RUBACON was set up as a unit of Arcilla Research to create entire systems of affordable housing and infrastructure for countries where the need is urgent but the budget is limited. Using our family of ceramic materials, all made without firing, we are developing a total approach to produce affordable and lasting housing for people all over the world. As the name indicates, we are strongly committed to resource utilization, but with a difference; we endeavor to utilize, wherever possible, secondary resources. RUBACON’s policy is to use technology to help countries with a poor supply of accessible raw materials and energy to produce their own housing without being forced to import or go without.
Arcilla materials are neither cements nor ceramics yet offer many of the advantages of both. The chemical inertness, strength,
Arcilla materials are neither cements nor ceramics yet offer many of the advantages of both. The chemical inertness, strength, thermal stability, hardness and aesthetic properties of fired ceramics can be obtained. At the same time, curing at ambient temperature, or slightly higher, saves a great deal of energy compared to conventional ceramic production. A further advantage is the ease with which the materials can be shaped either as large flat sheets, hollow beams, contoured shapes, expanded foam structures or fiber-reinforced composites.
Their higher strength compared to cement means that thinner, lighter panels or entire ‘CERASHELL’ structures can be produced. A study at Delft University of Technology, completed in 1988, demonstrated the credibility of this approach. The project, financed by the Dutch Ministry of Housing, made use of secondary resource materials from some 6 countries on 3 continents to produce the test specimens.
RUBACON RENEW is a body of technology aimed at achieving maximum utilisation of agricultural by-products, grasses and plants. A ‘waste’ or secondary resource is converted into a binder and – as a bonus – energy and natural fertiliser are produced.
Four building systems have been conceived:
- RUBACON A B C – Advanced Building Components: a total system of modular building as simple to put together as A B C .
- RUBACON AIRFORMED CERASHELL CONSTRUCTION:the combination of materials and pneumatic technologies for a breakthrough in construction costs, efficiency, strength and design flexibility.
- RUBACON ADOBE SYSTEMS: for upgrading and new construction of buildings and roads of earth and loam.
- A lightweight system of instant shelter – From Shelter to House to Home – for the homeless everywhere is currently being designed by the recently-formed RUBACON ‘Cadre’.
In many countries, the lack of a reliable infrastructure, deteriorating sewage systems or other vital services, creates a severe handicap to economic progress. RUBACON is striving to enter these important fields of construction and provide reliable, affordable technology
TECHNOLOGY FOR UTILIZATION OF RENEWABLE RESOURCES
At the heart of the RUBACON program is a body of technology aimed at achieving maximum utilisation of agricultural by-products, grasses and plants. The technology would use renewable resources as mineral binder component, fibre, organic additive, wood alternative, soil food and energy source. Implementation would mean creation of a range of new, cost-effective building and construction materials, in tune with the needs of people and the environment. Arcilla has chosen to call its technology – ‘RENEW’.
Bonding of renewable resources such as wood chips, sawdust, bark, chopped straw, thatch grass, bagasse and other cellulosic materials presents special problems: water absorption and resistance to heat. Arcilla Research created the RENEW binder to cope specifically with these problems – a new generation of particle boards is the outcome. The family of materials includes: high density panel and curvilinear shell, lightweight cellular insulation and fiber-reinforced versions. In combination with the mineral binder as coating and adhesive, the possibilities of ecology and people-friendly materials for building and construction are now within reach. Saving in energy and costs, compared to cement and synthetic resins, the RENEW materials family is also technically advanced.