Smart Solutions for a Sustainable Living

Imagine your wooden floors keeping warm for longer and reducing your need for heat. Or a fiberboard that is lightweight and keeps the house warm longer compared to traditional insulation. Your house will require less energy during the chilly winter days, leading to reduced running costs. Remarkably, all these benefits stem from bio-based renewable materials.

Energy in the form of residential heat consumption is one of the largest energy-demanding sectors with recent studies reporting that 40% of energy generated in the EU is consumed in buildings. Thermo-driven storage technologies have the potential to offer a flexible and reliable way of heat storage using renewable, bio-based phase change materials (bioPCM) encapsulated in lignocellulosic materials.

With the population steadily increasing and a corresponding surge in wood demand (WWF’s Living Forests Report), coupled with climate concern and the need to preserve forest capacity, rethinking the traditional use of wood becomes imperative. Rather than viewing wood and wood industry by-products as mere fuel for burning and heating, there’s an opportunity for valorization through the incorporation of other biomaterials for construction purposes.

The BIOBUILD project is conceptualized to revolutionise the use of wood by producing fully bio-based and energy smart composites for building application at pilot scale. In this innovative approach, wood particles serve as hosts for bio-based phase change material bound by bio-binder of either lignin, plant oil-based polymers or fungi mycelia as a matrix. These lightweight composites react to temperature variations in a smart way ensuring optimal room climate comfort, reduced thermal energy consumption in buildings and are easy to handle.

Bio-based solid wood and composite materials with integrated bioPCM (fatty acid ester) produced in laboratory scale at SLU, BOKU and CNR-IBE; a) parquet; b) wood composite with spruce pulp fibres; c) bio-composite with wood particles and recycled paper fibres; d) bio-composite with wood particles and mycelia

As we celebrate the International Day of Forests and World Wood Day, it is crucial to recognize the invaluable role of forests in sustaining our planet and the significance of responsible wood use. BIOBUILD, as an innovative project, demonstrates how the integration of bio-based materials not only fosters sustainable construction practices but also contributes to the preservation and appreciation of our natural resources.