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Rice Straw Panels to Replace Bricks, Concrete Hollow Blocks

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Michael Fleming with his wife, Myrna (Photo: Oliver Oliveros)

By Trisha Mendoza

Manila, Philippines–At the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council’s (HUDCC) recent housing fair at SM Megamall, ABT Insulpanel Limited showcased samples of Compressed Agricultural Fiber (CAF) panels made from wheat and rice straw.

At first glance, you wouldn’t believe those low-cost alternative building materials were more durable than solid hardwood.  The people behind the technology even claimed that their fiber panels could even replace bricks and concrete hollow blocks.

Michael Fleming, ABT Insulpanel’s country manager, said, “CAF panels, in addition to being totally green, are resistant to fire, high winds, and pests such as termites.”

He added, “This new panel technology replaces bricks and concrete hollow blocks.” A typical CAF panel’s cross-section dimensions are 2.25 inches thick (5.72 cm) and four feet wide (121.9 cm), which can be cut into customized lengths with uniform density and cross-sectional shape.

CAF panels, manufactured by ABT Insulpanel, use ecological technology that can generate a cash crop for farmers; they are assembled in housing kits that are rapidly deployable. Their largest target markets: lower middle-income housing developments, schools, and medical clinics.

“Our intention is to manufacture the panel boards here in the Philippines so that we can generate jobs and create extra income for the Filipino farmers,” Mr. Fleming said.

ABT Insulpanel is actively pursuing markets where there is an intersection of a large housing deficit, a government that aims to meet the deficit, and a large-scale agricultural production of either rice or wheat.  The company also has been in touched with the National Housing Authority (NHA) with regard to supporting rehabilitation projects in areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

For more information, visit ABTInsulpanel.com.

rice wheat fiber panels


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