As featured in the Alberta Biomaterial Development Centre newsletter.
Think global and act local was a message from ABDC’s event Green Building – Marketing to the Masses.
Acting on global issues such as the economic crises and environmental problems can seem intimidating but we are fortunate to live in Alberta where local companies are making the acting on these issues much easier. ABDC had the chance to speak with Shayne Korithoski from Biostruct, about their role in enabling Albertans to think global and act local.
Hi Shayne, can we start the interview by learning about Biostruct?
Yes, Biostruct is focused on manufacturing and distributing biomass-based building products. For our initial projects, we are also involved in the development and building of the projects. Biostruct’s philosophy is built around our business model the vision of the Triple Bottom Line. We see ourselves as a “bright green” company that combines innovation, design and entrepreneurial leadership in an ecological economy.
Can you explain what the Triple Bottom Line means?
No problem, a Triple Bottom Line approach means we view our success in terms of our social, environmental and fiscal performance. Biostruct believes that wealth can’t be measured in purely monetary terms, so we are committed to working on projects that create healthy and happy families and environments.
Perfect Shayne, so how did Biostruct begin?
Biostruct, or as it was originally named Canamo Enterprises, began as a research project I undertook, together with architect Andrew Mackie, after I began working at Riva’s Eco Store www.rivasecostore.com , a Calgary-based business owned by Andrew and his wife, Riva. The store’s green building is unique in Calgary and we were looking for ways to become more involved with local initiatives and help the local green building manufacturing sector.
I am aware that your main product ingredient is hemp but I am curious what ignited the idea to focus on hemp?
The idea of focusing on hemp grew out of our investigation of the European building industry as well as our interest in working with renewable biomass as opposed to mainstream synthetics and hydrocarbons. This preference stemmed from environmental issues and the health concerns of occupants and workers within the building, where there is considerable potential for off-gassing from synthetic products. The biomass hemp produces, remains largely unexplored in our part of the world, and the fact that it grows well in our climate is a real bonus for our business.
Shayne, can you provide some examples of the products that use hemp and where they can be
applied in a building structure?
Our main product, WallCore pictured right, is currently in the research and development phase, is made from a ceramic cement binder, using industrial hemp shiv and flax fibre. WallCore can be used in prefabricated structural insulative panels (SIP’s) for wall, roof and floor. We are currently finalizing projects for next year for WallCore. We also have a line of hemp-lime insulating plasters that can be used in retrofits of old masonry buildings or used on exterior walls of natural building projects.
Thank you for the interview Shayne, do you have anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, ABDC is a leader in the development of biomaterials in Canada and we very much appreciate being able to work with you. The accessibility of the facility, the fibre processing plant in Vegreville, is the only one of its kind in North America and it is a real advantage for us. The building sector is very risk-adverse and collaboration is essential to the success of a business promoting and distributing new building products.
Visit: www.albertabiomaterials.com for more info on ABDC.