From the halls of leading universities to the classrooms of developing countries; AggreBind inspires, teaches and defines affordable, alternative and green construction

Illinois Institute of Technology

306: AggreBind Phase One: The Making of a Sustainable and Cost-Effective Building System

Summer 2012
Meeting Days/Time:
Tuesday/Thursday from 5:00 to 7:40 pm (Session B — 6/4 to 7/27)
In collaboration with AggreBind
Mark McKinney (ARCH) (
Appropriate Disciplines:
Architectural Engineering, Architecture, Business, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Design, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Technical Communication


The built environment has evolved to be environmentally harmful and a high-cost proposition. As a result, and, of late, attention has been give to the development of environmentally sensitive materials, systems and technologies. Often these developments have an environmental benefit, but worsen the cost reality. However, with AggreBind, there is the opportunity to explore sustainable, cost effective ways of building that can benefit developing countries while being sophisticated, flexible and relevant for developed world countries.

The objective of this IPRO Project is to challenge conventional materials and construction methods to achieve a unique value relationship of cost, time, quality and sustainability through the casting of AggreBind soil stabilizer mixed with a variety of media into a series of simple, modular building systems– bricks / blocks, panels, slabs, beams, etc. AggreBind has the ability to bind any type of organic (in situ) or man-made granular or small component materials into durable, build-able components.

As it relates to the built environment, two things have become very clear: 1) Sustainability has become a necessary objective of building today, and, 2) It is necessary that affordable, sustainable materials and systems are developed and made available to all economies. This IPRO project will explore these challenges through the mixture and casting of AggreBind with a variety of natural, man made, and man waste aggregates (less than 1″ in diameter). The resulting castings, or building components, will be tested for strength, water resistance, flammability, and insulation-value in comparison with like, conventional building components.

The Project will also explore the reclaiming of its own waste material through recycling for 100 percent use. AggreBind was created in 1996 and has been used primarily to create stabilized, durable roadways in 3rd world countries. Through this application, it has been considered as having many applications in the making of buildings which this Project will explore. Some rudimentary prototypes have been created internationally, but only for initial exploration. This IPRO project will advance the application of AggreBind beyond anything explored to date. AggreBind has also been considered for use in the containment of certain hazardous materials in order to render them inert and harmless.

This IPRO team will have the opportunity to learn and apply a growing methodology in the Architecture and Construction industries, namely, the Design-Build approach to making buildings. This IPRO project engages a rigorous design-build process and will incorporate the following design methodologies: (a) Divergence: Exploring possibilities and constraints of inherited situations by applying critical thinking through qualitative and quantitative research methods to create new understanding toward alternative design and conductibility solutions; (b) Transformation: Redefining design solutions to improve traditional and contemporary design activities and/or multidisciplinary responses; (c) Convergence: Prototyping scenarios for better design and construction solutions that incrementally or significantly improve the originally inherited situation; (d) Sustainability: Managing the process of exploring, redefining and prototyping of design solutions; and (e) Articulation: The visual relationship between the parts and the whole.

IPRO306 AggreBind Summer 2012
Prepared by students at the Illinois Institute of Technology as part of their IPRO 306 curriculum, a course based on AggreBind

Interprofessional Projects Program

IPRO 2.0: the Next Generation of the IPRO Experience

IIT’s strategic plan includes enhancement of the IPRO course as the next generation of the IPRO experience, referred to as IPRO 2.0. The aim is to assure that all IIT students who complete their general education IPRO requirement are prepared and able to perform as members of a high-performance team, engaging in open-ended problem solving and inspired collaborative innovation.

This has inspired us to prototype and test a new, tandem model for IPRO courses in fall 2010 and spring 2011. The tandem model idea transforms the current six-credit-hour IPRO requirement into a progressive, two-phase sequence to 1) build competency and skills, 2) form passionate and balanced teams, and 3) offer greater time over the span of more than one semester for the same team to comprehensively address a problem or objective.

The first phase, IPRO I: Inter-professional by Design, develops insight and practical experience in team formation, project planning, design thinking, prototyping, and collaborative innovation. The second phase, IPRO II: Comprehensive Project, focuses on implementing the project.

Many Voices - One Vision

Many Voices, One Vision

In spring 2008 an exciting new chapter of IIT history was launched as the Board of Trustees enthusiastically endorsed plans for a university-wide planning process, aimed at reestablishing the university as a major force in higher education.

Many Voices, One Vision reflects the university’s absolute commitment to engaging and listening to the ideas and concerns of the entire  community. From the collection of voices representing students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees emerged a dynamic vision to guide IIT’s future.

In the spirit of President John Anderson’s inaugural address, the planning process began with a call for input from all corners of the university. More than 660 faculty, staff and students registered and submitted 300 responses to a request for your thoughts on where IIT should focus its energies and resources over the next decade as IIT seeks to advance into the top tier of universities. In addition, more than 50 faculty, staff, trustees and students submitted one-page papers expanding on their ideas.

The resulting Strategic Plan, released in August 2009, is presented on this site. IIT will continue to update the community on the progress of funding and implementation details of the plan. Watch for more in IIT Today, on this website and through other communications.

EXHIBIT A– AggreBind IPRO 306 Proposal:  (Summer 2012)

AGGREBIND: PHASE 1– Basic, Modular Building Systems

The Making of a Sustainable, Cost Effective Building System
Groups: Architect / Designer, Engineer, Manager Manufacturer, Logistics / Performance Imaging for        Course & Product
Student Participation: 4 to 5 5 to 7 3 to 4
Anticipated Disciplines: Arch Eng Arch Eng Architecture
Design/ID Material Sci Design
Architecture Civ/Struct Eng Business
<    Horizontal Interaction Across Disciplines   > Specific Tasks, Goals, Requirements per Class:
Wk 1: Class 1: 6/5/12 <    Vertical Interaction Within Similar Disciplines   > Divergence Research & Evaluate Like Systems, Consider Application of New Material intros, the course, roles, Q+A, intro to AGB
Class 2: 6/7/12   Form & Function Test & Performance Data & Criteria Branding & Representation (Audio & Visual) work as team, set a direction, R&D
Wk 2: Class 3: 6/12/12 present mission, goals & objectives- all teams
Class 4: 6/14/12 Transformation Exploration brick forms, research data, course present’n format, brandings ideas
Wk 3: Class 5: 6/19/12 Component / System  Design Development Establish                          Testing Methods, Procedures, Sources Establish Branding & Course Presentation first preliminary brick castings complete
Class 6: 6/21/12 present mission, goals & objectives- all teams
Wk 4: Class 7: 6/26/12 prototype forms, data, course prest’n format, brandings ideas
Class 8: 6/28/12 Convergence, Sustainability, Articulation Facilitation final castings
Wk 5: Class 9: 7/3/12 Component / System Prototyping              (multiple) Component / System Testing & Recording                        (multiple) Component / System Branding, Marketing Plan, Business Proforma Development work in class
Class 10: 7/5/12 present mission, goals & objectives- all teams
Wk 6: Class 11: 7/10/12 work in class
Class 12: 7/12/12 testing of casts; evaluate results
Wk 7: Class 13: 7/17/12 present mission, goals & objectives- all teams
Class 14: 7/19/12 work on IPRO Day Presentation
Wk 8: Class 15: 7/24/12 Evaluation, Review Finalize Work, Class Recap, Evaluation work on IPRO Day Presentation
Class 16: 7/26/12 Presentation to Sponsor, Other Faculty, Outside Professionals final presentation (pre- IPRO Day); goals for Fall IPRO


Posted in Press