Innovation That Matters

| Photo source System 3E

A construction system made of volcanic glass 

Springwise ChangeNOW

The building bricks are naturally insulating and produced via a low-carbon manufacturing process

Spotted: In 2022, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) introduced the EU Policy Roadmap for climate-neutral buildings and construction by 2050. The recommendations set out targets in four areas and include a focus on circularity of building materials and whole life cycle assessments of every structure. Increased resource efficiency and minimum energy performance standards will be foundational to the achievement of those goals. 

As architects and builders seek out new materials that meet the increased sustainability requirements of both consumers and regulators, innovators take inspiration from the natural world. Polish company System 3E’s proprietary blend of materials includes expanded perlite, a naturally occurring volcanic glass that is highly insulating. Technically manufactured to resemble Lego bricks, the building blocks fit together so tightly that no mortar or insulation is needed. 

Video source System 3E

The 3E of the company’s name stands for ecological, economical, and energy-saving, and the building blocks are four times as strong as concrete. In tests, the blocks withstood extreme levels of wind and rain. The highly insulating material keeps heat in and liquids out, reducing the risk of interior mould and damp. The bricks work with all other traditional construction materials and shapes and are fully recyclable.  

The stacking method of building cuts construction time significantly, down from approximately 24 months for a traditionally built home or building to only three to six months for a perlite-based 3E structure. On the inside of a building, the blocks act like a regular wall, supporting interior systems such as heating, electrical, and power, and providing space for wall hangings and other decorations.  

Construction is so complex and diverse that Springwise is spotting a huge variety of innovations improving many different aspects of the industry, from a long-lasting insulation made from recycled cardboard to homes made from rice harvest waste.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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