Beer is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Regardless of culture or habitat, (almost) every country in the world produces and consumes it. This creates a lot of waste in the form of spent grains (BSG). Historically, breweries would give their BSG to nearby farms for use as animal feed. However, with the continuing rise of microbreweries in urban centers, it’s become significantly more financially and logistically expensive to use the BSG as animal feed. The aim of this project was to explore the potential of BSG as a main ingredient for novel construction biomaterials. Through a series of explorations a range of BSG derived materials were developed that only use one external ingredient: Soda Ash (not including water).
The process developed converts the BSG into its own binder allowing it to exhibit a wide range of mechanical properties. Since BSG is a consistent, low cost source of large scale biowaste, scaling is not an issue. A fabrication process was developed that takes advantage of this. We collaborated with a local brewery who provided us with their beerwaste, and with an urban garden in Hackney, who lent us their facilities. St. Andrews Botanical Garden in Scotland was selected as the site of focus. A series of modules were designed that took bioclimatic elements, such as wind, into consideration.This project was done in collaboration with Alexa G Cam and Hansa Baliga.