CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning Professor Julee Herdt is dedicated to designing with sustainable and healthy materials. Not only does she bring this passion to the classroom where she teaches sustainable design to CAP architecture students, but she has also spent the past 20 years developing a building material made entirely from bio-based waste. In April 2015, Professor Herdt was granted a patent for her bioSIPS: a structurally insulated panel made with bioboards. Bioboards are boards made entirely from waste materials such as banana peels, cardboard, cotton fiber, and other plant materials. A bioSIP is a stuctural insulated panel consisting of 2 bioboards sandwiched around foam insulation. BioSIPs are lighter than standard SIPs, but strong with excellent insulating properties.
Professor Herdt’s patent is the first in the history of the College of Architecture and Planning. Students in Professor Herdt’s Green Tech courses design furniture using bioboards or other reclaimed and recycled materials. They also adhere to strict prohibitions against the use of any toxic chemicals in their designs. The resulting furniture designs often present scrap materials in unexpected ways while being elegant and functional.
Here is a video highlighting the Green Tech Market: