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Team Envisions Roofing Made of Coconut

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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The quest to find sustainable roofing materials has led a team of researchers in Mexico to the coconut.

Professors and students from the Institute of Technology of Colima say they have developed an alternative roofing product made from coir, the fiber in the coconut’s outer husks, according a press release. Those parts of the coconut are currently thrown out or burned as fuel.

Project Prototype

Early testing found that roofing sheets made with the coir and polyester resin are uniquely shaped and strong. The team reports it is currently testing the material’s structural tolerance and making improvements.

Peter Davis / AusAID / CC By 2.0 via Wikipedia

The researchers are looking to create a roofing product based on coconut husks that would be easy to install.

The team is aiming to produce a product that is easy for building owners to assemble themselves.

“Our purpose is to offer safe self-assembly alternatives for people who with their own work will be able to produce this sheet roofing,” architecture and environment professor José Ricardo Moreno Peña said in a statement.

“Our product will provide a shelter from the elements from the get-go, but we plan in future design stages to add a thermal resistance element.”

Coconut Facades

The team is not alone in recognizing the potential of the coconut.

Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology (CASE) in New York are working to create non-toxic coconut-husk building panels. They presented their panels at a summer festival in Ghana—a country where construction is booming and building materials are largely imported, according to a report in Facility Executive.

The coconut panel system reportedly aids in moisture control and thermal transfer in buildings.


Tagged categories: Bio-based materials; Building Envelope; Paneling; Research; Roofing contractors; Roofing materials; Substrates

Comment from Mark Lewis, (12/7/2016, 10:43 AM)

Coir is also used to fortify artificial soccer fields.

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