Bio-based materials facing the challenges of the construction industry
The use of bio-based materials is often met with scepticism from architects, insurers and contractors in the construction industry, which has led to slow market uptake. This scepticism generally results from a lack of adequate training and support with regard to regulatory frameworks.
This was the backdrop of the ISOBIO workshop, held 22 March in Brussels where the project team met with representatives from Earth Building UK and Ireland, BC architects & studies, the ECO-SEE project and the German Association for Building with Earth. The aim was to identify the levers for faster adoption of bio-based material in the construction sector.
The workshop was able to pinpoint new ways to improve professional knowledge, develop adequate curricula and set out a suitable legal framework. A further issue to be addressed going forward is how the general public perceive the emerging bio-based construction sector in comparison to the established construction sector.
Drawing on its early achievements, ISOBIO gave valuable insights into its testing and prototyping activities with a view to raising awareness and encouraging greater acceptance of bio-based materials. The project partners reiterated their common goal of designing a bio-based product which offers high insulation, low embodied energy and carbon, and hydrothermal efficiency for a greener building and construction industry.
A key finding from the workshop was that standard products (panels) made from enhanced bio-based properties could possibly be a leading driver of market uptake for bio-based materials in the industry.