Houston based C-Crete Technologies will design, develop and fabricate carbon-based building materials, and use them to create a prototype building for which it has been awarded $1.55 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. The ultimate goal is to create eco-friendly, modular structures that can be manufactured economically.
C-Crete team will convert carbon ore to eco-friendly construction products with the goal of creating modular buildings that can be manufactured economically. “The advantage of using carbon ore as a building material is that it is naturally occurring and widely available, and thus doesn’t require high amounts of energy to manufacture,” says Dr. Rouzbeh Shahsavari, founder and president of C- Crete Technologies, a company specializing in advanced materials for the building and energy industries.
The prototype building will be the size of an actual room. Its component materials will be at least 70 per cent carbon by weight. C-Crete’s research and development will include the production and testing of a sufficient number of carbon-ore materials to ensure that the materials used in the prototype are suitable for real-world construction purposes and meet all applicable building codes, such as those for fire, strength, and other material properties.
Once the basic building shell has been constructed — walls, roof and a partial foundation — C-Crete will test the assembled materials under stress conditions to demonstrate viability, and show that the new carbon-based materials can be fastened, bonded or otherwise integrated with traditional building materials.
Further advantages of the new materials, according to Dr. Shahsavari, will include flexural strength, thermal stability, and the ability to withstand water damage and other natural means of degradation. They can be graphitic or non-graphitic, and used to make roofing tiles, bricks, beams, columns, wraps and veneers, for example.