We chat to Tom Robinson, the founder and inventor of Breathaboard, an environmentally friendly alternative to plasterboard, and a finalist in the 2015 Green Alley Awards:
What inspired you to create Breathaboard?
I developed the biocomposite that makes Breathaboard in my MSc thesis in sustainable architecture. I had a building company at the time and was sick and tired of seeing loads of construction waste going to landfill without a care in the world.
When I found out that plasterboard emitted nasty gasses when it goes to landfill – I had to find another solution. I also had seen the recurrent problem of condensation and mould on walls in peoples’ homes. This is an increasing problem, as we increase the airtightness and energy efficiency of homes. A regular family creates 14 litres of moisture a day…and this has to go somewhere.
I wanted to develop a product that created a healthier home, as well as making a material that relieves the pressure on landfill.
What exactly is Breathaboard?
Our award winning, patent pending protected building material: Breathaboard has been recognised by the construction industry as providing a solution to some of the pressing issues surrounding healthy homes and the effects on the people living in them, resource security, and construction waste. We are re-thinking and re-designing the way building materials are made and how they work.
Breathaboard is a bio composite alternative to plasterboard with two major differences. It can be grown and it can be composted!
It is also helps reduce the risk of condensation and mould on walls inside buildings by breathing with the people in the building. This has a huge health benefit by reducing risk of asthma.
This is a totally unique building material in the market and the first product of many that Adaptavate is developing.
How does the product compare to traditional plasterboard in terms of ease of use, longevity and appearance?
Breathaboard is designed to be used in exactly the same way and installed by the same method. We believe this will reduce the barriers to uptake and make it accessible for anyone to use. It will have a plaster finish just like normal plasterboard also. We intend it to look just like plasterboard but we are also developing boards that have a more textured finish as some customers like a more textured finish for sound and aesthetic appeal.
End of life is a big issue for all building products, how does Breathaboard deal with this?
Because Breathaboard is made from a bi-product from agricultural crops, we can grow it. But it also means we can compost the off-cuts and ‘waste’. But it is not waste as it is totally compostable! This totally changes the way that building materials are made and how they are treated at the end of their life. We can take Breathaboard off-cuts and compost them at home – this is a nutrient – not a potent material.
What next for Breathaboard?
We are piloting our manufacturing process at the moment ready to scale up the process. We have been making prototypes up until this point and this has attracted a lot of attention. We now have thousands of m2 of orders and about 20 customers waiting for their first batch of Breathaboard! We are excited to be able to deliver Breathaboard to our pioneer customers next year!
Where can we buy Breathaboard?
Unfortunately you can’t buy it yet, but good things come to those who wait as whey say! We are working hard to get it to our pioneer customers in 2016.
FOR MORE INFORAMTION