Danes make world’s first bio-house from tomato stems and seaweed

What has been described as the world’s first "biological house" has been built in Middelfart, Denmark.

The project was built using raw materials such as seaweed, tomato stems, grass and straw, and used a "closed loop" system (pictured) during construction, meaning that any waste created during building was reused in a different way.

The project uses "biocomposites", two or more natural materials such as cork, corn and soybeans combined to make alternatives to traditional building materials. All materials used during construction were tested, approved and are available commercially.

The building is modular, to allow it to be assembled and reassembled quickly, and to make changing the design easier.

The Danish government worked with 40 partners on the project, including architect Een til Een, sustainable designer GXN and Norwegian wood specialist Kebony.

Kirsten Brosbøl, the Danish environment minister, said: "It sounds like science fiction that you can build a house from things such as tomato stems, straw and seaweed, which is just as durable as normal buildings and at the time has a healthy economy and complies with the rules. 

"I appreciate that way we really get some value from materials that otherwise would end up at an incineration plant."

GXN says the project demonstrates how to "build healthy and eco-friendly houses in the future that are cost competitive".

The Biological House is the first exhibit of Biotope, a unique new exhibition park for sustainable construction and Denmark’s largest permanent construction exhibition.

Images courtesy of Kebony and GXN

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  1. Good start in terms of using ‘waste’ materials but any idea how much energy-use was involved (relative to more ‘standard’ methods) ?

  2. I’d be interested to know how the biocomposites are bonded together ?

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