Throughout my career my art practice and research have been inter-dependent, each informing the other.

Over the last eight years my research has focussed on utilising recycled waste from the ceramic, glass and stone industries. Research funded by two AHRC awards (£242,0000), was in direct response to the unsustainable depletion of virgin material stocks and excessive landfill of waste materials. 

My research has followed two inter-related paths of investigation: one involving developing art-work made from 100% recycled waste and another exploiting the commercial potential of the material as an architectural surfacing material.

 

Following an initial £260K of venture funding ALUSID was established as a UCLan spin-out company, involving a manufacturing facility in Lancashire. Currently employing 9 people, ALUSID has now fulfilled numerous UK and overseas client-based projects, including feature interior and exterior walls and restaurant surfaces - whilst continuing ongoing R&D with the field.

In Spring 2019 high street retailer Topps Tiles launches an exclusive range of ALUSID tile products in their boutique stores - 'SEQUEL'. This will be Topps Tiles first ever truly sustainable product range.

ALUSID has recently received a further £1.7 million in venture funding, which will be used to undertake further development work, leading to a stock market flotation to fund a large manufacturing facility, capable of high volume tile production.

 

ALUSID manufactures SilicaStone, a range of unique, award-winning architectural and interior tiling and cladding products - made from 100% recycled glass, ceramic and mineral waste.

Based in Preston Lancashire, ALUSID is a spin out company from the University of Central Lancashire, grown out of a research project led by Professor David Binns and Dr Alasdair Bremner.

Their research was driven by a belief that architects, artists, designers and manufacturers must find ways to ensure their creative practice is increasingly sustainable and environmentally responsible.

 

The primary aim of ALUSID has been to develop a range of architectural surfaces that combine aesthetic beauty, functionality and sustainability, through innovative product design development and environmentally responsible manufacturing.

Through utilizing locally sourced low-value, sometimes problematic waste materials otherwise destined for landfill, the manufacturing objectives are to:

  • Offer the construction industry a sustainable alternative to natural stone or synthetic polymer-based surfacing products

  • Reduce landfill volumes of glass, ceramic and mineral waste

  • Maximise levels of energy efficiency and minimize reliance on non-replenishable raw materials

  • Avoid the environmental damage commonly associated with quarrying

  • Avoid high levels of carbon emission associated with long distance transportation of raw materials.

 

The fundamental principles that have defined the development and manufacturing of SilicaStone have been:

  • Creativity

  • Functionality

  • Durability

  • Adapatbility

  • Sustainability

  • Eco-responsibility

 

As ALUSID’s strategic plan is to upscale over the next two years, the aims will broaden to include:

  • Significantly increased volumes of production – up to 20,000 sq mtrs per month.

  • Increased emphasis on energy efficiency and levels of product consistency – employing continuous firing production

  • Greater diversity of product range

  • Ongoing R&D to further exploit IP (European Patent No.: 13786716.4)

  • Utilization of lead-bearing CRT glass – a global waste problem, due to the hazardous nature of this material

© David Binns 2019