Project: Green Alkali Activated Cement Board

Goal_x000D_ The aim of this project is to develop, and build the market for, innovative building boards that have low embodied energy, low CO2 emissions and incorporate a high proportion of waste materials, to serve the needs of the growing demand for 'green' housing and industrial buildings._x000D_ _x000D_ Background_x000D_ Each year around 500 million m2 of fibre cement sheet products are produced globally, of which half is estimated to be cement boards. The current continuous production process is based on the use of hydraulic cement, typically Portland cement. From an environmental perspective this process has weaknesses:_x000D_ i) it results in substantial energy consumption and CO2 emissions. (Roughly 5% of global CO2 emissions result from the production of Portland cement). _x000D_ ii) due to the fundamental chemistry, it is not possible to make substantial improvements to reduce the environmental impact within the existing process. _x000D_ _x000D_ Hence, to create 'green' cement boards needs a new approach._x000D_ _x000D_ Technological objective_x000D_ This project involves the development, scale up and certification of an alkali activated cement board, GAIAboard, which brings together the novel combination of a binder made from up to 90% waste material, such as fly-ash, co-combusted wood ash and slag, with surface web reinforcement. This new technology will avoid the use of hydraulic cements and will target products with 50% lower CO2 emissions and typically around 30% lower embodied energy. This will be achieved by development of an innovative geopolymeric mixture which achieves all the interdependent and often conflicting performance characteristics of strength, density, transport properties, surface finish, etc_x000D_ _x000D_ Market objective_x000D_ GAIAboard will be designed to target the needs of contractors working on sustainable building projects. At present alkali activated cement binders are used for some high value niche products, where special properties like high acid and/or fire resistance are required, such as refractories, but that market is small. The current project targets products with a much larger manufacturing and sales potential. The development, in the first instance, is focused on the market for medium to high quality backing boards (outdoor boarding behind the plaster) and wet-room boards. We estimate the size of these markets to be 1 000 m€ in Europe. Successful entry into these markets will pave the way for future development of the GAIAboard technology for larger market segments such as common plaster board. _x000D_ _x000D_ Project outcomes_x000D_ 1) Improved life cycle performance. The construction industry is working towards reducing the environmental impact of buildings through voluntary agreements and building certification systems, such as LEED, BREEAM, HQE, Svanen and GreenBuilding. GAIAboard will represent a benefit for the contractor, when working with developers that need 'green' Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and CO2 calculations for certified buildings. _x000D_ 2) Improved building site logistics and durability. The new boards will be designed for easy assembly and alteration as well as reduced waste, through a greater potential for recycling compared to gypsum boards. _x000D_ 3) Cost and performance. In the industry, factors such as product liability, narrow margin for error and price drive material choice. The use of a high proportion of waste material, together with a comprehensive outsourcing strategy, including a "turn key" licensing model, will enable us to develop the technology, such that a price reduction of 25%, compared to leading products in each segment, is feasible. The project will demonstrate and document that the new boards meet or exceed the required standards, including bending strength and durability._x000D_ 4) Market tools. Whilst 'green' credentials are becoming more important in the industry, it is still necessary for contractors to be able to show the benefits to customers. This project will also develop tools enabling the contractors to illustrate to their customers how the environmental qualities of the GAIAboard correspond to long term profit._x000D_ _x000D_ Consortium_x000D_ The project brings together Honeycore (Sweden) which develops, trades and markets products for the construction industry, and which aims to develop its new technology into innovative products to meet the growing industry need for environmentally sound materials for use in sustainable building projects. It will use research by the internationally recognised Concrete Centre of the DTI to assist in the product development. To introduce new products into the conservative construction industry requires a business and marketing model based on an innovative project system specific to the value chain in the market sectors. This will be developed by Smith Innovation (Denmark), a business and project adviser for the construction industry, in conjunction with a representative of our target market, industry contractors GeorgBerg (Denmark). GeorgBerg will also trial and demonstrate the new products.

Acronym GAIAboard (Reference Number: 6350)
Duration 01/10/2011 - 31/03/2015
Project Topic Development and scale up of a process to make innovative cement boards containing up to 90% recycled material, for indoor and external applications which have lower embodied energy and produce less CO2 during manufacture.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
4 Smith Innovation Partner Denmark
4 Honeycore AB Coordinator Sweden
4 Teknologisk Institut, Byggeri, Beton Partner Denmark
4 GeorgBerg A/S Partner Denmark