OBI Kickstarter Product Narrative

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Materials and Machines

Materials and Machines

In order to make construction possible with local materials, we are pushing the limits of open source housing towards common materials that are available in abundance around the world. We believe that we can take leadership in developing eco-industry in construction materials - thus addressing the construction sector as the number one cause of greenhouse emissions.

To this end, we will be producing these materials for use in construction:

  • Stabilized Compressed Earth Blocks (CEBs) - these are blocks made of compressed earth that is stabilized with lime, and have an 8x lower embodied energy than fired brick. They are a durable building material, and most houses on earth are made of earth. Good thermal mass properties make CEB homes cool in the summer.
  • Lumber - by enabling small scale lumber production with an open source swing-blade lumber mill - we intend to make local lumber much more widely available.
  • Bio-fiber Insulation - we will develop a machine for producing cellulose insulation from waste paper, cardboard, hay, straw, and other cellulosic materials. We will experiment with using lime as the stabilizer for Insect and fire proofing. Cellulose use is on the rise because of increased interest in greenT building. Cellulose has the highest recycled content of any insulation material and also has less embodied energy than fiberglass and other furnace produced mineral insulations. Further, converting recycled cellulose fibers into premium building insulation is superior to fiberglass and mineral wool insulation in both thermal and acoustical performance. Cellulose insulation is often made by hammer milling waste newspaper. The newspaper is treated with chemicals, such as boric acid, to retard the spread of fire.
  • Lime - Lime can be burned from limestone to make a carbon-neutral building material when using biofuels. This can be used to make bio-concrete, to stabilize cellulose insulation, and to make silicate mineral paint
  • Charcoal - for use in biofilters, water heating, fuel for gas cookstoves, gasifier backup generator, and soil amendments. Pellets can be used for heating, and using a charcoal-making stove, charcoal can be produced as a byproduct.
  • Paint - petroleum-based exterior paints are expensive, costing $100 for 5 gallons. Lime can be mixed with sodium silicate to make a durable exterior paint.
  • Polycarbonate Greenhouse Glazing - using large format printers and printing filament made from recycled CDs, we can print greenhouse glazing panels.
  • Plumbing pipe, plastic lumber, rubber seals, and fittings - all products of our large format 3D printer.