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Green-Tinted Building Products
In a world where construction commodities prices are followed like daily stock quotes, developing a new building material that’s cheap and desirable can be a ticket to success.
Right now, the market is focused on green, thanks to the popularity of LEED certification and the potential for cost savings via recycling. These two building products are taking green building to the next level.
Marrying Old and New
Rammed earth has been used as a building material in some developing parts of the world since ancient times and is cited as a sustainable and low-cost method for building roads, buildings, and other structures.
The method is susceptible to water erosion if not properly treated or maintained, though, which is where AggreBind comes in.
The product, developed and perfected over the past two decades by the company Safety Tek, uses a styrene acrylic water- based polymer to bind rammed earth and is guaranteed to maintain integrity for 5 years, says AggreBind’s Robert Friedman.
With the bonding powers of AggreBind, builders can use rammed earth or rammed earth block to build structures or roads more cheaply than using block, concrete, or asphalt, Friedman says.
For roads, AggreBind combined with local materials can make a hard enough surface to use as foundation without trucking in aggregate that might not be available nearby, Friedman says. It also means engineers can build roads in places where it’s too difficult to transport aggregate, like mountain passes.
“Geographically, you can’t move hot asphalt up the side of a mountain,” he says. “What AggreBind does is liberates you from the logistics of transporting specified materials to make a road. You use what’s there.”
It takes about three to four liters of AggreBind to secure a cubic meter of earth, Friedman says.
It could also be an option for projects that need sturdy roads but are more temporary in nature. The British military used AggreBind (then known as Soilbind) to build temporary air strips in Afghanistan for Hercules C-130 cargo planes, Friedman says. Such tempo- rary operations, like oil well drilling, could be well suited for AggreBind roads, though AggreBind can be used to make permanent roads, Friedman says.