Rice husk attracts attention in architecture

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In France, architect Philippe Madec expects biobased materials like rice husk to change architecture and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. Rice husk peaked his interest after construction companies in Camargue, France began using local rice farming waste as insulation. 

“Full of opaline silica, rice husk indeed has the advantage of offering a good humidity and fire resistance, as well as it is rot-resistant and repels parasites,” he tells Living It by Euronews. 

“Once it’s cleaned up, it becomes a high-quality insulating material, allowing houses to keep a homogeneous temperature in both summer and winter, with an energy consumption close to zero. All this while giving a welcome additional source of income for rice farmers.” 

In the Philippines, rice husk is to build low-cost houses with structural longevity, thanks to its pest-resistance. An Italian group even built a €900 (US$1010), 3D-printed house there, using rice husk as well as earth, rice straw and lime, he adds. 

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