Materials Exploration

  • Biodegradable paving

    As part of GLAS’ Materials and technology subject at Melbourne University, students designed recipes for different concrete mixes incorporating a variety of types and proportions of organic materials including soil, bark mulch and feathers. Blocks of ‘biocrete’ were mixed and allowed to harden. The blocks of biocrete were then incorporated into the reconstruction of a pond edge. The disintegration of the biocrete was observed over time.

  • Living Streets 1

    GLAS’ materials and technology subject for Melbourne University invited students to explore improved environmental performance for paving surfaces. The first stages of the project involved a design fabrication studio with students to design and build pavers to promote urban biodiversity. The paving was installed on site and observed over a period of two years to monitor successes and failures. The more successful pavers provided inspiration for the following years students to refine and improve the designs. GLAS is committed to increasing the permeability of urban streets. Tests like these help to explore permanent creative options for more biodiverse and permeable streets.

  • Urban Heat Paving

    Urban heat paving was a test experiment developed in collaboration with Wendy Walls and Joe Barrins from Melbourne University to gather data on the heat absorption of typical streetscape materials using digital sensor technology. Test plots have been constructed and installed on a Melbourne University roof. The testboxes are inlaid with typical streetscape materials, each has been fitted with temperature and humidity sensors record the surface and air temperature of these materials over 24 months. This information will be made publicly accessible and will help us better design to combat Urban Heat Island Effect in Melbourne.