Potential partner

August 14, 2023

Global Laboratory and Research Corporation

Contact: Ashleigh Uiska | ashleigh@globallab.ca Preferred language of communication: English

Biogenic blocks, like straw bale, have been used in high performance settings to replace much of the timber, insulation, and membranes common in modern construction. Blocks made from materials available in Canada’s North could replicate similar performance characteristics of straw bale construction, providing an accessible and affordable housing material that is locally sourced. Research of materials available in Subarctic and Boreal regions (grasses/sedges/gymnosperms) apt to a baling process led the team to bale forestry residues made from spruce/pine/fir (SPF). After a period of seasoning for 12 months, preliminary testing demonstrated potential in achieving the performance characteristics if greater compaction was achieved. Further research is required into: behaviour and materiality of SPF; proof of concept by further testing, and design modifications/improvements for the machinery towards full automation. Design standards and best practices would be developed to inform the blocks best-use, and embed Indigenous knowledge in response to materiality, culture, and climate, would be disseminated through appropriate knowledge transfer methods to owners, designers, builders, and other housing providers. The team hopes to highlight the convergence building science with indigenous knowledge and promote local material use. Key Words: materiality, embodied carbon, biogenic, affordable, indigenous-knowledge. 

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