using sunlight, and gives the surface self-cleaning properties. The pavilion contains an integrated LED lighting system powered by piezoelectric actuators in the floor and bendable solar panels on the roof.

The objective was to show that Green Architecture can be dynamic and active.

The main value is that the project offers new answers to environmental concerns often raised when using polyester, epoxy, glass fibres, etc. There is a growing need for the composite industry to find answers to energy consumption during production and to the recycling process. For end users, the product offers an environmentally-friendly solution at a price comparable to other glass fibre sandwich structures.

The development phase literally started in March 2009 at last year’s JEC show where the project found several motivated and innovative partners. The innovation can be seen today at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art north of Copenhagen, where more than 200,000 visitors have already seen the project and numerous kids have played on it. It was also a major destination during the United Nations Climate Conference in December.

Other finalists in the Environment and Recycling category were:
▪ ECO-TITAN composite concrete pole technology, presented by CMT Worldwide, LLC (USA) with its partner OCV Reinforcements (USA).
▪ Single-process recycling of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics, presented by MBM Maschinenbau Mühldorf GmbH (Germany) with its partner OCV Reinforcements (Germany).