When I mentioned a project by students aiming to build the greenest house in Canada (by means of the Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum certification), I noted that students planned to use “prefabricated straw bale walls.” It turns out they finished this portion of the project using BioSIPs from NatureBuilt Wall Systems in Ontario, Canada.
Push Design made news with a beautiful Hemp House in Asheville, North Carolina. It received significant media attention — notwithstanding a multitude of jokes conflating industrial hemp and marijuana. Now, hemp is being used for more projects, as shown in the above video from CBS Minnesota. Due to strict regulations, hemp is imported and mixed with water and lime to create a light, insulating, concrete-like mass for walls.
I’ve mentioned some of the various living walls available for home interiors — Fyto Wall, Woolly Pockets, Minigarden, Ballavaz, Urbio, etc — and most of these require a modicum of wall structure and planning for light and water. Along these lines, The Wall Street Journal recently took on the topic of living walls and how various pockets, trays, and assemblies are being used inside for home decoration.
Lindsey Hutchinson and husband Todd — both with design backgrounds and a passion for gardening — decided to build “green curtains” or exterior trellises covered in edible vines, according to the Statesman. The 15-foot living walls will shade the home and rain barrels from the sun, but the Hutchinson’s also intend to harvest the vines for grapes, passionfruit, and Scarlet Runner Beans. Thusly, these green curtains perform double duty in the form of food production and energy conservation. What a great idea!
Today Stramit USA announced the launch of a material manufacturing company operating out of an 88,000 square-foot facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The company has been working with Stramit UK for 16 months to import the process that creates a proprietary and rigid Compressed Agricultural Fiber (CAF) product — made with agricultural waste wheat straw — that can be used for walls, panels, flooring, doors, and furniture.
This is an inventive design for a shelf/storage solution that fits the occasion. Called BrickBox, the modular system is designed and manufactured in Barcelona by Antxon Salvador and Roger Zanni. BrickBox can be used for storage — assemble and stack — or transport — pack and grab a handle — and comes in two sizes: 10.6″ x 10.6″ x 14.2″ (small) and 21.3″ x 10.6″ x 14.2″ (large). Fair Companies featured the design in a recent video, which could help propel the company outside of Europe and into the U.S. BrickBox is searching for an American distributor right now. Pricing is between ~$40 – $60 per box.