Friday, May 2, 2014

Building with Paper!

Earlier today I stumbled across something that made my jaw hang in awe. Slate-ish it is called, and it is a tile for floor or wall application that looks impressively like slate, but is made from post-industrial paper waste. I was introduced to Paperstone through Harmon Builders, so I already knew that paper based counter surfaces can be durable enough for use in wet bathrooms and kitchens. This got me thinking, "What other building materials are made from recycled paper?"

Another company manufactures a product similar to Paperstone, called Richlite, that was initially designed for use in skate parks. 100% of the paper used is recycled, bonded with PetroFree resin and colored with natural pigments.

Some less hardy indoor uses for recycled paper materials include wall sheeting. Paper cannot be recycled into paper in a continuous cycle, because the fibers don't stay intact. Since odds and ends of scrap drywall often become waste, this is the perfect application for a recycled paper product that can be remade into a larger piece of wall board. A similar interior solution is paper bricks that can be molded and stacked to create interior walls. This is being considered as a potentially helpful material in earthquake prone areas.

Recycled newspaper is useful as wall insulation, and it is also recycled and added into asphalt and concrete.

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