• 24.04.23
  • 28.04.23

Focus - Geo & Bio

A session of 2 workshop days (24/04/23 and 28/04/23) to discover the potential of bio-based and geo-based materials in the construction sector. Find out how clay, earth, wood, lime, fibres can be combined wisely? And get the chance to create your own hemp lime block and fibrous clay plaster sample.

Geo-sourced materials consist of mineral raw materials found naturally in the ground, such as sand, clay and stone. In the past, these locally extracted substances were the main building materials. Today too, soil excavated from Brussels building sites can be recovered and used as a construction material. 

Bio-based materials are building materials derived from renewable biological resources. These raw materials can be cultivated and harvested in a short time; they grow continuously and are naturally abundant. Examples include wood, straw, grass, hemp and algae. These bio-based materials offer us endlessly regrowing resources, that are usually light materials and therefor with, among others, insulating qualities.

On this workshop, we zoomed in on both groups of materials, and the combination of both. Which type of materials add inertia, thermal insulation or hygroscopic capacities?

The first day of the workshop happened in the ateliers of Paille-Tech and Gramitherm.
Paille-tech produces prefabricated wall elements that combine wood, straw and earth. Gramitherm transforms grass waste into insulation panels.

The second day took place in the production hall of BC materials, Brussels.
The aim was to test building solutions with earth and fibres together, in a hands-on way. We used the expertise that BC gained through real-scale projects, using hemp-lime, straw, acoustic plaster,... or R&D projects such as the valorisation of hop waste or Japanese knotweed.
Also a small mock-up following the principles of Cobbauge was created.


Each semester we offer one specific focus workshop. Such workshops aims to go deeper into relevant topics.