Innovative Building Materials: Waste-Based, Bio-Based and Plant-Based

Innovative building materials designed for sustainability are the cornerstone of progress in architecture and construction. The exploration of non-standard building materials has gained significant traction in recent years.

Traditional construction materials often rely on finite resources and produce significant carbon emissions during manufacturing. Conversely, materials like bricks made from waste and bio-based tiles utilize recycled or renewable resources, significantly reducing their environmental footprint.

By diverting waste from landfills and minimizing resource extraction, these materials contribute to a more circular economy and help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

At StoneCycling, we love experimenting with new, cutting-edge technologies, and creating different types of building materials for various applications. Here are a few of our innovative building materials implemented in recent projects in Europe:

StoneCycling Factory

1. Bricks made from Waste

Upcycling as much waste as possible and turning it into unique and beautiful building materials is how the mission of StoneCycling started all those years ago. The WasteBasedBrick® and WasteBasedSlip® prove it possible to build high-quality, aesthetic structures from waste.

At the 5TRACKS project, StoneCycling’s brick slips, made from high-quality recycled construction waste, have been used on a large scale for the first time in the Netherlands.

READ MORE: The ultimate result of a ceramic brick, especially when working with waste streams, is influenced by several factors in the production process. Learn more about the process of producing ceramic bricks from waste materials >

Colourful Facades with Impact at 5TRACKS Breda, The Netherlands
Colourful Facades with Impact at 5TRACKS Breda, The Netherlands

2. Bio-Based Cement Tile Alternative

The EU predicts steady growth in the use of bio-based materials throughout industries. Biobased materials are derived from biomass and consist (at least partially), of biological materials, most commonly (parts of) plants, trees or animals, marine organisms, micro-organisms, algae, organic waste or forestry materials.

BioBasedTiles® is the first ever bio-based tile that grows with the help of bacteria. Our partner Biomason learned how nature grows through one of its most robust and enduring structures: coral. With the help of bacteria, this tile grew in less than three days. It’s 20% lighter than a concrete block but three times stronger.

Lendager Architects is developing TRÆ, Denmark’s tallest wooden structure in an exciting new project. In the “Living Lab” of TRÆ, 3 stories feature future sustainable material and product solutions and 30 m² of BioBasedTiles® will be implemented as flooring.

StoneCycling | BioBasedTiles® | Pepper Honed
BioBasedTiles® Pepper Honed

3. Glazed Bricks from Waste Materials

One of the most exciting aspects of working with innovative building materials is their remarkable design versatility. Unlike traditional materials, which may limit creative expression, unconventional options like glazed bricks come in diverse colours, textures, and shapes.

This allows architects and designers to push the boundaries of imagination, crafting unique and visually striking spaces that captivate the senses.

At one of our recent projects called “Parel in de Polder“, the Mint WasteBasedBricks will be used in a long format for the facade of the building. BioBasedTiles® (see above) will also be applied as an indoor floor covering.

StoneCycling Mint WasteBasedGlazedBricks
StoneCycling Mint WasteBasedBricks
Mint WasteBasedBricks®

4. Recycled Bricks from Previous Projects

Besides turning waste materials into new bricks, we have two other ways to prevent the extraction of new valuable natural resources: we recycle the waste from our factory’s production processes (resulting in the beautiful 2Good2Waste WasteBasedBricks®) and we sell the small quantities of leftover products from some of our previous project-specific productions.

We don’t usually keep products in stock as we produce bricks per project in the required size, shape, and quantity. But now and then we get the opportunity to make a bit extra, or the amount of products needed ends up being less than already produced.

This is why for our LOT61, the designer was able to implement the Orange stone from our Amsterdam Substation project into a stunning new design.

Circular Coffee Bar LOT61 at DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station
Credit: LOT61

5. Plant-Based Interior Cladding

CornWall is a wall finishing material crafted from plant-based biomass. It is sourced primarily from the cores of regional (Western Europe) corn cobs. This organic waste is widely available and usually destined for fermentation, burning as biomass or remaining on the field. CornWall is an alternative for ceramic wall cladding or other less sustainable composite materials such as HPL.

We’ve signed our first projects to be developed with CornWall as sustainable interior wall cladding. Keep an eye out for updates on these projects by signing up for our newsletter.

CornWall® TerracottaPink
CornWall® TerracottaPink

At StoneCycling, we recognize the pivotal role that visionary architects, designers, and developers play in driving innovation and shaping the future of construction. By collaborating with these creative minds, we not only gain invaluable insights and expertise but also foster a culture of exploration and experimentation. Together we pave the way for innovative building materials that have the power to reshape our built environment for the better!

Questions?

If you have any questions about our sustainable building materials, don't hesitate to reach out. Make sure to check our Frequently Asked Questions page first.