Researchers at the University of Beira Interior (UBI) in Covilhã are developing a modular system for landscaped surfaces in buildings, based on recycled and natural materials, told one of the project’s managers João Castro Gomes.
“It is a system for making garden surfaces in buildings using natural materials such as cork agglomerates. This is a system that has advantages over other systems that already exist, because it offers greater thermal resistance than easy to maintain, can be easily dismantled and replaced and has native vegetation, “he said.
With the name ‘Geogreen +’, this project is being developed by a team consisting of João Castro Gomes, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture at UBI, by Maria Manso, a recent doctorate in Architecture, and by students from Management courses and Marketing, who are helping to develop the business component.
Among the advantages of the system are those related to environmental issues since this solution uses natural materials and have a “very low carbon footprint”.
“We are talking about black agglomerated cork, which is a material produced in Portugal. Moreover, at the base of the system, we have a mortar obtained with 100 per cent of waste,” added the professor of this institution of higher education, based in Covilhã, in the district of Castelo Branco.
According to João Castro Gomes, the option for this environmentally friendly mortar avoids the use of typical cement, the manufacture of which produces many CO2 emissions.
Thanks to the action of plants, this solution also contributes to the capture of carbon dioxide and consequently will help to reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
After having conducted a series of laboratory tests and having created a prototype, the project authors intend to move forward with the certification phase of the product.
In order to do this, they must establish partnerships that allow the necessary tests to be carried out to prove the results obtained in the laboratory, such as, that the material has mechanical resistance, which works as a good thermal insulation, which also contributes to the sound insulation and that has durability, among others.
Also during the spring, a prototype of ‘Geogreen +’ will be installed in one of the exterior walls of the Municipal Archive of Covilhã, an operation that will be carried out with the support of the municipality and the company Águas da Covilhã (AdC).