January 15, 2009
SwissCell walls are based on hexagonal structures similar to honeycombs: the technique results in lightweight but strong boards, typical used in the vehicle and aircraft industry. Usually honeycomb boards are made of aluminum – an expensive and energy intensive material. SwissCell, by contrast, is a cellulose product, impregnated by synthetic resin.
Due to the low commodity price the honeycomb boards are cheap - it’s just paper! The material is also an excellent insulator. Each comb works as a ‘mini’- vacuum (Vacuum Isolated Panels) and has very good insulating properties.
Accordingly the material will be first adopted for temporary homes in conflict area: "Universal World House"."From the very beginning, our goal was to create practical, environmentally sustainable, and, most importantly, cheap living quarters for the slums of the Earth," Gerd Niemöller, who developed the cellulose material the houses are made of, said in a recent statement. "Now, that is possible." (source: Der Spiegel - 01/13/2009). The price for 36 m² shouldn’t be more than $5,000. While the design of the “Universal World House” might be questionable, there's certainly potential in the paper-based building material.