Students at the School of Engineering, RMIT University recently published a study experimenting with a new form of waste management and recycling. As they note in their research, cigarette butts are the most commonly discarded single waste item in the world, with an estimated 5.7 trillion having been consumed around the globe in 2016. However, the materials in cigarette butts—particularly their cellulose acetate filters—can be extremely harmful to the environment due to poor biodegradability. The RMIT study builds on a previous research study by Mohajerani et. al (2016) that experimented with adding discarded cigarette butts to clay bricks for architectural use. In their research, the RMIT students found that such a measure would reduce the energy consumption of the brick production process and lower the thermal conductivity of the bricks, but that other issues including bacterial contamination would have to be addressed prior to successful implementation. Below, we explore this research in more detail, investigating its relevance to the architecture industry and imagining possible futures of application.
Environmental: The Latest Architecture and News
The mineral material of fiber cement combined with a sanded surface gives Vintago a natural authentic, lively and unique look.
With rising sea levels and incessant consumption of plastic, the state of the earth's oceans is rapidly deteriorating. Instead of discarding or burning this plastic, architects Erik Goksøyr and Emily-Claire Goksøyr questioned whether any architectural potential exists in this neglected material. By conducting an extensive material study, the duo designed three prototypes to postulate this theory.
Though starting out as a humble thesis, this project is being actualized under the organization, Out of Ocean. From the shores of the Koster Islands in Sweden, plastic samples were collected and studied for their various material performance in areas such as color, texture, light, and translucency.
Could you ever imagine working in a small city? A new massive office building by Morphogenesis is being built to accommodate over 45,000 people for the Surat Diamond Bourse office in Surat, Gujarat, India. At 6.5 million square feet, and housing over 4,000 offices, it will be the second largest office building in the world, placing only behind the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Although its physical footprint may be large, the office building was designed in a manner to minimize its ecological footprint. Passive design strategies such as day-lit workspaces, natural ventilation, and indoor/outdoor spaces not only make the Surat Diamond office an efficient climate-responsive design, but also a key player for achieving aesthetic and comfortable working spaces.