China : Plasterboard to become future green building material

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Beijing New Building Materials Public Co Ltd (BNBM), the country’s biggest plasterboard maker of manufactured waste material, is promoting the use of green building products aiming to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.

According to Guan Li, assistant general manager of BNBM, materials in existing buildings do not break down easily for refurbishment. Green buildings made using modern materials such as plasterboard can be an ideal substitute to replace clay bricks. Of course, a product will still need to meet strict environmental criteria throughout its entire life-cycle and its use in construction.

Plasterboards have multi-layered wall structures which can be broken down easily. BNBM’s plasterboards in particular are produced using recycled waste materials from high-polluting industries, including industrial by-product gypsum and coal ash from power plants, and cinder from furnace shafts of steel smelters.

For many years, the conventional clay bricks have been widely used across China, especially in villages, causing serious environmental pollution such as smog.  The more multi-layered wall structures in BNBM’s plasterboards are able to replace these older clay bricks.

According to a report from the China Association of Circular Economy, more than 600 cities in China have completely banned solid bricks in the urban areas by the end of 2010 while 55 percent of recycled material have seen an increase from 28 percent in 2000.

Guan stated that there’s an increasing demand from the consumers for their living environment since the industry is now becoming more accepting of green materials. The government and real estate developers are also becoming more aware of higher quality material as well as to conserve the environment.

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