RMIT engineers use recycled glass to make fire-resistant building cladding

Karen Pham

Karen Pham


A team at Melbourne’s RMIT University has collaborated with tech company Livefield to create fire-safe building cladding made from recycled glass – which helps reduce the amount of glass ending up in landfills.

The cladding includes 83 per cent of reusable glass, low amounts of plastic binders and fire-retardant additives.

Professor Dilan Robert, the lead researcher, says the composite cladding is fire-safe, cheaper, meets structural requirements and is environmentally sustainable.

“By using high amounts of recycled glass in building claddings, while ensuring they meet fire safety and other standards, we are helping to find a solution to the very real waste challenge.”

Annually, millions of tonnes of glass are thrown into landfill. Therefore, the research team and engineers are looking for ways to repurpose glass and reduce waste.

The recycled glass building cladding technology is currently in a trial stage as they work towards scaling up manufacturing capability.

Last year, Viable Earth wrote about London architecture firm, Bureau de Change, has developed a range of patterned tiles using Thames Glass, a bio-glass made from invasive mussel shells.

Glass is already a sustainable material since it can be recycled indefinitely. Thames Glass, however, uses zero-kilometre waste materials such as Quagga mussel shells. In the UK, this invasive species often blocks channels so they need to be removed and end up piled up in landfills.

“Thames Glass has the potential to become a sustainable cladding material in the future,” Mavropoulos told Dezeen.

“Glass as a material is already sustainable, as it is infinitely recyclable,” he said. “Thames Glass offers an even more sustainable alternative because it uses local waste materials.”

Karen Pham

Karen Pham

Karen Pham is a marketing and branding enthusiast with a major in legal English. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, she is a contributor to Viable.Earth.


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