Controlled Environment Agriculture to Renovation

Bio-base Materials from Element to Global Scale

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In the global shift towards decarbonization of the built environment, the nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB) goals in the Directive 2010/31/EU had been set as an achievable goal for the EU. By requiring all future constructions to utilize the integration of energy efficient services into the building as well as emphasize the reduction of embodied energy in building materials, the nZEB goals for existing buildings has continued to be a challenge. Within the Netherlands, large estates of post-war housing require the renovation for improved energy efficiency to meet the thermal performance set by the directive, however the low renovation rate of buildings has limited progress thus stunting the major shift towards a more sustainable existing built environment.
In the completed renovation projects, petroleum based materials have been utilized in most cases for insulation and particleboards. This raises the question of if the shift towards a more sustainable built environment that meets nZEB goals should still be utilizing materials that no longer meet the rationality of sustainable practices.
Through the use of Bio-base Materials, renovations have the potential of not only decarbonize aspects of the entire renovation project but also shift towards following a circular economy design approach. By replacing the traditional construction materials, bio-base materials have the possibility of large scale integration in the built environment through a modular panel renovation approach. Specifically focused on agricultural bio-base materials, allow for the possibility of acknowledging the four steps of circular design, origin, composition, assembly, and future. Within the framework of the circular design approach, it was acknowledged that the origin of agriculture bio-base materials have limitations of scalability as well as have the potential of damaging the local ecosystem and land use designations through the increased pressure for cultivation of bio-base materials from agricultural waste flows.
Although bio-base materials are inherently more sustainability sourced than traditional materials, by designing a controlled environment agriculture process for bio-base materials has been a radical and novel idea within the research for the guaranteed harvesting of bio-base material as well as integrated Water Energy Food Nexus concepts. By reducing water consumption of the bio-base materials in a Controlled Environment, as well as the by-product of grains, and increased efficiency, the application of the circular renovation design of the renovation elements acknowledges major parts of the WEF Nexus on a local and regional scale.
A Controlled Environment growing bio-base materials for renovation application is designed for the future resilience of the agriculture bio-base material industry as well as enables positive impact on a local social scale and suggests that the shift towards decarbonized built environment and material elements must require a considerable and radical shift in order to meet the sustainable future goals of 2050.