A biobridge located in Eindhoven will be open to the public this week. The foot bridge is forty six feet long, and made entirely from hemp and flax fibers. The hemp and flax are a sustainable alternative to standard building materials like concrete and steel. The bridge is unique in the fact that it also has twenty eight sensors jammed into the small space of the bridge. The purpose of these sensors are to measure the durability of the bridge over time. since the building material has not been proven yet there is a need to test how it performs. The designers believe the materials durability is comparable to that of wood.
Another notable feature of this bridge is the way the materials are held together. A poly-lactic acid foam core in the materials creates a solid bio-resin. The great thing about this resin is that it is also recyclable. The materials used in this bridge have never been used for a project like this before. usually this material has been used for small things like hockey sticks but the designers had the foresight to see that this material could be used for structures. The use of this material, if successful, could drastically reduce the amount of waste materials created for structures. At this time the bio-resins used for this material are only created in small quantities making it more expensive than less eco-friendly options. The designers also point out that this would only be a material option for structures that have a short life cycle and need to be replaced often. I think this is a very inventive way of using a sustainable material, and could be a good alternative to wood and other natural materials.