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Eco-Wall Systems: Using Recycled Material in the Design of Commercial Interior Wall Systems for Buildings

EPA Grant Number: SU831822
Title: Eco-Wall Systems: Using Recycled Material in the Design of Commercial Interior Wall Systems for Buildings
Investigators: Johnston, Scott , Almquist, Cathy , Ettouney, Osama , Peterson, Chris , Platt, Glenn , Weigand, John
Current Investigators: Johnston, Scott , Adam, Brian , Almquist, Cathy , Barry, Kevin , Boothe, Patrick , Burke, Marshall , Cahill, Mike , Cerny, Mark , Dubeck, Mike , Dzubiak, Mike , Ettouney, Osama , Frederick, Michael , Gitlin, Marc , Granurn, Natalie , Harold, Ben , Kisha, Shannon , Marko, Andy , Miklos, Adam , Nye, Taryn , Paskvan, Mark , Peterson, Chris , Platt, Glenn , Robinson, Sara , Savin, Audrey , Schinke, Bob , Smith, Dana , Storer, Heather , Veneklase, Charles , Weigand, John
Institution: Miami University - Oxford
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: September 15, 2004 through September 14, 2005
Project Amount: $9,995
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2004)
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemistry , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development

Description:

This proposal describes an interdisciplinary project involving students from several academic departments at Miami University in the design of commercial wall systems to be manufactured from recycled materials. The goal of Phase I of the project is to develop and conduct preliminary manufacturing feasibility and marketing research studies on novel new approaches for incorporating recycled paper products as the principle material ingredient in wall components designed for use in interior partition systems for buildings.

The paper industry in the U.S. produces 80-90 million tons of paper each year with a substantial amount of it being deposited in municipal land fills after a short, useful product life. The paper industry is the third largest user of energy and has historically been one of the largest polluters of rivers and stream. The paper recycling process uses 55% less water and 60-70% less energy than processing virgin pulp. By developing creative new markets for recycled paper, we can have a positive impact on the environment while creating job opportunities in the rapidly growing market for "green" building products.

The project will be a year-long effort, involving students from each of the disciplines whose expertise will ultimately be needed to bring the proposed building system to market. The interdisciplinary design process we are attempting to model has an obvious parallel in the construction industry. Architects, interior designers and engineers all contribute to the design of a building, usually through standard consulting arrangements. In this project, however, we will involve students from each of the participating disciplines at the very beginning of the design - at the conception of the system - and throughout the process. Potentially the greatest impacts of the grant will come from the new educational paradigm being advanced. Students from across campus will be working together in a dynamic team structure that utilizes their unique knowledge without slotting them into pre-conceived roles. Equally important is the fact that they will be charged, not just with solving an assigned problem, but with deciding at the outset what questions to ask.

Supplemental Keywords:

waste reduction, recycling, paper, building materials, construction, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, waste reduction, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, sustainable development, waste minimization, green design, holistic design, ecological design, environmental conscious construction, green building design, alternative building technology, pollution prevention design, eco-wall systems, architecture, environmentally conscious design

Relevant Websites:

Eco-Wall Systems Exit
Project Description

Progress and Final Reports:
Final Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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