Invitrum 100 Percent Recyclable Kitchen


Just noticed a new product called Invitrum by high design, Italian kitchen maker Valcucine.  Invitrum is being referred to as a 100% recyclable kitchen, which means the product can be recycled at the end of its lifecycle — but the consumer needs to make that happen.  To help the consumer, as you can see with the image below, the cabinets have been labeled for recyclability.  The structure is of drawn, recycled aluminum and the base units are of recyclable glass.  Invitrum was designed to be manufactured with less material and energy.  So slick …



Invitrum-full Invitrum-full2

Valcucine-glass Basi-invitrum


[+] Valcucine Invitrum Flickr Set

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  • Lloyd Alter

    “recyclable” is such a dangerous word. Perhaps with the exception of the aluminum, it is made from virgin materials with high embodied energy, it costs a fortune but is designed to last almost forever, and when recycled turns into what? coke cans and wine bottles?

    It is a thing of beauty, VOC free, will outlive us all, but “recyclable?” What value is that?

    • Preston

      I agree, “recyclable” is a dangerous word and it’s not the same as being made with recycled content. But two thoughts on being made with virgin materials and the high embodied energy.

      The virgin material would be, for the most part, glass, which is made from sand, which is one of the most abundant materials on our planet and also one of the resources powering the solar revolution. This virgin material does not sequester carbon or create oxygen like one of the alternative cabinet materials. Certainly, not all virgin materials are created equally. Plus, what do you do with, just for an example, 80-year old wood cabinets when there’s a remodel? Put them in a Tiny Texas House? I think an honest life cycle analysis of all the possible options would be helpful …

      With the high embodied energy, that’s certainly something to consider, especially if the product is manufactured or assembled in a plant that’s powered by coal. But maybe some of that could be mitigated. With regard to the manufacturing component of the embodied energy calculation, if we’re looking at the amount of carbon dioxide created by the energy used (which is really what we’re after, right?), that could be mitigated, potentially that is, by using renewable energy in the manufacture. But I’m not saying that’s the case here. I’m just saying, it could be …

      And in the end, we’re dealing with a product, not unlike something like the Zody Chair, that has been designed for deconstruction at the end of its life. Plus, although you didn’t mention it, wasn’t a similar product used in the Cellophane House? Am I making this too complicated??

  • Gabriele Centazzo

    Valcucine’s kitchen with Invitrum base units has been designed in the pursuit of eco-sustainability, which does not just mean recyclability or “made from recycled materials”. Rather, it means respecting the four main fundamentals of eco-compatibility.
    1) Durability so that the consumption of raw materials and energy required to supply the same item again is postponed to the far future. The Invitrum base units’ system is practically indestructible; it does not swell with water and does not become unglued due to heat.
    2) The project must be as dematerialised as possible to consume less raw materials and energy. The Invitrum base units’ system replaces double side panels that are normally 18+18 mm (total of 36mm) with a single, 10mm glass panel.
    3) Reduction of toxic emissions: Invitrum abolishes all uses of glues because it is assembled by means of mechanical joints only; this results in zero emissions of formaldehyde. Moreover, the use of an inert material such as glass cancels any toxic emissions.
    4) Make the product as recyclable as possible: this does not mean using only recyclable materials or, better still, recycled and recyclable materials but also that the various materials used are easy to identify and separate; e.g. if two different recyclable materials are glued together it becomes difficult to reutilise them.
    The Invitrum base units’ system uses only mechanical joints that make the product easy to dismantle, to the extent that we are making arrangements to pick up obsolete kitchens, that we will then recycle, free of charge.
    The use of recycled, rather than primary, material is part of Valcucine’s research that, for the time being, has been expressed by using secondary aluminium. We are also testing a recycled material for base unit back panels obtained by recycling food packaging (Tetra Pak).
    For as much as regards glass, the market does not yet offer recycled glass in sheets. As soon as it will be available, Valcucine will use it to obtain a 100% recyclable product from a 100% recycled product.

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