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Environmentally sound technology for the manufacturing of affordable building materials based on coconut husk and natural bonding agents (COCOBOARDS)

 

Currently the Philippines have an estimated deficit of several millions of housing units. The central objective of the project is to develop and to implement an environmentally sound technology for the manufacturing of affordable building materials based on coconut husk.

​​​About the project

Background

Currently the Philippines have an estimated deficit of several millions of housing units, which affects the low-income earners most. There is therefore an urgent need to propose effective strategies for the delivering of affordable housing. Cheaper and easy available building materials could be made of coconut husk. The coconut industry in the Philippines produces in fact 15 billion pieces (close to 5 billion tonnes) of husk per year, which are usually dumped or burnt. The combination of coconut husk with environmental-friendly binders such as tannin-based adhesives could then represent a suitable, affordable and sustainable solution for the manufacturing of innovative fibreboards.

Objectives

The central objective of the project is to develop and to implement an environmentally sound technology for the manufacturing of affordable building materials made of coconut husk and bonded with tannin-based adhesive. The project targets local production for local supplies. The goal of the project will be reached by applying a systemic approach integrating: i) technical product development with ii) market research, iii) implementation of social enterprises, as well as iv) related policy and legal advocacy to bring the approach to scale.

Relevance

The major impacts due to this project beyond the state of the art will be: 

  • sustainable use of natural resources through the upgrading of agricultural and forest residues into a product of a higher added value 
  • the design and manufacturing of innovative fibreboards based on the combination of tailored tannin-based adhesives and coconut husk 
  • ​independency of the construction sector from expensive imported building material through the use of locally available resources 
  • availability of affordable, natural-based building materials that benefit the poorer regions where the need for housing can be combined with the exploitation of a large amount of coco husks 
  • the development of new production plants in the contest of social enterprises, which will provide job opportunities and increase incomes along the coconut value chain 

Geographic scope

  • Philippines

Research consortium

Gra​​ntees 

  • Frédéric Pichelin, University of Applied Science - Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering, Bern 
  • Jan Hendrik Grenz, University of Applied Science – School of Agricultural Forest and Food Science, Bern 
  • Milena Properzi, University of Applied Science of Western Switzerland, Haute école de gestion Arc 
  • Justino Arboleda, Bicol University, College of Agriculture and Forestry, Philippines 
  • Victor Asio, Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science, Philippines 
  • Dwight Eusebio, Forest Products Research and Development Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Philippines 

Partnership 

  • Hilti F​oundation, Schaan, Liechtenstein ​

Project information on P3​

  • Link to project on SNSF research database P3

 

 

 

Further information on this content

 Contact

Dr. Frédéric Pichelin Berner Fachhochschule - Architektur, Holz und Bau Solothurnstrasse 102 CH-2500 Biel/Bienne 6 +41 32 344 03 91 frederic.pichelin@bfh.ch

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