To understand how green the xPod designs and BioBuild™ materials are, you would be forgiven in thinking that it is all just context – but, on the contrary, the reality is very different.
In South Africa, between 5 million and 8 million tonnes of construction waste are generated annually. Only a small fraction is reused or recycled. The result is that a large amount of waste is disposed of in landfills, which are rapidly reaching capacity in many places. The literature suggests that as much as 30% of the material delivered to a construction site ends up as waste. Concrete and other cementitious materials were most frequently cited, followed by bricks. Wood, plastic and cement bags, formwork and
sand were also mentioned.
The two most prevalent reasons cited for the causes of waste were the lack of skill of labourers and contractors, and poor supervision. Other reasons include poor material handling, negligence, speed of execution, design changes, poor management and planning, and the standard work process. Construction workers sometimes did incorrect work, leaving waste after the incorrect work was demolished. (The Conversation, 5 October 2022)
The impact of buildings and construction on the environment is astounding, with the built environment currently accounting for 20% of the world’s water usage and 40% of its electricity. There is great significance in the fact that green buildings can reduce global carbon emissions by up to a third. South Africa is on its way to becoming one of the global leaders in green building.
The xPod off-site fabrication and manufacturing solutions are extremely beneficial to this environment, in that the central feature of all our models and designs is that they are non-invasive and seek to leave the natural topography untouched.
We have emphasised that wood waste is one of the largest portions of the waste stream generated from construction and demolition activities and the lack of sustainable usage for the disposal of the material. Hence the incorporation of BioBuild™ panels in the xPod designs.
BioBuild™ consists of an ingenious combination of mineralised woodchips and cement, which provides a unique ecological and economical alternative to traditional building materials. This is due to the ease/speed of installation and modular design capability, as well as providing various insulation and acoustic properties. With our core materials consisting of recycled wood waste and cement, we have created a fully sustainable green building alternative that we feel is a direct replacement for brick & mortar.
BioBuild’s eco-friendly production contributes to the reduction of CO₂ emissions in the manufacturing process and offers a sustainable solution for the recycling of wood waste. BioBuild™ offers an alternative that assists in the preservation of energy and natural resources during the construction process and throughout a structure’s life cycle. The structural frame was designed to avoid the need for any cut and fill excavation, to preserve the natural conditions, topography and existing flora. Since all units are premanufactured, on-site waste and site establishment processes are kept to a minimum. The design philosophy allows for the integration of PV systems, incorporating water harvesting systems, as well as various waste disposal options. Since the implementation relies on an installation methodology as opposed to a construction methodology, all logistics and process-supporting activities are vastly streamlined.
The xPod and BioBuild™ building methodology intends on creating a healthier and sustainable living environment by reducing the carbon footprint of infrastructure through the use of recyclable materials, while maintaining the core intention to provide an ecological building alternative that is accessible, and affordable.