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AirBricks - Construction materials.

Chopped rubbers and plastics as raw material for bricks and other construction materials

Photo of Cristobal Hildebrandt

Written by

Use the residual rubber or EVA as main ingredient of house bricks or particle board. Chop the waste in tiny (micro) pieces, and with the use of some binder, create construction materials. Basically, the same thing that the wood industry does with melamine boards, but using the plastic waste as a base.

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The chopped waste will be the main component of the particle board or the brick.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Builders, Home Depot type of companies, social house builders. The business model could change dpending of the final properties of the fiberboard like product. For example, if one of the main properties of the board is that is cushioned, one customer segment target could be the doll house industry. If the price is lower than traditional fiberboards, and the insulating properties are good, another target could be social homes, like the ones provided by Techo (www.techo.org) in LATAM.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

Obstacle: finding the correct binder, and having a competitive cost scheme compared to traditional construction materials.

How is your idea innovative?

The waste will be looked in a construction material, so it won't be lurking in the environment for long.

In what city are you located?

Santiago

In what country are you located?

Chile

11 comments

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Photo of Martin Vigo Alfaro
Team

Hello Cristobal. I like your idea and I wanted to tell you that I was thinking something that could add to what you have worked on.

I thought to create plates or boards from the GRIND, that can be used to assemble the interiors of NIKE stores.

These stores would have shelves, tables and benches made of GRIND boards, the recycled material that you mention.

What do you think?

Photo of Cristobal Hildebrandt
Team

Hi Martin Vigo Alfaro 
Yes indeed. Your idea could complement the scope of the general concept. In my general concept, I thought about social houses, in order to achieve a bigger impact, but using the boards and bricks in Nike stores could add a marketing punch, too.

Photo of Martin Vigo Alfaro
Team

That's right. It's an idea that could be use in many ways.

Photo of Donji YD
Team

I like this because it modularizes the material, where as other ideas, you need to design a whole product from scratch in order to make work. I could totally see a branded material like this being sold at home depot.

To add on to this idea, I would love to see this idea include research on government tax breaks you could get for a licensing agreement to let home depot use nike's branding to sell materials, while both companies could get tax breaks if they can offer the price low enough to compete with non-recycled items.

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Cristobal Hildebrandt ,

Great to see you in the Challenge! I'm curious to learn more about next steps, and research that informs the production of your idea? I recommend looking at the Circular Design Guide resources Define Your Challenge (https://www.circulardesignguide.com/post/define-your-challenge) and Circular Brainstorming (https://www.circulardesignguide.com/post/brainstorm-circular-solutions) to get you started!

Excited to learn more.

Photo of Cristobal Hildebrandt
Team

Hi, more than research, I took the idea from entrepreneurs that currently transform waste plastic in usable ways, like www.comberplast.cl or https://bureo.co/ (who uses recycled fishing nets as raw material for skateboards). A next step could be the assimilation of the process of this companies, or explore a JV to develope the technology.

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Cristobal Hildebrandt ,

Can you please provide more context for you concept? Specifically, what are some next steps to bring your idea to market. You can add more detail to you idea by clicking "Edit Contribution" at the top of your Idea.

Photo of Cristobal Hildebrandt
Team

Hi. I added more details. But at the end, it's difficult to estimate the final correct path of this venture.
The first phase would be a mix of technical experimentation with field market research. The first becuase we must understand the process of how to manufacture these products (have some estimates of the costs), and, over all, which properties could provide and advantage over mainstream products (...because you can find a disruptive innovation point moment here). In parallel, we have to make market experiments (using the frame of the experiment board of Javelin, for example), in order to validate the hypothesis of target markets and their inherent business model. Of course, some of the markets to explore would be the ones that uses the competing materials today (furniture, social housing, etc). One point that is paramount to the success of this process is the recolection of the raw material. Since individuals would have to give us the discarded Nike products, they have to receive something in exchange (a discount for new sneakers? point and/or badges of a gamification systems that rewards those who donate?).

These are some of the key aspect at the beginning of the journey of this idea...what wil come next is just sci fi (not predictable)...

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Cristobal Hildebrandt ,

Congratulations on being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Cristobal Hildebrandt
Team

Thank you Lauren Ito