Kebony and Tone Bekkestad team up for eco-friendly housing
The highly-acclaimed environmentalist and lecturer, Tone Bekkestad, has created an ambitious prefabricated environmentally-friendly home using sustainable materials.
The house is located in Billingstad, on the outskirts of Oslo, and is clad in Kebony wood, a material recommended by leading architects. Bekkestad worked closely with architect Solhaug Bolig to select the right materials and appropriate technical solutions to ensure a low-maintenance sustainable home.
The use of natural and eco-friendly materials with the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions was a priority for this functionalist house. As such, Kebony was carefully selected for the wooden façade and the wooden decking because it is a sustainable product that requires no maintenance beyond normal cleaning, whilst being durable with a 30 year warranty even in Nordic climates – an essential component in light of Billingstad’s harsh winds and heavy rainfall. Over time the Kebony cladding and decking will acquire a silver-grey patina to suit its natural surroundings, whilst maintaining its remarkable performance characteristics.
Developed in Norway, the patented Kebony technology uses an environmentally friendly process, which permanently enhances the properties of sustainable softwood with a bio-based liquid derived from agricultural crop waste. By polymerising the wood’s cell walls, the wood gains greatly improved durability and dimensional stability, giving it characteristics similar to those of tropical hardwood. Kebony only uses raw materials from FSC-certified, sustainably managed forests, and carries the Nordic ecolabel ‘Swan’ as it is completely safe and toxin-free.
Bekkestad commented: “From the outset, we wanted a house that was attractive, suited to our style of living and above all an eco-friendly home. Having made the decision to use Kebony and other sustainable materials, we are able to avoid costly and time consuming maintenance. We are thrilled with how our new home has turned out.”
Mette Valen, Sales Manager Norway at Kebony added: “The team at Kebony are delighted to be part of this unique residential build. Tone Bekkestad and her husband have worked cleverly with Norhus to create this build and they should be extremely proud of this achievement. We would be honoured to work with both parties again in the near future.”
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.