Fully Recyclable Floor Slabs Made by Robots
Construction accounts for 50% of resource consumption and 37% of CO2 emissions globally. Floor slabs make up 65% of the constructive mass of a building and 85% of the market is covered by reinforced concrete. Cement and steel are the top two CO2 emitting materials and not truly circular, using sand which is quickly becoming a scarce resource. More sustainable timber alternatives are still too expensive and perform poorly with regards to fire-/ sound protection and thermal storage capacity, with the latter leading to higher energy costs.
Rematter’s floor slab system uses widely available, locally sourced, low carbon materials – earth and timber – that are 100% recyclable. The slabs are constructed from a frame of solid timber beams with rammed earth infills. All connections are dry joined or screwed, which allows for an easy disassembly and re-use of all components. In comparison to reinforced concrete, Rematter slabs contain 80% less embodied carbon.
The affordability is a consequence of maximizing the use of affordable earth and reducing the most expensive material, wood, to an absolute minimum. In addition, Rematter uses the power of robotics to scale and automate the currently very labor-intensive processing of the earth. This allows builders to minimize the environmental impact of their buildings, while maximizing performance and room climate quality.
The earth-timber floor slabs have been developed in a joint collaboration with Senn, Herzog & de Meuron and ZPF Ingenieure for the House of Research, Technology, Utopia and Sustainability (HORTUS).
CEO Götz Hilber is a trained carpenter and has worked in the sustainable finance sector. His co-founder, Dr. Tobias Bonwetsch, holds a PhD from ETH Zurich and has been leading the development for robotic automation in architecture for the past 15+ years.