The SB&WRC project is part of the Programme Interreg VA France (Channel) England and benefits from financial support from the ERDF.

Interreg SB&WRC


Passi’bat took place in Paris, on the 16th and 17th April. This fair dedicated to the passive house construction is organised by AVivreEditions and the French Passive House Association. Construction21, as a partner of the event, responded to the invitation and presented the European Interreg project named SB&WRC during a conference.

Led by Nomadeis, a consulting office in environment and sustainable development, the SB&WRC project has been launched in 2017 for 32 months. It brings together 8 partners across France and England: four academic players, including Bath and Brighton universities in the UK, UniLaSalle and ESITC Caen in France, which are focused on the design of the prototypes and their deployment; ASBP and Veolia; and Construction21 as the French communication partner.

Cédric Baecher, managing director and co-founder of Nomadeis, reminds us of the objectives of the SB&WRC project:

  • Making the implied actors collaborate around circular economy in construction on two international territories, between the North of France and the South of England;
  • Studying a whole range of waste or bio-based resources, currently undervalued and underutilised but that could constitute interesting resources for designing insulation products within the concerned area;
  • Designing, producing and testing 3 prototypes of low-carbon and innovative thermal insulation products for buildings;
  • Evaluating the environmental impacts of these prototypes and their potential economic competitiveness;
  • Promoting these products to offer a turnkey solution to industrials.


Hafidad Zmamou, one of the researchers at UniLaSalle, tells us about prototype 1. With the elementary objective of being able to recover an agricultural resource, the choice fell on corn marrow, which has demonstrated interesting thermal performances. Marrow is located inside corn stalk, that is not recycled yet. Accompanied by Nomadeis, UniLaSalle made a mapping of raw materials available within the Interreg territory. A capacity of 400,000 tonnes of raw materials was highlighted.

A 3-layer panel has been installed while testing the material. Results are quite interesting, since it is possible to design a very low-carbon material, very efficient from a thermal point of view (complete fire destruction in 30min, against 15sec with a polystyrene material, which is today the most common insulation on the market), with equivalent mechanical properties.

Fouzia Khadraoui-Mehir, Lecturer-Researcher at ESITC Caen, and her team are in charge of prototype 2: an insulating board based on waste bedding (polyester), that has today no second life. Following the proposal of the Brighton University, the aim was to promote this material into the construction industry, under the form of an insulating panel.

Before testing, it was first necessary to extract polyester from quilts and pillows, in order to easily process and rework it. Polyester was then placed between two panels, tested in two climatic chambers, one hot and one cold, with an opening in the middle. After testing mini-prototypes sent by the British partners, it turned out that the prototypes containing polyester revealed the best performances, especially regarding thermal properties.

The University of Bath – Adrien Duchadeuil from Nomadeis spoke on its behalf as English partners couldn’t come – worked on prototype 3 made of wheat straw, a material which has the particularity to be an abundant agricultural resource. The added value of Bath has been to try to optimise the insulating capacity of this material, by orienting the straws in a thoughtful and controlled way (perpendicular). A specific machine has been put in place to allow the optimisation of the orientation of straw bales as well as their compression, giving an interesting thermal conductivity. The LCA of an insulating straw is also interesting, since it has a low (or negative) carbon footprint. However, its main disadvantage is the transport of this material, which contributes to the environmental and carbon impact of the prototype.

More than 70 people attended this conference. Thank you for your attention! If you want more information about each prototype, watch the videos we created!

Watch the full video of the SB&WRC conference, in Passi'bat fair (in French) :



Last updated on the 28-05-2019 by Construction21 Communication


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