Shape it up!

Save Money And Energy With A Green Home Building

Who said coffee is only for drinking?

Through some very innovative thinking, students at the University of the Andes in Bogota, Colombia, have built what is considered the first coffee wood composite house.

This is a very appropriate accomplishment for a top academic institution in a country known for its quality coffee. From the seed to the cup and now to sweet, sweet coffee home!

How did they do it?

Graduate engineering students began academic work about building homes with a focus on “design for sustainability.” Their professor, รับสร้างบ้านราชบุรี Jaime Medina, Director of the Research Center of Polymer Processing (“Centro de Investigacion en Procesamiento de Polimeros) of the University of the Andes in Bogota supervised the project.

The main objectives were,

  • Low construction costs. Light weight. Portability.
  • Ease of maintenance. Non toxicity.
  • Flexibility. Sturdiness.
  • Identifying an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional building materials such as wood.
  • Tree logging is responsible for significant deforestation in the country.
  • Reducing the use of chemicals in the construction process to promote good health standards.
  • Over a period of two years, the students evaluated multiple eco-friendly materials to build homes such as banana plants, palm trees, bamboo, coffee, etc.

To understand why coffee became the front runner for the new construction material in this academic project, it is important to review some basics about the steps in the coffee processing. From the seed to the cup, coffee goes through several natural steps,

  • Planting the coffee trees and cultivating them for years before they bear fruit (coffee cherries).
  • Harvesting the cherries using “strip picking” or “selective picking” methods.
  • Processing the coffee cherries using “dry method” or “wet method.”
  • Drying the beans if they have been processed using the “wet method.”
  • Milling the beans to remove the parchment layer (endocarp) from wet processed coffee.
  • Hulling dry processed coffee to remove the entire dried husk of the dried cherries.
  • At every step of its production, coffee is repeatedly tested for quality and taste.
  • Exporting is the next step for the milled coffee also called “‘green coffee.”
  • Finally, roasting and brewing coffee completes the cycle to the cup from the seed.


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