In this blog we discussed about the possible application of papercrete in architecture. Papercrete is an experimental material which consists of paper, cement and sand. The research is material based and aims to bring papercrete closer to standardization and define the guidelines of the product development process from the architectural concept to manufacturing assembly and marketing. The physical, mechanical, functional and environmental properties, the construction and economic considerations were defined after several experiments and research.
Papercrete is a low price – lightweight (7 times lighter than concrete)- flexible material which can take several surface textures and colours in a big variety of shapes and sizes. Papercretes performance is limited by certain properties. These will define the design possibilities and restrictions. They relate with the nature of the material and the manufacturing process. Poor compressive strength, creep resistance, long drying period and difficulty to standardize the mix and predict its behaviour need further research. Chemical additives used for water and fire proof insulation materials green status.
There are significant challenges going into business with papercrete but also great opportunities. Papercrete is a new material and like all the new materials there is a period of time which its applications are limited because the information on material properties are still not well defined. Manufacturing, processing and construction techniques, are not developed enough to facilitate its use. Working with a new material means to be able to see the potential that has to improve.
Papercrete is a new material in the market and gives potential for innovation. The first feedback is really positive and the interacation between the research and the design works good.
Deep knowledge in material properties and long term liability, advance in processing and building aspects, in combination with future material technology, will bring papercrete closer to standardization. Getting a building permit will become easier, will attract more investments, and eventually papecrete will be commercially accepted.
Papercrete’s properties qualify it as a suitable material for facade cladding. In the recent years the prevailing trend in facade technology is the increased complexity to meet the new demands. Papercrete meets most of the requirements and at the same the time raise new research to improve the material properties.
Design is inseparably linked with the outcome of the experiments. The success of the facade panel depends on, if and how we can overcome the design limiting properties. Improving the mix (adding reinforcement), changing the manufacturing process (using less water) and prefabricating the panel (quality control) in combination with computational methods and the advance in cement and fibre technology products (Green Cement, HPFRCC ) gives great potential to the material.
So does papercrete fullfil the requirements of facade industry?