Hiding in a New Orleans Courtyard: AIA Pavillion by Gernot Riether

AIA Pavilion by Gernot Riether - New Orleans

AIA Pavilion by Gernot Riether - New Orleans

This guy: a smallish, plastic enclosure designed by Gernot Riether and constructed using a plastic made from sugar. Gernot won an annual competition hosted by the AIA to “bring life” to New Orleans a city rich with a history all its own. But the small pavilion has more than just sugar embedded in it; it was designed and fabricated using extensive digital tools that made sure each “cell” would be oriented, sized and shaped correctly. I was surprised to read this:

“Using PETG as a material suggests a negative carbon footprint. According to one of it’s world’s largest manufacturer, Dow Chemicals, every 0.5kg of PETG produced from sugar cane represents a total gain of almost 1kg of CO² removed from the atmosphere. Since the AIA pavilion used 123kg of material, the production of the pavilion would remove 246kg of CO² from the atmosphere. This demonstrates that producing PETG from sugar cane has tremendous environmental benefits that might make plastic the building material of the 21st century.”

Is that even possible?


June 1, 2011