As part of RemovAl, work is scheduled to erect a house that will be made entirely out of materials from bauxite residue. The demo house of 25 m2 will be builtin the housing settlement next to the AoG alumina plant, in the ‘Aspra Spitia’ area of Greece, which means ‘white houses’ in Greek. “So we might end-up building a house with green materials made from red mud in the Casablanca of Greece (laughs)“, says Professor Pontikes, our partner in KU Luven. He continues: “The final building elements will actually have a wide range of colours. The materials we develop are black because the iron oxide that provides the red colour in bauxite residue turns black due to the processes involved. But other materials, developed by partners participating in this project, might be more red or grey. We definetely look forward to it.”
KU Luven wants to take this even further; they have also designed interlocking building blocks that fit into each other: “We’re striving for a house that can be dismantled, deconstructed, instead of demolished. That’s why we don’t use cement mortar, and we use building elements that you can take apart and reuse. A bit like Lego but smarter (laughs).”
Read more about KU Luven’s research for bauxite residue here.