Ferrock™, a Sustainable Collaboration for the Future?

Blog By Dermot Moore

Hempcrete has gained immense traction as an alternative to concrete in recent years. Its ability to sequester carbon, improve home air quality and safety levels on construction sites are to name just a few benefits this material has to offer.

However, hempcrete is not load-bearing and here lies a key to it not being widely embraced. The use of hempcrete requires compensation from other materials, such as steel or wooden beams, whereas concrete is more readily accessible and used as a load-bearing feature. Yet the many environmental and health risks posed by traditional methods of creating concrete make it imperative to transition to sustainable materials.

We have taken a look at Ferrock™, a sustainable load-bearing material that could be paired with hempcrete and further reduce a building’s carbon footprint while improving structural integrity.

 

Scrap steel

What is Ferrock™?

  • A waste product consisting of steel dust and silica particles from glass forming an iron compound when exposed to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • An excellent load bearing substitute – five times stronger than regular concrete.
  • A product that cures at a much faster rate than concrete.

 

When is Ferrock™ suitable?

  • Ferrock™ is better suited to areas where there is tectonic action.
  • Ferrock™ is reinforced upon exposure to saltwater, making it ideal for coastal development.
  • Currently more suited to smaller sustainable projects such as housing rather than large-scale construction like bridges, roads, sewers, railways, etc.

 

Is there a negative?

As Ferrock™ is a byproduct of steel and silica waste, the prices could soar if it became a primary construction material.

Silica

Our Conclusion

Sustainable house design could offer a more cost-effective application for ferrock, particularly those using hempcrete in their design, as the combination of hemp, lime and Ferrock™ would increase the sequestration capabilities of a property. Moreover, it is easier to avoid disruption to major urban infrastructures through housing developments, which can be less intrusive than other sustainable urban developments. Finally, experimenting with combinations, such as hempcrete and Ferrock™, provides insight on how best to approach the development of entirely sustainable building practices, thus serving as a starting point for more effective technologies.

 

The future looks bright for sustainable collaborations.

This article was researched and written by Dermot Moore, Hemspan® Analyst.

 

Credit for the main picture:

Robert Matthews – Just Wood Furniture – What is Ferrock?

 

Sources:

Are Hemp Blocks Load Bearing?

The Uptide – Ferrock Building Material

Way of Leaf – Disadvantages of Hempcrete as a Building Material

M Perry Associates – Ferrock for Building

Certified Energy – Emerging Materials – Ferrock

Rethinking The Future – Green Substitutes for Concrete

Build Abroad – Ferrock