Mirvac apartment made from waste & recycled materials
Mirvac has revealed an industry-first apartment, made using waste materials, that has the potential to revolutionise home construction and at the same time transform household waste into a valuable resource.
At the unveiling of the revolutionary Pavilions apartment at Sydney Olympic Park, attended by NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean, industry leaders had a glimpse into the future – flooring, wall tiles, kitchen and lighting features, and furniture and artworks, made from waste glass and textiles.
The “green ceramics”, used for the first time as a construction material, are the result of a collaboration that began in 2019 between Mirvac and the UNSW Centre of Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) led by global pioneer in waste technology, Professor Veena Sahajwalla.
Mirvac CEO & Managing Director, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, told the gathering of property, construction, design and sustainability leaders that it was time for the industry to find a more sustainable way to build.
“Every year, an estimated 11 billion tonnes of waste are sent to landfill globally. 92 billion tonnes of materials are extracted, with buildings responsible for around 50 per cent of global materials used,” said Ms Lloyd Hurwitz.
“In Australia, the building industry is responsible for around 60 per cent of the waste we generate. At Pavilions, we have been able to demonstrate a better way to build, using reformed waste, which not only helps our industry but provides a valuable second life for the mountains of glass and clothing, much of which would otherwise find its way to landfill.
“The ‘take make waste’ approach is no longer acceptable, and we are working hard to find a better, more sustainable way to provide Australians with homes and office buildings that are kinder to the planet.
“Our collaboration with Professor Sahajwalla’s team at the SMaRT Centre, makes a valuable contribution to our Planet Positive strategy to send zero waste to landfill by 2030.
“Just as important, we are demonstrating to the broader industry that there are viable commercial and sustainable alternatives that can lead to a more sustainable future, where we consider the whole life cycle of the resources and materials we use in housing and construction.”
The next stage in the SMaRT Centre collaboration is to investigate opportunities to establish a MICROfactorieTM to enable local sourcing and manufacture of waste into green ceramics.
The SMaRT Centre is also assisting Mirvac on its other development sites in Sydney, identifying materials that can be diverted to recycling or reforming before demolition works begin.
A series of public and industry events and tours will be held in the Pavilions apartment over coming months to build industry awareness of MICROfactorieTM technology and draw attention to the need to reduce waste in construction.