Brick that is grown tops Cradle to Cradle Innovation Challenge winners

Brick that is grown tops Cradle to Cradle Innovation Challenge winners

A brick "grown" from bacterial byproducts was the top winner in the 2013 Cradle to Cradle Innovation Challenge.

The four winners represent the goal to have design building products that have the potential to revolutionize the affordable housing industry, redefine product beauty, and embrace the highest standards of environmental and human safety.

In response to the growing demand for more healthy, affordable, building products, The Institute in partnership with Make It Right inaugurated the Product Innovation Challenge in November 2012. Manufacturers were asked to create a building product that is safe, healthy, affordable, effective, and designed to be returned safely to nature or industry after use. Winners met the basic criteria of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard, optimizing for material health, material reutilization, renewable energy & carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

“Our biggest hurdle was picking only four winners - we had a number of great products for the affordable housing market,” said Institute President Bridgett Luther. “All of these winning products are good for the bottom line and the planet.”

See all the Cradle to Cradle finalists.

The Challenge winners will be sharing a cash prize of $250,000 and they are:

1st place: bioMASON presents a brick that is “grown” instead of fired. A bacterial byproduct cements sand particles together to form a durable matrix. Because high heat is not required, these bricks have a much lower embodied energy and emissions profile while still having the positive environmental attributes of conventional bricks.

2nd place: Ecovative Mushroom Insulation, is made from agricultural wastes bound together with a fungal material which is naturally fire-resistant and does not require added, toxic flame retardants or blowing agents that contribute to climate change. Additionally, the insulation is compostable and can return to nature after use.

3rd place tie: ECOR® is a sustainable alternative to wood, composites, aluminum and plastic. ECOR® advanced environmental composites present an expanded family of innovative natural building materials that are strong, lightweight, flexible, and environmentally friendly.

ROMA Domus Mineral Paints are derived from natural materials, washable, free of toxic chemicals, free of asthmagens, hypoallergenic, prohibit bacteria that form mold, and absorb CO2.

"Make It Right is always looking for innovative products that can help us increase the sustainability and affordability of our homes," said Tom Darden, Make It Right's executive director. "We're excited that the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation prize winners are creating products that address some of today's most important challenges facing designers and builders." 

Through the Challenge, building product manufacturers are showing what’s next for the affordable housing market, where they have the opportunity to provide solutions to human and environmental health around the world.

Read more about building green.

Topics: Building Green, Sustainable Products, Trends / Statistics

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