What is the ICEhouse?
28th Jan 2016
The ICEhouse was created by William McDonough working with his firms, William McDonough + Partners and WonderFrame LLC, at the invitation of Hub Culture, a global collaboration network managing momentary Pavilions, the Ven digital currency and the HubID digital identity system. The project was supported by and a close collaboration with SABIC, and also received support from SAP.
The ICEhouse, Circular Economy and Cradle to Cradle
The ICEhouse demonstrates what is possible when designs eliminate the concept of waste and instead add to the “resourcefulness” of a system—in essence, as William McDonough says, “putting the ‘re’ back in ‘resources’” which is the foundation of the Circular Economy.
The ICEhouse is primarily made of four materials: aluminum (the structural frame), polycarbonate (SABIC’s LEXANTM polycarbonate sheet and systems used for the walls and roof, and Kartell polycarbonate furniture and light fixtures), aerogel (Cabot Nanogel® is used as an insulation material within the LEXAN wall and ceiling system), and Nylon 6 (the William McDonough Butterfly Effect Collection carpet from Patcraft, a division of Shaw Industries). These four materials are assembled in ways that allow them to be easily disassembled and reused in another location.
As defined technical nutrients, at the end of their use cycle they can be returned to industry and endlessly remanufactured into new products with no loss in material quality. They are all either Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM or in the process of becoming certified.
ICEhouse also is an experiment in employing the WonderFrame, Mr. McDonough’s broader vision for a simple, flexible structural system that can be erected quickly and that is made of locally available materials wherever WonderFrames are deployed. The patent-pending structure is comprised of simple elements connected using simple tools.
What is next for the ICEhouse?
After the close of the Annual Meeting, Mr. McDonough plans to locate an ICEhouse in Amsterdam, at The Valley at Schiphol Trade Park, The Netherlands’ new National Hub for the Circular Economy (for which McDonough is a partner and master architect). He will also be leading the further development of the ICEhouse and the WonderFrame toward solutions for those most in need.