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What novel niche products could be made from chipped construction wood waste? [group-join name=”2xmore”]

The Brief

In many parts of the world, the wood from building demolition and renovation is often wasted or ends up in landfills. However, a growing number of jurisdictions are putting by-laws in place to encourage its reuse. We have been doing some R&D around this issue here in Vancouver BC, and this is what we have learned so far;

  • this wood material is largely dimensional lumber with a mix of about 40% clean untreated wood and 60% painted, glued, or chemically treated wood
  • currently, it is usually either salvaged and reused for non-structural applications, or chipped for compost or industrial fuel
  • the volume is adequate for a niche product but not enough for high volume commodity products (322,000 tonnes are disposed yearly and 434,000 tonnes are recycled yearly in Metro Vancouver).

Certainly the details will vary for each jurisdiction but the challenge of better using this construction waste material is a widespread issue and solutions in one area may be applicable to another. To that end, we invite interested people to come up with possible product concepts either from 1) the chipped/mixed waste material itself or 2) the panel products that we have identified already as possible platform products. If you choose option one, you will need to go beyond using it as is for insulation (we already thought of thatJ). If you choose option two, you will need to learn about the two panels we have prototyped and expand on them in terms of technology, design or application. The two panel products are; acoustic panels and high performance panels. We will provide you with whatever information you need about these platform products during the challenge.

Click for Photos & More Panel Details

1. Acoustic Panels – The first product you can build on is an acoustic panel that we call ‘Acoustic Muesli Board’. Its properties are:

  • A density of 300kg/m3 – 400kg/m3
  • It uses a low emission PF (phenol formaldehyde) resin for interior applications (this is brown in colour) or a water based formaldehyde free acrylic resin (which is clear)
  • It has a fire rating comparable to low density non-structural wood based panels such as particle board or MDF
  • Appearance is rough, flakes exposed providing a surface with high porosity
  • This product requires no extra processing energy as it uses the waste wood as it is found.

2. High Performance Panels – The other product you can build from is a high performance, coconut fiber reinforced particleboard with the following properties:

  • It has a density of 630 – 700kg/m3 depending on application
  • It uses a PF low emission resin for interior and exterior applications (it is brown) or water based formaldehyde free acrylic resin (which is clear)

The product’s surface provides high abrasion resistance and over-average performance throughout the whole range of mechanical properties (MOE, MOR, IB, screw withdrawal 30% above particleboard).

The concepts generated in this challenge must;

  • use either wood chips or the one of the panel prototypes as a starting point but build on these in a unique manner,
  • be a niche or specialty product (as our research indicates that is a more feasible fit with the volume of recyclable wood),
  • be mainly wood though it may also include non-wood materials in a supporting role, and
  • target solutions to important issues in today’s built environment.

The concepts generated in this challenge may;

  • be a system, a discreet product or a product line, and
  • be a product or a product/service combination.

Participants can contribute as much or as little as they wish. That is, you may only comment and give feedback on other’s ideas or you may wish to submit concepts of your own. This challenge emphasizes collaboration. Rewards are given for collaboration and contribution, as well as for best concepts. We have chosen a collaborative approach because we believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The resulting concepts will be used to spark further R&D and ultimately, help bring the world closer to a renewable built environment of the future.

How this Challenge will Work

The challenge will take place over a six week period, from November 2nd, 2015 to December 11th, 2015. With a final week for voting for the participants choice award.

It will have three phases, the first phase is where participants are encouraged to add context to the challenge. Click the ‘Context’ tab to share anything that might be of interest or add to the understanding of our challenge. This could be comments, documents, links, images or video, the more visual and concise you can be the better.

When you are ready, you can begin developing your concept. When you are ready to accept feedback on your concept, move to the next phase and upload it for others in the challenge to see and comment on. Building on each other’s ideas is encouraged as we hope that this will leverage the ideas and experiences of the community. These first two phases will last 6 weeks. You are free to modify and improve your own idea right up to the deadline of the concept phase which is December 11th, 2015.

The third phase is the evaluation phase where participants are asked to vote on the ideas they think are the most viable based on the challenge criteria. The concept with the most votes wins the Community Choice Award. In addition, our jury will choose two cash winning concepts. This phase will last week.

During each phase, FPIntell moderators will help shape the journey and keep things on track.


Since this challenge stresses collaboration, the cash prizes are for both participation and best concepts. There is $5000CDN total in cash prizes.

1st Top Collaborator reward $500

2nd Top Collaborator reward $500

Best Concept $2500

Second Best Concept $1500

All winners will receive recognition on this site even after the challenge is over. In addition, winning concepts will be presented to the industry-government bio-products steering committee for consideration for further R&D.

Criteria for Evaluating Concepts

The following criteria will be used by the community and the jury to evaluate the concepts.

  • How comprehensive and clear is the concept submission?
  • How well does the concept solve the challenge?
  • How important is the problem that this concept addresses in the built environment? (sustainability)
  • How innovative is the concept?
  • How well would the concept perform?
  • Aesthetic Appeal (for appearance products)

Criteria for Evaluating Collaboration

A combination of qualitative and quantitative measurements will be used to evaluate participant collaborative efforts and contributions.

  • Quantitative evaluation will be things such as; number of comments, number of posts, number of invites to others to join the site, number of iterations, number of times a participant ‘applauds’ another’s posts
  • Qualitative evaluation will be done by the Challenge managers and be based on the value of comments, posts and ideas

The Jury

Karen Storry-city-of-vancouverKaren Storry – Senior Project Engineer at Metro Vancouver




iain.macdonaldIain Macdonald – Managing Director for the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing Department at UBC



felx.boeckFelix Boeck – PhD. Candidate and Entrepreneur




You must be registered to the FPIntell LAB to participate. You can do this by clicking the Sign Up tab and finding the ‘2xMore Challenge’ area. You will be asked to agree to the Terms and Conditions of this challenge. As a member of a project, you will have full access to the interactive features of that event. You will be able to submit concepts, comment on, read, evaluate and be a candidate for the rewards.


The 2xMore Challenge is open to anyone though it will be of particular interest to engineers, architects, interior designers and industrial designers, building professionals and material scientists. Students in these areas are also most welcome. To be eligible to take part in the Challenge, Participants must be age 18 or older at the beginning of the Challenge. Employees of FPInnovations and its affiliates, and their immediate families (defined as husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, or persons residing in the household of such employees), and anyone else professionally connected with the Challenge are also eligible for participation. Employees of FPInnovations are however not eligible to receive any of the prizes. FPInnovations reserves the right to verify the eligibility of Participants and check their identity.

Terms and Conditions

All intellectual property rights to the concepts (e.g. text, graphics, images, illustrations, etc.) presented by you as part of this challenge belong to you. FPInnovations has first rights to negotiate with any participant for exclusive rights. We also ask that participants do not post any concept that is not their original work and/or that could belong to a third party by contractual or employment obligations. 

The two winning participants of this challenge agree to assign their rights to FPInnovations on ideas and concepts that they post on the site. Non-winners retain their rights but give a free, non-exclusive license to FPInnovations, which means they are free to further develop, license or commercialize their concept or idea. We also ask that participants do not post any concept that is not their original work and/or that could belong to a third party by contractual or employment obligations.

How to Upload a Concept 

From within the project, click on the ‘Upload Concept’ button.

  • Name your concept
  • Describe your concept (less than 300 words) citing materials used, the functional aspects of your concept and the main benefits of the concept including how it solves the challenge and how it solves important issues in the built environment.
  • Add supporting images using the following file formats JPEG, GIF or PNG, maximum file size is 3 Mb, maximum file count in each post is 5 (five).
  • Add supporting information as a PDF.
  • You may add links to web pages or videos.


This challenge is sponsored by FPInnovations. FPInnovations is among the world’s largest private, not-for-profit forest research centres.

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