Updated: Mar 15
ECO – Prejudice, or opportunity!
In order to realize or understand our imaginations must stretch out away from our comfort zone!
The world population today, is 7.6 billion individuals, each of us with hopes, needs, and necessities for a decent survival; housing, health, education are some of our main issues, the needed essential daily resources for these cravings of life, are immense, enormous, all of them to be fulfilled mostly at nature’s expense.
This observation forces us to question our understanding of the situation, it is an illusion to imagine to save nature without simultaneously addressing the needs of mankind by taking the urgent measures for development that would harmonize the diverting destinies of mankind and nature, that seem to be so opposed.
This acknowledgment, induces that it may be relevant to question what appears to be, a short-sighted prejudgment, or prejudice, that is holding back our possibility of acting rightfully.
The assertion that “non-biodegradable materials are bad for nature” needed to be analyzed carefully in order to foresee whether these materials could contribute or not to help resolve the problem, and whether it is urgent or not to change our perspective.
It appeared after that procedure, that non-biodegradable materials should not be perceived as enemies for the environment, if they are eco-friendly to produce, and more so, when they are recyclable, these two qualities make them valuable assets to endlessly dispose of, to serve again and again human needs and necessities without wasting or abusing, or impacting precious natural resources.
Because of their non-degradability and their re-usability, those materials could also be assessed as long term reliable financial commodities. Unlike short term commodities resulting from our exploitation of nature and natural recourses, that end up consumed and have to be consumed rapidly, the later materials considered “non-natural” last, persist and have a long durability.
These materials managed carefully and correctly, will help humanity to protect the natural environment, will protect nature from the needs of humanity as they can serve their purposes without affecting nature.
Intensive agriculture, cattle breeding, use of pesticides, massive uncontrolled fishing, deforestation, frantic exploitation and more, are activities that drain natural resources, and disrupt the environment, they need to be carefully looked in to, and reprocessed in a productive eco-friendly manner, more so, that they are also dependent on fragile climatic circumstances.
Non-biodegradable materials can serve to reduce the impact of mankind on natural environment.
A material like PET stood out to me as having the necessary qualities, of non-biodegradable durability and re-usability to develop and original design and technology to build efficiently less expensive and good quality decent homes.
Due to the durability of the material, the projection of a financiering scheme can be considered and invented, to establish a profitable reusable circular economy, by investing in a PET commodity fund that would be gradually turned into a stable real estate fund”. To rise and propose this unprecedented housing opportunity to the largest markets and therefore face the scale of the demand for development without impacting nature.
PET could be gathered, owned and allocated by a PET Bank or institution, privately and/or state and/or internationally owned and managed, the PET bank institution, would redistribute this valuable durable resource and allocated it to be turned into homes, and other utilities.
Instead of selling the material, the PET bank would rent it, lease it on a long term base to the user, like a tax, the contribution would be evaluated on the quantity of PET that your infrastructures use, this will reduce substantively the price of the house, as you would be buying only the technology to transform the PET to make it a house, which is: the plan (the architect), the construction system (the engineering Patent), and the building process (the builders).
PET turned into variable utilities would remain a disposable shareable national, international asset for all to profit from in a durable future.
The cost of gathering PET would be spread out over years and a low interest rate would be added to the price to cover the costs of the administrative control over the material.
As an example, today the international market price of recycled PET is around 450 US$ per ton, if an average house constructed with the “USTINOV CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM” uses 25 tons of PET, we are considering a spread out of rental cost based on capital of 12 000 US$ plus interest rate. And, when local PET gathering would be organised and effective to allocate locally, that rated capital would have even more leverage, as the cost would be inferior to the international market price.
In order to boost the development for poorer populations, another option would or could be that the states would donate the land under the house or the pro-rata of land to the PET bank institution, the bank would use, the value of that land as collateral guarantee for the setting up of loans. The value of that land would also be added to the rental tax of the required PET. (The land under the house and the PET would be associated, as collateral). The creditor would only be buying the house and the land around it! The necessary PET and the land under the house would be rented for stable fixed fee for as long as they are used by the owner of the house or his successor, or as long as the house is not recycled.
A concrete or a wooden house is not designed to be recycled, this PET house is.
What is The “USTINOV CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM,” it is a modular construction system made of manufactured modules and beams of recycled PET that assemble easily to shape a modular cubic architectural standard, the beams and modules are conceived to be filled with solidified earth and/or other appropriate isolations depending on means, the cables and pipes are provided by inserted prefabricated connectable units, the system when used independently allows to build under Swiss construction norms (SIA) up to two floors, or it can be associated to traditional constructions.
The concept is the conjunction of two materials, recycled PET and thanks to 5% of cement, solidified Earth, when assembled the PET modules represent the skeleton and the skin of the construction, providing structural reinforcement and stability, and surface protection for the hardened earth.
Viewable on the site: www.ustinovconstructionsystem.com
PET material is formed by the polymerization of two substances, ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid; PET is transparent, lightweight, impact resistant, and malleable, but also very rigid when its thickness exceeds 5 millimeters. It can also be colored.
To produce 1 kg of PET it requires only 1.9 kg of crude oil.
The PET molecules consists only of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Also during its combustion, only water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are released. Fire, incineration of PET is safe.
Even though it is not a problem to burn and get rid of PET. It is better and important to recycle it, to conserve it as a resource, as it is clearly an asset as demonstrated above. In addition, recycling PET saves energy by 60% compared to the production of new PET.
Like most synthetic plastics, PET is not biodegradable.
Biodegradable plastics based on corn starch have been developed in recent years, but they are expensive and their making is not clearly less damaging to the environment than that of petrol PET. (Need of land and water to produce).
So let's not waste our durable wastes, let’s take care of them all the way, and not abandon PET everywhere in nature where PET and/or other plastics becomes really damaging and dangerous for the food chain.
Earth although of variable texture is a natural and generic material, PET is here in this construction system used to protect it and increase structural qualities.
Earth as a material has been present in construction since the dawn of time. Almost all civilizations had adopted earth at one time or another. It must be said that it is a very malleable material and present almost everywhere on the planet's surface in sufficient quantity to be used in construction. According to UNHCR statistics, just under half of humanity currently lives in earthy constructions.
It is a stable, ecological and cheap material. It is also important to note that around 17% of World Heritage buildings are built with earth. This is to say of the longevity offered by this building material. In recent years it has been a little forgotten, especially in Western civilization, it has been substituted by concrete. Currently there is an upsurge of interest in this material thanks to the ecological awareness we are drawn into facing, and the scarcity of the proper sand for concrete making.
Earth constructions have been disregarded for their need of permanent attention and repair and for dampness in unappropriated climates, the PET protection should counter that downfall as it is waterproof, therefore it compensates that disadvantage.
To foresee, a wall in the “Ustinov construction system” is 19cm thick, it has only 1cm of PET on each side leaving 17cm cavity filled of technical items and solidified earth by 5% of cement. The system when associated and used together with traditional construction materials like metals, wood, or concrete, to build a tall super skeleton structure of a building or a sky scraper where the two floor Ustinov PET system can be inserted, and used vertically.
Today 22% of the world population is homeless, and probably over 60% of the rest are living in poor conditions on the fringe of society.
Modern traditional building materials can’t face the scale of the challenge, deforestation is already a reality, and sand to make concrete is difficult to find. The need and the demand for a new sustainable construction system is enormous, not only amongst the poorer, as access to housing has also become difficult in richer societies.
What is the availability of PET? The yearly world production of plastics is estimated to be 320 millions of tons only 25% is collected and only 25% of that amount is recycled.
Only 7% of that production is in Africa, and 5% in South America
A study by the university Santa Barbara estimates that 9, 1 Billion tons of plastic has been produced up to now.
In Europe 25 million tons are collected every year, and only 25% of that amount is recycled, the rest is buried or burnt. The company Carbios, estimated a yearly unexploited lost amounts to 100 million tons representing a yearly turn over market value of 100 billion dollars.
Every year roughly over 9 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean, when only 5% of the world production is recycled.
Even though PET is only one kind of the produced plastic it is not the least, 480 billion PET bottles are made every year and many other PET items. The material is irreplaceable for the industry.
The skeleton and the skin of the “Ustinov construction system” could also be made with other Plastics, by adapting the design. The reasons of the single choice of PET, is for the system to be easily recycled, and in case of fire, incineration of PET is not so toxic.
The mixing of plastics should foresee the recycling issue, if not so, the plastic management solution will only be a temporary solutions that can even create new inextricable problems for the future.
It is urgent to take care of the plastic wastes by investing the efforts to control them, by fostering circular economies that can be also very profitable, by using these non-biodegradable materials as opportunities to fulfill human structural necessities without disrupting rare and delicate natural resources.
PET and/or other plastics should be tamed and used to spare nature from humans. It is an opportunity and a challenge before we get poisoned by our negligent misuse and misplacement of them.
The raw material is available! And because of the intricate eco systems and situation as it appears today, this issue should be addressed globally, probably it should be coordinated and supervised by a global bank institution, or even a UN department, that would supply national needs and would distribute and allocate non-biodegradable assets like PET to accelerate international policy of development while protecting nature and local eco systems.
If the housing problem is not addressed we are heading towards human and social disasters, today’s humanity 2, 2 billion people are living under the level of poverty, 1, 6 billion are homeless, 5 billion need decent homes, climatic and war refugees will only increase the figures, under this condition, health, education, civilization - if one dares to use such a word - is threatened.
The choice is available, to wait longer will only increases damages.
Author : Igor Ustinov (copyright)