Sabic Prominent in Davos with ICEhouse
Sabic's composite materials are taking center stage at the World Economic Forum as part of an innovative structure, combining advanced technologies and design, known as the ICEhouse. The iconic structure - constructed in Davos, Switzerland, for the second year - embodies the vast new array of possibilities for designers in diverse industries and promotes the architect William McDonough’s concept of the importance of closed-loop, durable carbon systems.
“Through this innovative building, which combines art and engineering, we are exhibiting materials that utilize carbon in a positive way,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, Sabic Vice-Chairman and CEO. “The impact of these new materials will be felt far beyond the world of architecture, bringing benefits to designers in industries as diverse as electronics, healthcare and aerospace.”
ICEhouse, where ICE stands for Innovation for the Circular Economy, was built using Sabic’s Lexan sheet and systems for the walls, ceiling, roofing and windows. This year, Sabic’s fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite technologies are used for floor panels and profile structures instead of metal and wood, delivering good durability, impact performance, and safety with less weight. The cladding is Lexan multi-wall sheet filled with nanogel for outstanding energy efficiency. Thermoplastic composite sandwich floor panels with skins made out of Udmax GPP 45-70 tape replace plywood being up to 50 % lighter, with higher abrasion and impact resistance. The thermoplastic composite floor panels do not absorb water and therefore do not decay, increasing safety in use and lifetime of the flooring. Another novelty is the tubular composite structures made with Udmax GPP 45-70 tape, a continuous fiber-reinforced polypropylene, which partially replaces aluminum L-shaped profiles with very favorable weight-to-performance ratio.
Carbon as an Asset
The Circular Economy incorporates the Cradle-to-Cradle design philosophy, developed by William McDonough, incorporating the principles of material health, material reutilization, renewable energy, clean water and social fairness. The Circular Economy utilizes this approach to product design to break the typical take-make-dispose flow of material resources today, replacing it with designs that make use of carbon through products that are inherently recoverable, reusable and recyclable. Ernesto Occhiello, Executive Vice President, Specialities, Sabic, says: "Given concerns about climate change, it is understandable that carbon has a problematic reputation, but the truth is when carbon is used in a safe way - as it is in ICEhouse - then it can be a tremendous asset. The structure’s materials are superior to their traditional counterparts and much more reusable."
McDonough says: “Carbon - the element - is not the enemy. Climate change is the result of breakdowns in the carbon cycle: it is a design failure. When carbon is used in right way, like in the materials made by Sabic, buildings such as ICEhouse are breathing new life into the carbon conversation. Rather than focus on carbon emissions, we can work with carbon as durable element, as an earthbound asset.”
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