CAMPRADO was founded on 22/02/2022 to promote the art and science of transforming Plastic waste into valuable assets.
This document sets out an imaginative strategy aimed at resolving 2no. seemingly unrelated dilemmas currently facing not only Britain but the whole World – and was the catalyst for founding CAMPRADO. The UK Government recently announced a number of pledges in order to tackle both these challenges;
Eradicating Plastic Waste as part of a 25 year Environmental Plan (commenced in 2018), and
Reducing the Housing Shortage by supplying a minimum 1.5 million homes by 2022 (then 250,000 homes each year)
Satisfying either of these commitments demands high volume/high value solutions - delivered in a relatively short timeframe. The scale and expediency required is due to the sheer quantum of rapidly accumulating Plastic (Waste) - and the year on year escalating shortfall in desperately needed Housing.
Founder and Managing Director
CAMPRADO + ray hole architects
into Valuable Asset
To achieve this the sourcing and manufacturing of traditional construction commodities/materials and products may not be viable or environmentally sustainable – because of the quantum of housing envisaged. Therefore, alternative sources of commodities/materials will need to be identified in order to;
Mitigate any further direct and collateral negative impacts to the environment
Have natural resilience to bio-degradation to negate the need for corrosion protection and the secondary environmental impacts
Have an available volume of resource in order to satisfy the immediate and future construction needs
These primary objectives would mutually exploit the positive "virtues" of Plastic (Waste) - converting a currently “demonised material” into a revered asset. This will in turn recalibrate the "value" of Plastic (Waste) - transforming it into a highly valuable asset - making Plastic (Waste) a non-disposable commodity/material and therefore incentivise a shift in social and economic behaviour – discouraging the wilful discarding of and the manufacturing of low value plastic products.
This will spark a Plastic Revolution mirroring the British led Industrial
Revolution which was facilitated by the ingenuity of the pioneers in Iron and Steel manufacturing and Construction/Engineering development – then encouraged by a visionary Government and a national imperative.
Britain can do the same again, leading to a global Plastic Revolution by promoting Britain’s prowess in innovation, technology, engineering, manufacturing and construction skills. ray hole architects has therefore founded CAMPRADO (Constructional and Manufactured Plastic Research and Development Organisation).
Reconciling both these dilemmas (and delivering on the UK Government's pledges) requires a Paradigm Shift in attitude, policy, investment, research+development and implementation to achieve such outcomes (socially, economically, environmentally, technologically, legally as well as politically).
This will therefore, require more than Policy Change - importantly it must involve encouraging the development of an appropriate private sector supply and delivery system that is economically viable – and that interacts and provides benefits across a broad Government inter-departmental platform. Resolution of either dilemma would be a welcomed outcome – but the primary objective of the Plastic ex-Change™ initiative is to inspire and advance the – adoption and implementation of a unified strategy - where the resolution of one dilemma - fully satisfies the other in the process.
This unified Paradigm Shift Strategy (reconciling simultaneously Plastic Waste and Housing Shortage) will involve identifying and synergising potential markets and industries (domestic and international) where the harvesting and transformation of Plastic (Waste) into valuable assets can provide the base resource in the;
Supply – of highly desirable and premium value manufactured products, and/or the
Delivery – of large scale and highly compelling societal needs and infrastructure.
The Construction (house building) Industry will inevitably demand large scale volumes of sustainable sources of commodities/materials and products in order to fulfil the Government’s pledged targets.
3.Architects (agents of change) – complicit yet compliant
Animal, Botanic and Human Habitat Design – Built Environment, Landscape and Infrastructure
4.Ray Hole (Founder and MD of CAMPRADO and ray hole architects) knows all too well how human habitat development impacts the environment. And as architects we are (sometimes) inadvertently complicit with many of the causes of some of the more negative impacts ….
….. even though we are technically ….. compliant !!!
Therefore, as innovative architects we constantly attempt to negate (or at least mitigate) such impacts through adopting imaginative philosophies and practices such as;
….. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Generate, Harvest and Waste Management
However, as Consultants we are limited in our influence to effect a sea-change in human habitat development and social behaviour to achieve such a profound paradigm shift.
Because, although we are often depicted as independent Agents of Change ….. in reality we are still servants to our
….. Social, Economic and Political masters !
5.Housing Shortfall - 250k Homes pa. needed
UK is facing a Plastic Waste catastrophe
Govt. has pledged to eliminate ALL Plastic Waste by 2043
Project fulfils platform criteria
Govt. has pledged to construct 1.5m Homes by 2022
Briefing Paper 07671 - 12th March 2018
Plastic ex-Change ™– transforming waste into valuable asset
6.Dilemma A : Plastic Waste Eradication
The UK (like so many other countries) had up until January 2018 outsourced and off-shored some of this dilemma (shipping on average some 365,000 Tonnes per year of Plastic Waste to China …..
But China has now refused to receive our “waste” (along with many other countries).
This “embargoed” Plastic Waste is now accumulating in the UK at a rate of approximately 1,000 Tonnes per day (365,000 Tonnes per year).
This adds to the other 2.0 – 4.0 million Tonnes per year (estimates vary) - comprised of various other Plastic Waste,
with the only expedient remedies proffered being to either;
….. bury, burn or dump into the sea …..
The UK is facing a mounting Plastic Waste catastrophe - generating anything up to 5.0 million Tonnes of Plastic Waste per year (www.wrap.org.uk).
It is also failing to satisfy an ever increasing Housing Shortfall - 250,000 new properties are anticipated to be required each and every year into the future – compared to a current delivery rate of approximately 217,000 (2017).
In recent years the Government pledged to;
Eliminate ALL Plastic Waste by 2043 (UK Govt. 25-year Environmental Plan).
Create an additional 1.0m Homes by 2020 – and a further 500,000 by 2022 (source Briefing Paper 07671 - 12th March 2018). These targets have already been missed.
Ironically however, these two seemingly unrelated dilemmas – have united an elusive quadruple bottom line of;
….. Social, Economic, Environmental and Political impacts …..
But what if we could create a “Virtuous United Strategy” – simultaneously resolving both dilemmas?
UK has exported an average of 365,000 Tonnes of
Plastic Waste per annum to China ….. until Jan. 2018
UK population (65.64m) x 34.7 kg/citizen =
2.3m+ Tonnes of Plastic Waste per annum
UK Plastic Waste is accumulating at a rate of approximately
3.0m Tonnes per annum (including embargoed Chinese exports)
Landfill or Bury
Dump at Sea
Plastic Waste – human created ecological Dilemma A
8.But - Plastic is an intriguing material – fundamentally it’s a waste by-product from the oil and gas energy sector (345 million Tonnes are produced globally each year – accounting for approximately 8% of the potential volume).
Once manufactured - Plastic has a resilience to bio-degrading of up to 500 years – but its universality and low production cost ….. ironically has come to mean - Plastic is “disposable” - and in part has encouraged a shift in our human behaviour towards becoming a “disposable society” – leading us inevitably towards a Plastic Waste dilemma.
Furthermore, the way that Plastic is also “combined” with other less environmentally problematic materials (ie. paper based coffee cups) means that these hybrid products are harder to separate and therefore “technically contaminates” the potential recycling possibilities of the Plastic ingredient.
Equally, contamination by food stuffs or even the colour of the plastic products itself leads to a percentage of challenging recyclability.
Plastic – a waste by-product from the oil and gas sector (345m Tonnes pa) ….. Currently transformed into …..
Low Value and Universal Products + Relative Bio-degradable Time
Shift towards a Disposable Society
Hybrid Products Separation Challenge
Plastic Production – recycled waste
10.Dilemma B : Housing Shortage
In parallel, the UK is estimated to have an annually increasing shortfall of Housing supply of approximately 35,000 properties per year.
The average property being a 2/3 bedroom property.
This shortfall of Housing supply not only creates social stress but artificially inflates the cost of owner occupied properties and the cost of rented accommodation as well - distorting the economics of the affordable and commercial housing market.
11.Housing Shortfall is approximately 35,000 properties per annum …..
Distorting and un-Balancing the economics of affordable and private housing
Inflated sale and rental prices
UK Average Rental Prices
UK Average House Prices
UK Housing Shortfall
UK Average Land Prices
Housing Shortage – human created ecological Dilemma B
12.But it’s not just the supply and demand ratio of the end-user Housing market that is unbalanced …..
But also the material/resource supply chain with which we create our (basic human habitat - Housing) which is impacting and unbalancing our environment and ecological inter-relationships as well.
The way we currently build Housing – means the materials required per property is approx. 2,400 Tonnes, comprising;
….. cement, gravels, masonry, timber, glazing, metals, etc.
All these materials are sourced from increasingly limited (and therefore exhaustible), environmentally damageable sources – compounded further by associated commodity harvesting processes that create additional damaging effects; mining, excavating, burning, felling, dredging, etc.
Equally, the ability to re-cycle these traditional building products into similarly highly valued, economically re-usable products is either not efficient or too energy intensive; bricks turn into hard core, steel and glass get remoulded, etc. - therefore devaluing and commoditising what are originally premium manufactured products.
Therefore to satisfy just our annual Housing shortfall we would need to source 84 million Tonnes of materials for;
….. walls, floors, roofs, foundations, etc.
To satisfy our annual Housing demand we would need to source 600 million Tonnes of materials for;
….. walls, floors, roofs, foundations, etc.
To satisfy the UK Governments Housing pledge by 2022 we would need to source 3,600 million Tonnes of materials for;
….. walls, floors, roofs, foundations, etc.
13.UK Govt’s 2022 Housing Pledge needs 3,600 million Tonnes of materials for; walls, floors, roofs, foundations, etc.
Annual Housing Shortfall needs 84 million Tonnes of materials for; walls, floors, roofs, foundations, etc.
Annual Housing Demand needs 600 million Tonnes of materials for; walls, floors, roofs, foundations, etc.
Re-using and Re-cycling traditionally assembled building products –
tends to Commoditise high value manufactured construction assets
Environmentally damageable sources
Requires approx. 2,400 Tonnes of materials
Human habitat construction supply
chain un-Balances our environment
House Production – environment vs human habitat need
14.Such an immediate need and significant scale of resource demand (if we were to use traditional commodity/materials) would further degrade our environment and challenge the UK’s (already net loss) ecological footprint index.
This demand would almost certainly impact other remote locations that we would need to source and extract those resource needs – from beyond our shores.
Furthermore, in addition to these environmental impacts during sourcing, manufacture and construction – these traditional materials also naturally bio-degrade fairly rapidly;
….. Rotting, Rusting, Dissolving, Corroding, Crumbling, etc.
This natural characteristic would then need to be protected against – requiring even more environmentally damaging sourcing of materials and applications;
….. painting, chemically injecting, galvanising, etc.
This produces an ecological deficit of approx.
1.1global hectares per person
Housing Supply Chain – environmentally flawed
Ecological Footprint - measures the biologically
productive land, sea and water (surface area) an
individual, city, country, region - or all of
humanity uses to produce the resources society
consumes - and absorb the waste it generates
World-average ecological footprint is approx.
2.84 global hectares per person
World-average sustainable bio-capacity is approx.
1.73 global hectares per person
UK has a 2.9 Ecological Footprint – meaning we
consume 2.9 times the locally available resources.
Traditional construction materials naturally bio-degrade – Rotting, Rusting, Corroding, Dissolving, Crumbling …..
Protecting against bio-Degradation
16.But what if we didn’t need (or want) to use these traditional commodities and materials ….. cease plundering the Planet’s commodity resources that have been slowly evolved and laid down over millions of years and instead …..
….. leave them in their natural state?
What if we were to substitute these traditional construction commodities and materials with an alternative base resource commodity/material? One that is currently deemed an environmentally damaging waste product and convert what is increasingly becoming;
….. “a demonised material” ….. into something revered and respected.
One which once produced doesn’t readily deteriorate or bio-degrade - an essentially positive construction material characteristic?
And one that has the collective volume/capacity to supply the source material needs of the housing demand.
Namely, transforming Plastic Waste into Valuable and Needed Assets …..
Such a Paradigm Shift has intrinsic environmental and ecological benefits anyway – but when we are confronted with the sheer quantum of;
Plastic Waste Volume needing to be cleaned-up
….. matched only by the
Material required to satisfy the Housing construction shortfall
….. this dual-dilemma solving strategy could result in dramatic positive impacts - but in a fairly rapid timeframe as well – as expediency is critical!
This strategy could therefore resolve the social imperative of our Housing Shortage – but without damaging the environment in the process – indeed quite the opposite!
And furthermore, this shift away from traditional, environmentally damaging resourcing towards ….. Harvesting Plastic Waste – and transforming it into Valuable Assets …..
….. could also provide significant benefits to the UK economy (domestically and internationally) generating new economic activity and entrepreneurism around large scale and high value, constructional and manufactured engineering plastic products.
Provoking Global Harvesting of
historic/current Plastic Waste
– cleaning up the Environment
and providing the resource to …..
Needs and …..
environmental respite - Paradigm Shift - waste into valued assets
18.But we are part way there already.
Because not ALL Plastic products are deemed “low value or value-less” – as we already convert plastic into a number of building products in the house building sector; pipes, guttering, electrical fittings, fascia boards, etc.
But redefining (recalibrating and re-engineering) both the “value and use” of Plastic (perceived and real) is fundamental to resolving the medium to long-term Plastic Waste dilemma.
And to demonstrate this behavioural aspect that we have towards Plastic - there is already one Plastic product that has a “manufacturing cost to retail ratio” of over 3no. times.
Plus it is universally loved (engendered at a young age) – and therefore is rarely thrown away!!!!
LEGO ….. the universal children’s construction toy.
The economics of LEGO is impressive. Take the standard 4x2 LEGO brick ….. costs approx. £0.05 to produce, weighs approx. 2.5 grams and sells at approx. £0.15.
We are NOT suggesting building pseudo LEGO houses …..
….. but through research and development inspire new and appropriately engineered Plastic construction products and methods for the House Building sector.
But this “analogy” is useful in order to re-define what a “Plastic House” could be ….. and ascertain what it would require in terms of base commodity/material - volume and weight.
The equivalent weight of LEGO Plastic to construct the envelope of an average House would be approx. 20 Tonnes of plastic (requiring approx. 10 million LEGO units – as evidenced by James May’s TV program) ….. but we would expect to reduce this quantum/weight down to approximately 10 Tonnes with value engineering.
In addition to this simple translation into wall construction - we can also introduce additional products like; floor planks, joists, roof tiles, decking, windows, etc. ….. expanding and augmenting the existing range of plastic construction products already in use; pipes, insulation, sockets, sinks, etc. Therefore, a total “Plastic House” could require approximately 20 Tonnes of Plastic Waste. Importantly, this would spawn a new high value, manufacturing, engineering and construction sector – developed and patented by UK companies and sold to the world. This would be led and promoted by CAMPRADO.
19.High Value and Useful construction products – Fabric, Renewables, Glazing, Electrical, Guttering, Drainage
Transformation - re-engineering use ….. recalibrating value
Standard LEGO Unit
Costs £0.05 to make
Weighs 2.5 grams
Retails at £0.15
Production Cost: Retail
Universally loved by generations
2 bed house (10m LEGO units = 20 Tonnes)
High value engineered plastic and construction products – imagined and realised in the UK – sold to the World
20.Therefore, if the annual amount of UK generated Plastic Waste available to convert is approx. 3.0 million Tonnes – we could produce approx. 150,000 houses.
An extra benefit is that due to the relatively improved strength ratios of up-scaling plastic products – the Plastic source material and production process does not need to be pure – (rather like the acceptance of a relative % of inclusions in steel/concrete/timber).
This creates valuable economic potential for “combination contaminated” Plastic Waste – which is currently deemed to be a challenge – unusable and low value.
However, we have probably historically accumulated in the region of 150 million Tonnes of Plastic Waste over the years – which has the potential to create approx. 7.5 million new houses – therefore the Plastic Waste commodity available to us could not only fully satisfy the UK Housing needs but in addition could also construct other human habitat and infrastructure needs as well; roads, railways, dams, bridges, sea-defences, drainage, etc.
Conceivably, this strategy could find that we may need to produce more “managed Plastic ” production in order to convert it into high value: high volume construction products to solve the Housing shortfall or future construction needs.
And again ironically, using less energy in the process – as Plastic can be recycled at significantly reduced temperatures.
It also eradicates the interim stages of historic Plastic bio-degradation (micro beads and fibres) as the use inherently locks away the plastic for a long time.
With only approximately 8% of the potential primary
commodity resource currently being produced - the available capacity is enormous.
And with the gradual reduction in use and a shift away from Fossil Fuels towards Renewables (allied to the societal/legal rejection of many Plastic products) the “waste commodity” generated from the oil and gas energy sector could ironically become the “carbon fuels” themselves – making Plastic increasingly more available ….. yet more valuable – and therefore by inference ….. non-disposable!
But this fundamental Paradigm Shift Strategy (unusually) would not instigate the traditional employment schism that normally accompanies such change as it would also partly assist in the inevitable managed transition (economically, socially and politically) away from our carbon energy dependency. The future of oil and gas businesses may not reside in the Commodity Sector – but in the Manufacturing Sector (Petro-Chemical) thereby, ascending the value ladder.
Historic Plastic Waste is probably 150m Tonnes –
enough base resource to create 7.5m Houses
Plastic Waste transformed into Housing
Shifting away from Fossil Fuels
towards Renewable Energy
Reduces demand for primary
commodities (oil and gas)
Liberates capacity for a range
of PetroChemical products
Driving High Volume and Value
Plastic production strategy
Making Carbon Fuels the
future “waste commodities”
Plastic Waste grows by 3.0m Tonnes per annum -
enough base resource to create 150,000 Houses
Transformation – high volume : high value strategy
Plastic becomes non-disposable
22.Plastic Age : Plastic Revolution
Britain led the world in many historic epochs - but in particular with iron and steel – through innovation and Research and Development, Iron Ore and Additives, Mining, Manufacturing, Production, Fabrication and Construction.
And Britain can do the same again with ….. Plastic
Creating a new Engineering and Construction industry for the Plastic Age - by using remoulded base commodity/material - and by extension incorporating different additives into the base ingredient thereby inventing and exploiting new Plastic Composites; Carbon Fibre reinforced, Thermo-Plastics, Aramids (polymers), Glass reinforced, Phenolic cotton reinforced, Basalt reinforced, Graphite reinforced, etc.
Ironically the LEGO “analogy” has a further relevance with regards to economic and legislated re-cycling and re-usability of premium value, engineered Plastic construction products – particularly in the Housing sector. The ability to dismantle, reassemble, remodel and remould – adheres to the principles of the CDM Regulations 2015. But importantly it also retains the majority of the original economic value of the engineered product – whilst reducing the need to procure “first generation” base commodity resource.
By adopting the strategy and techniques of Plastic ex-Change™ ….. the primary environments of - land and water - would be cleansed of the historic Plastic Waste - whilst a self-harvesting, non-disposable and more environmentally considerate culture of human behaviour would be nurtured throughout the world’s population …..
The Housing Shortage would be satisfied by constructing desperately needed Houses and other infrastructure - re-using the large quantum of harvested (or production managed) Plastic base commodity/material.
Meanwhile, a UK based (yet globally active), economically high performing, design and manufacturing industry would develop – and where the UK would once again lead the world.
Comparative Economic Values of Plastic Products;
Plastic carrier bags retail @ £14.3 per kilogram
Lego standard bricks retail @ £60.00 per kilogram
Bullet proof vests retail @ £210.00 per kilogram
Formula E-racing cars retail @ £320.00 per kilogram
Therefore, why would anyone manufacture plastic bags ?
23.The Art and Science of Transformation – the age of plastic
British led - Global Engineering and Construction Industry for the Plastic Age ….. The Plastic Revolution
But the most important outcome of this strategy is that our Planet’s primary Habitats are given the time to repair and re-plenish – and the Relationships between all the species of Animals, Plants and Humans that share this most wonderful Planet - can begin to be Rebalanced …..
But the HOW, the WHAT and WHO will achieve this.
Much of the world's Built Environment and Infrastructure could be constructed from Plastic - a process initiated by Harvesting Plastic (new and historic) …..
Then Remoulding/Repurposing and Redeploying Plastic. Then subsequently Reusing Plastic, again and again.......
This strategy means that any future development needs minimal "traditional materials"; timber, metals, glass, cement, etc.
This promotes a clean-up of the environment (land and water - even air) to provide the commodity/material with which to build the desperately needed Houses - whilst preserving the natural environment and allowing it to rebalance and repair over time.
The increased "value" in the core construction resource (Plastic) will create a recalibration in human attitude and behaviour towards Plastic.
Making its non-biodegradable characteristics becoming its virtue - whereas traditional materials bio-degrade and need replacing/repairing plus needs protecting from corrosion/rotting, etc.
This will over time shift society away from being a "disposable society" and towards self-harvesting communities - especially important as Human attitude and behaviour is a primary reason for the wilful dumping of Plastic. Furthermore, the weening off fossil fuels towards renewables means that the available source commodity of Oil/Gas can provide even more Petro-Chemical manufacturing capacity - as currently only 8% of the potential is used for Plastic.
Eventually, Oil and Gas traded as a commodity will become “obsolete" and Petro-Chemical products will become the core use. This economic value progression has important benefits as it avoids the usual economic and social "schism" in the transition from one primary commodity era to the next. We see this as the transition phase - similar to the early years of the Industrial Revolution - but this is the dawn of the Plastic Revolution. The following diagram identifies all the inputs in order to develop and deliver this “Virtuous United Strategy”.
The constructions and products will need to be technologically researched and developed.
….. This is the purpose of CAMPRADO.
25.Build 1.5 m houses by 2022
Clean up the
Mobilise - technologists entrepreneurs, local government, communities and individual citizens to Harvest Plastic Waste
Source – manufacture and assemble 600m
Tonnes of traditional
What do we need to do ?
What do we need to do ?
Probably 150m Tonnes of Plastic Waste - the equivalent to the total resource required to ;
Supply - highly desirable and premium value manufactured products, and/or the
Delivery – of large scale and highly compelling societal needs and infrastructure
open mines, dredging and other environmental impacts and natural habitat stress
Stockpile Plastic Waste Resource
Plastic ex-Change ™– a plastic revolution
But this Paradigm Shift from Oil+Gas as an energy commodity to Petro-Chemical Manufacturing – allied to replacing traditional construction methodology and materials with Plastic derivatives - attracts many questions, including whether or not Plastic can truly replace the traditional constructional materials and methodologies.
However, the pioneers of structural; iron, steel, alloys, timber and masonry faced exactly the same questions when these materials were in their infancy. It is because of their imagination and ingenuity that innovation progressed and attracted funding that their use is now universal and have all developed Codes of Practice/Standards – regulating their use.
These pioneers included;
Henry Bessemer - an English inventor, whose steel-making process became the most important technique for making steel in the nineteenth century for almost one hundred years from 1856 to 1950. He also played a significant role in establishing the town of Sheffield (Steel City) as a major industrial centre.
Harry Brearley – an English metallurgist discovered 'rustless' steel. Credited with inventing the first true stainless steel, which had a 12.8% chromium content. He had added chromium to molten iron to produce a metal that did not rust – still regarded as the most sustainable manufactured material.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel - an English civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history," "one of the 19th-century engineering giants,“
Thomas Telford - a Scottish civil engineer. After establishing himself as an engineer of road and canal projects in Shropshire, he designed numerous infrastructure projects, as well as harbours and tunnels.
Bill Curtin - developed the Structural Masonry Designers' Manual (1982) followed by Structural Masonry Detailing (1984) and the Design of Reinforced and Prestressed Masonry (1988).
Sir Ove Nyquist Arup - an English engineer who founded the Arup Group, a multinational corporation that promoted an integrated approach to; engineering, design, planning, project management, and consulting services for building systems.
These traditional constructional materials, products and methods are represented and promoted by; British Constructional Steelwork Association (CONSTRADO), British Cement and Concrete Association (BCCA), Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA), The Brick Development Association (BDA), National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA).
CAMPRADO will promote constructional and manufactured plastic.
Stockpile Plastic Waste Resource
Constructional Material Pioneers
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Sir Ove Nyquist Arup