BioBuild is the world’s first self-supporting façade panel for building construction made of biocomposite materials. It reduces the embodied energy in façade systems by up to 50 percent compared to conventional construction materials with no increase in cost. Designed by Arup and GXN Innovation, the BioBuild project has been funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme.
The BioBuild project aims to shape a better built environment by developing and using innovative materials based on rapidly renewable natural resources. Biocomposites are composed of natural fibres such as flax, hemp and jute; as well as natural resins made from the byproduct of agricultural processing of corn, sugar cane and other crops. With the appropriate processing, they can be converted into lightweight, durable and high performing products that improve the sustainability of building systems.
Developed primarily for commercial office buildings, the façade panel is 4.0 metres high and 2.3 metres wide and it includes a window. It is composed of two biocomposite outer shells, made of flax fabric and biobased resin, with a central layer of insulation material. The panel is conceived to be delivered on site as a fully prefabricated unit.
A central part for the design has been a life cycle design approach. All parts of the system can be easily detached from each other and either be recycled or reused at the end of the life cycle.