Gauteng Business News

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CONSTRUCTION: PSPC to Use to Be D EPS for Low Cost Housing Building


Recent Gauteng Business News

Two of South AfricaÂ’s most pressing needs, namely the need for sustainable, low cost housing and the need to divert recycled materials away from the countryÂ’s landfill sites which are rapidly approaching their fill capacity, have found an unlikely common solution in recycled expanded polystyrene (EPS).

Until recently, the Polystyrene Packaging Council (PSPC) has been struggling to develop markets for recycled, post-consumer polystyrene. “One of the biggest headaches we faced when talking companies involved in recycled material and converters, was the need to wash and dry the contaminated polystyrene – typically used in the manufacture of take-away hamburger clamshells or disposable coffee cups or food trays”, explains PSPC Director Adri Spangenberg.

Unique Recycled Polystyrene Construction Project

“However, the high cost of electricity and water in our country did not make it a viable financial option for smaller recycling plants to invest in infrastructure that would mechanize this entire process, resulting in much of the recycled polystyrene either being sent to landfills or exported to countries such as China and India to be recycled.

Thanks to research, design and development that has been done by Tower Technologies at the CSIR, first series or demonstration homes have already been built and undergone extensive testing, yielding positive results all around. The size of the standard two bedroom house being built is 26 m2 and weighs 1.6 tons. It contains 5 % recycled EPS regrind (which equates to 75 kgs), which is thoroughly mixed with concrete to form walls that are almost indestructible.

“As a result of the breakthrough technology and applications developed by Tower Technologies, we will be in a position to harness the fantastic insulation properties and other characteristics that make polystyrene unique low cost housing construction projects. Thanks to the fact that there is a readily available stream of recycled EPS in our country, we are able to provide more than enough material for the pilot phase of this initiative which will see low cost homes being built many around the country.

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