Putting waste to work

In this news feature story, published by Sanctuary Magazine for its House Sustainability Issue 56, journalist Jodie Lea Martire writes that UNSW SMaRT Centre's Green Ceramics technology and industry collaborations shine a light on the possibilities of sustainability for the built environment.

Click the PDF link below for the full story which largely showcases https://www.smart.unsw.edu.au/news-events/news/industry-first-apartment-made-waste-glass-and-textileshttps://www.smart.unsw.edu.au/news-events/news/industry-first-apartment-made-waste-glass-and-textiles.

Here is an excerpt:

It’s a rarity in the construction industry to find recycled glass throughout the kitchen, repurposed fabric scraps in the floor, and wall art made from a slick combination of the two.

But that’s exactly what you’ll find in this display apartment by a major developer – and it’s just what makes it a worthy winner of the Architecture and Construction category of the Circle Awards, which recognise advances towards a circular economy.

The two-bedroom Pavilions apartment at Sydney Olympic Park is the result of a multi-year collaboration between urban property group Mirvac and the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (or SMaRT Centre) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

Unveiled in March this year, the apartment showcases an industry-first use of waste glass and textiles, converted by the SMaRT Centre into a material called ‘green ceramics’ and featured in a variety of applications. The floor tiles come from cullet (ground-up glass waste) combined with scraps from old beanies, which give them black speckles.

Other tiles with different glass/ textile blends have been used in the kitchen splashback and island bench front, while the range of moulded products include the dining table, pendant lights and the sculptural piece on the wall. Variations of the green ceramic appear in unobtrusive items like the couch’s feet and a lampstand, and in dramatic contributions like the illuminated feature wall made from glass plus jute fibre from recycled coffee sacks.

Together, these elements enhance the apartment’s clean-cut, industrial vibe...