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Maximizing Carbon Negativity in Next Generation Framing Materials

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: ARPA-E
Contract: DE-AR0001644
Agency Tracking Number: 2626-1533
Amount: $259,613.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 1
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002626
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-09-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2025-04-08
Small Business Information
310 Cypress Road
Ocala, FL 34472
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Nicholas Allan
 (707) 486-3971
Business Contact
 Jim Terheyden
Phone: (410) 533-0431
Research Institution

BamCore is a small and growing business that utilizes nature’s strongest and fastest growing structural fiber–timber bamboo–to deliver a prefabricated, code-compliant wall system that turns low-rise buildings into carbon sinks, while also lowering operating carbon. BamCore’s patented Prime Wall system is a bamboo-based studless wall that is stronger, greener, thermally superior, healthier, safer, quieter, and more quickly installed than any other conventional framing solution available today. Compared to wood, timber bamboo grows faster and can be harvested annually for structural fiber use in buildings. Timber bamboo’s fast growth and short annual harvest cycle can speed up carbon sequestration and turn timber bamboo plantations into perpetual carbon farms capable of producing high-grade structural fiber. A screening-level life-cycle analysis (LCA) of the cradle-to-grave carbon footprint of BamCore’s Prime Wall by Quantis in 2019 reported climate change mitigation potential in two ways: An average US home built with the Prime Wall System would save 125 MT of CO2 during its service life, compared to conventional wood framing; and Land-use conversion to timber bamboo plantations can sequester 76 metric tons of atmospheric CO2 per year per hectare into long term product storage. The proposed HESTIA project seeks to further improve on these advantages in the following ways: 1) Replace fiberglass blown-in insulation in the Prime Wall’s existing dual panel assembly with bio-based insulation manufactured from manufacturing waste or annual agriculture crops; 2) Replace wood veneers in Prime Panel middle core layer with a core utilizing fiber produced from manufacturing, waste, annual agriculture crops or primary culm feedstock; 3) In fire-rated wall assemblies, replace the gypsum boards that are applied on-site with a lighter fire-barrier layer that is applied before fabrication to the Prime Panel in-factory; 4) Replace the current panel face layers made from full length bamboo pieces with higher recovery layers made from bamboo strand or flake material. These improvements will result in a 55% improvement in BOL Carbon stored [-4,000 kg CO2eq 1000 ft2] and a 20% reduction in C2Gate emissions [-1,000 kg CO2eq 1000 ft2]. This results in a carbon-negative product with [-3,157 kg CO2eq 1000 ft2] or without [-7,134 kg CO2eq 1000 ft2] EOL emissions. Finally, the EOL strategy will be modified to include recycle and or reuse of the panels, to be enabled by modifications in the construction process to simplify deconstruction. Successful implementation of these technology modifications will ensure net carbon-negativity including EOL emissions and thus satisfy the core requirement of the HESTIA program. These carbon storage improvements along with other product benefits—such as improved strength, thermal, and acoustic performance and better protection from air leakage, flame spread, and mold risk—will help create a new generation of truly climate positive building solutions.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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