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Canadian technology could help China's housing

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11/11/2009 12:52 AM
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Canadian technology could help China's housing
Canadian technology could help China's housing

A promising Canadian technology may turn agricultural waste into a building product that could remedy problems of housing, carbon emissions and earthquake-proof construction in China.

Developed by the Alberta Research Council in Edmonton, the technology uses wheat straw - the residue from cutting the crop and removing the grain - to make a plywood substitute called Oriented Split Straw Board (OSSB).

Netherlands-based Panel Board Holding Ltd. is using the technology at its new plant in Yangling, in Shaanxi province, which went into production Oct. 18.

The panels are made by compressing straw and adding resin. The plant can produce up to 5,000 four-by-eight-foot-foot panels a day, enough to build between 30 and 35 houses.

China doesn't have enough trees for large-scale lumber production, but it has plenty of wheat straw. It will need 200 million new houses in the next 20 years, and PBH is planning two more factories.

PBH president Krijn Leendertse says the technology will help reduce carbon emissions, "preserve the world's forests, and develop sustainable growth in developing and emerging economies."

[link to www.cbc.ca]

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