💚 Sustainable 3D-printed Buildings 🏗️

💚 Sustainable 3D-printed Buildings 🏗️

By
Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Happy Tuesday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • 3D printed biomaterials as an alternative to conventional building materials 🏗️
  • A new sustainable way to create biofuels 🧪
  • Get involved in International Book Giving Day 📚
  • And more… 💚

Did you know that the construction industry as a whole accounts for ~39% of all our CO2 emissions?

Or that the materials used in the construction of buildings account for ~9% of overall energy-related CO2 emissions?

And those materials are one major reason why the construction sector is now off track to decarbonize by 2050…

Luckily, the combination of two innovations could help change that: 3D printing and biomaterials!

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🏗️ How 3D Printed Biomaterials Can Revolutionize the Construction Industry

1️⃣ The big picture: Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have tested the very first hydrogel material made from nanocellulose and algae to be used as a greener, more sustainable material in building construction. The study has shown that this naturally abundant material can be dried and 3D printed for a range of uses, whilst using much less energy than conventional building methods. The research team used a mix of nanocellulose fibers, water, and an algae-based material, called alginate, to produce a 3D printable material. The addition of alginate gave the material more flexibility once dried, allowing it to be molded into different shapes. 

2️⃣ Why is this good news: Today, the construction industry is responsible for 50% of the world’s fossil fuel usage. It also generates 40% of all global waste and releases 39% of our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. While nanocellulose is not a newly discovered material, this is the first time that it has been successfully dried out to create architectural materials. Cellulose is known to be one of the most eco-friendly products in the world, currently being developed as an alternative to plastic. This study shows even more effective uses for this abundant material to further lower our carbon emissions and fight climate change. 

3️⃣ What’s next: The scientific team, led by Malgorzata Zboinska, has already developed several different tool paths to be used in the 3D printing of the nanocellulose hydrogel. The next step is to gain knowledge on how we can use these materials in architecture, as well as how we can embrace their short life cycles compared to current long-lasting materials such as concrete. The idea is to reflect life cycles in nature to lower our overall carbon footprint. 

Related: You can already help to protect our planet and fight climate change by supporting one of the 9 Best Charities for Climate Change.

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📢 More Good News…

🧪 Scientists have developed a sustainable way to breakdown plant matter for biofuels

  • Scientists at the University of California have discovered that they can make biofuel production cost-effective and sustainable by adding a chemical called CELF (co-solvent enhanced lignocellulosic fractionation) at the beginning of the process. 
  • Plant matter is notoriously difficult to break down and extract biomass from due to the presence of lignin. This new process is hoped to pave the way for more carbon-neutral biofuels that are cheap and simple to create. 

🇺🇲 First US Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area announced in California:

  • The Resighini Rancheria, Tolowa Dee-ní Nation, and Cher-Ae Heights Community have designated the first-ever Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area (IMSA) in the US along the northern California coast. 
  • The tribes plan to manage 700sq miles (1,800sq km) of their ancestral coastal and ocean territories from the California-Oregon border to the Little River.
  • By doing this, the tribes aim to restore traditional ecological knowledge and management practices to sustain the area’s natural biodiversity. 

🐸 Three new frog species have been discovered in Madagascar’s pandan trees:

  • Scientists from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, have described three new frog species that live exclusively in the spiky leaves of pandan trees in Madagascar’s eastern forests. 
  • The frog species have a unique lifecycle where they lay their eggs in gel masses in the trees, a trait only known in one other genus of frogs in the world. 
  • While the frogs are new to science, many local communities are already aware of them, known as the Sahona vakoa (meaning frogs of the pandanus). 
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📚 Event of the Week: International Book Giving Day

👉 Did you know that tomorrow (February 14) is International Book Giving Day? This event was founded in 2012 to spread the love of reading by donating books and encouraging people to share their favorite stories with others. 

1️⃣ The big picture: Most people know February 14 as Valentine’s Day. However, Amy Broadmoore and her son had a different idea after they noticed a lack of books available for children in underfunded areas across the UK. The aim was to get as many books into the hands of children around the world as possible, whilst also promoting literacy. Today, 44 countries around the world participate in International Book Giving Day including Ukraine, the US, and Nigeria, setting up libraries, launching book fairs, and organizing book collections for shelters. 

2️⃣ Why is this important: For many of us, our fondest memories involve reading our favorite books. Yet, it’s estimated that 1 in 5 children between the ages of 5 and 8 years old do not have books to read at home. Even more worryingly, 250 million children around the world lack basic literacy skills, especially across poorer regions in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Just 6 extra minutes of reading a day has been shown to increase the reading performance of children, giving them greater job opportunities in the future, as well as boosting their imaginations and confidence. 

3️⃣ How can you get involved: International Book Giving Day is a time to donate books to those less fortunate and share your love of reading with others. You can get involved in this event in many ways such as donating unwanted books to children in need, volunteering at your local library, or organizing a book drive. You can even leave books in public places, such as doctors’ surgeries, for others to find and enjoy. Consider leaving a note inside the book encouraging others to pass it on or leave it behind for someone else to read. 

You can also check out the organizations below that are working to promote reading and literacy around the globe:

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📜 This Week in History

🇦🇺 February 13, 2008: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized to the Australian Aboriginal peoples for the abuse they suffered under previous governments. 

🦊 February 13, 2002: The Scottish Parliament passed the Protection of Wild Mammals Bill, effectively outlawing foxhunting and any other wild animal hunting sports using dogs. 

🏫 February 13, 1635: The Boston Latin School was established, becoming the first public-funded (tax-payer-supported) educational institute in America. 

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💭 Quote of the Day

There comes a time in the history of nations when their peoples must become fully reconciled to their past if they are to go forward with confidence to embrace their future.”

— Kevin Rudd, former Australian Prime Minister

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society together!

Stay impactful 💚

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