Organic waste turned into building products

A UK-based company has developed a product called Orb (organic refuse bio-compound), which is designed to be used as a building material. The company convert one of the world’s fastest growing waste streams – food waste – into functional materials that are formed into sheets or moulded to create intricate three dimensional products.

Orb is 100 per cent biodegradable, vegan, sustainable and renewable. The company sources waste by-products from the food production or agricultural sectors and process it into a homogenous filler, which is bound together with an organic binder to form a replacement for wood-based sheet materials.

Orb is manufactured from waste and by-products from the agri- food industry as well as the food preparation sector, utilising resources that would otherwise go to landfill.

Orb is a natural material and can be regarded much in the same way as wood or other natural materials. As the company develops the product it aims to undertake accelerated durability tests in order to further understand the material’s durability. It is currently moisture-resistant maintaining form, performance and breathability when exposed to moisture within the built environment.

Orb can be formed into standard sheets for the construction sector that can be worked in the same way as more common composite boards such as MDF, OSB etc. for dry lining, wainscoting or for interior structures, without the need for additional training or safety equipment.

For interior design applications Orb can be moulded or compressed into a diverse range of forms and is workable with laser cutters, CNCs, automated saws and various forms of tooling.

Orb is 100 per cent natural and does not emit VOCs – such as formaldehyde. As an air permeable material, Orb allows the passage of gasses throughout a building, preventing the build-up of moisture within walls that cause the damp conditions associated with respiratory irritation and illnesses, often referred to as ‘sick building syndrome’.