Environmental Benefits

Around the GlobeGypsum is the primary raw material for the manufacture of Rapidwall.

Throughout the world, natural gypsum as well as synthetic gypsum is used for Rapidwall.

Natural gypsum is an inert, naturally occurring, material and available in vast quantities all over the world. In all countries gypsum is used as a clay breaker to enhance the yield of farming land.

Many millions of tonnes of flue gas gypsum and phospho gypsum are produced annually as by-products of coal fired power stations and chemical fertilizer industries and in many cases this waste is itself becoming an environmental problem.

By utilising Rapid Building Systems’ Rapidflow calcination equipment,phospho gypsum, flue gas gypsum and other industrial gypsums can be turned into plaster and subsequently into Rapidwall buildings that are environmentally friendly, non polluting, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing; thereby cleaning up the environment.

In formulating Rapidwall building panels, the main ingredients are plaster and water supplemented with relatively small amounts of other materials to obtain excellent water resistant and strength properties.

The other raw materials consist of retarder, a water proofing agent, polymers, consistency modifiers, release agents and fibre glass rovings.

These ingredients are sourced through the petrochemical, mineral and vegetable oil industries and are all supplied with comprehensive Material Safety Data Sheets for safe and environmentally responsible use. There are no animal products required or used.

Rapidwall is continuing with research and development on raw materials and additives to obtain even better performances within strict ecological guidelines, whilst maintaining quality and recycling status as top priorities.

In a diverse range of countries and communities where Rapidwall is active, traditional customs, beliefs and religions are treated with the highest respect, before and during the life cycle of the respective projects.

Eliminating environmental damage

China outlawed the use of clay bricks in 2002 because of the damage caused by the mining of clay and because of the pollution caused by firing the many thousands of kilns. So important does China view this issue, they now operate in Beijing, a “Ministry of Walling” with the sole responsibility of finding and introducing new types of energy efficient and environmentally friendly walling products.

The Government of India has arrived at a similar conclusion in regard to the use of Rapidwall, and production started two years ago.

The single panel Rapidwall system serves as both the internal and external wall and eliminates the need for bricks, blocks, timber and steel wall frames and plasterboard linings.

The lowest energy embodied building product

"Rapidwall panels are the lowest embodied energy building material available on the world market."
Quote from thesis by Robert Omahen Faculty of Economics, University of Regensburg, Germany © 2002.

Embodied energy is the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a building, from the acquisition of natural resources to product delivery, including mining, manufacturing of materials and equipment, transport and administrative functions.

Adding all the energy components together from gypsum mining, manufacturing panels, transporting to site and constructing a building, Rapidwall buildings are low energy consumers.

Even when concrete and insulation are used to fill cavities in the panels to provide insulation for single storeys, and strength for multi storeys, the embodied energy of Rapidwall buildings is substantially less than other buildings.

Studies have been carried out on a series of alternative building products and Rapidwall is less than 50% of these materials.

Eligible for Carbon Credits

Rapidwall has been acknowledged by the World Bank to be eligible for carbon credits, which we understand, to be the first building material to achieve such recognition.

Air drying
In many countries in the world Rapidwall building panels can be air dried in open air racks thereby alleviating the need for kiln drying process and saving on energy.

100% recyclable
- With Rapidwall, door and window openings are cut in the factory according to building design requirements.
- The partial off-cuts can be used in other parts of the building project, or returned to the plaster manufacturer for recycling.
- If not recycled, off-cuts and miscellaneous remnants of panels remaining after installation are biodegradable after pulverising.

Carbon dioxide emissions are substantially less for Rapidwall than comparable building materials.
- One square metre of clay brickwork emits over 70kg of carbon dioxide compared with 7kg for the equivalent “Rapidwall” panel. The carbon dioxide emissions include production, transportation and installation of the respective products.
- When panels are air dried, natural water vapour is the only emission into the atmosphere, and there are no other emissions.

Environment Impacts
Environmental impact clearances have so far been obtained with each plant approval in Australia, China and India and completely comply with Environmental guidelines set by the local Environment Protection Boards.

Air Quality—exterior
- Where gypsum is calcined the emissions are kept well below any Countries legal limits.
- Plaster conveying is a minimal dust operation and any dust generated is encapsulated within the silos. Exhaust air from the dust collectors is filtered through bin vents mounted on the top of the silos and bins, and then recycled.
- Mobile equipment such as fork lift trucks operating outside the factory are equipped and fully maintained with exhausts and silencers as specified by the suppliers and local regulations.
- Access roads surrounding the factory are either made from concrete or asphalt, minimising airborne dust caused by traffic movement.

Air Quality—interior
- The factory is ventilated via natural air flows and there are no airborne emissions from the production process of producing Rapidwall.
- Efficient dust collection removes potential dust emissions at each stage of the processing.
- Mobile equipment operating within the factory site is fitted with approved exhaust systems.
- Operators are provided with masks when handling some raw materials as specified by the Supplier’s MSDS.

Water Supply, Underground Tanks and Rain Water Harvesting
- Potable water is used in the process for making Rapidwall building panels.
- Process water is sourced from local water services to the nominated industrial area.
- Additional water is sourced from recycling process water stored in underground tanks, and by harvesting rain water.

Recycled Plaster
- In the final stages of moulding and forming Rapidwall building panels, excess plaster slurry is screeded from the surface of the panels. This material is collected by the operators, placed in containers and recycled by the plaster manufacturer and/or supplier for reuse in the process
- The wet mixer is washed after each panel is mixed and formed, and the wash water is recycled and used again.

Environmentally Friendly Raw Materials
All raw materials are carefully selected to avoid toxic and hazardous substances in the process. Plaster (CaSO4, 0.5H2O) is the main raw material which is made from naturally occurring or industrial gypsum. It is a fully biodegradable material when pulverised finely and water is added, forming gypsum.

Sourcing Raw Materials
All raw materials are derived from natural minerals and natural vegetable sources. There are no animal materials present throughout the process.

Gypsum plaster is the main raw material used for making Rapidwall building panels and is produced by calcining natural gypsum rock or industrial waste gypsum with the chemical name of calcium sulphate dihydrate (CaSO4, 2H2O). Natural gypsum is mined, transported from a local source and converted into plaster by local manufacturers. The chemical name for plaster is calcium sulphate hemihydrate (CaSO4, 0.5H2O). Gypsum and plaster are both slightly soluble in water and are considered non hazardous substances.

Glass Fibre Rovings(E glass)
Glass Fibre rovings are used for reinforcing Rapidwall building panels. The rovings are cut into lengths during panel production and are wetted directly into the plaster slurry during moulding operations. Fibre glass handling and cutting are considered non hazardous activities. The fibreglass is non respirable.

Retarders are classed as food grade quality

Further information regarding raw materials used in the production and manufacture of Rapidwall or Rapidflow plasters and material safety data sheets (MSDS) are available on request from Rapid Building Systems.

Respect for Local Customs and Religious Beliefs
Rapidwall building panels are manufactured in a number of countries throughout the world and the respective customs and religions are high priorities for consideration before, during and after building new plants. In this regard great care has been taken to remain sensitive towards these important items

Where appropriate the following important items are addressed:
- As the process is a batch operation, prayer times are available for personnel during normal production cycles.
- Care has been taken to ensure that all raw materials used in the process are of non animal origin.
- Any other requirements not mentioned here but required by local laws and regulations are implemented. for disadvantaged peoples.