Material supplier SABIC’s ICEhouse took center stage during the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The ICE in ICEhouse stands for Innovation for the Circular Economy.

SABIC collaborated with renowned architect and sustainability pioneer William McDonough to make the ICEhouse. McDonough is known for developing the “Cradle to Cradle” design philosophy, which is now a part of the Circular Economy approach to product design that allows building materials to be reused and have a second life.

“Carbon—the element—is not the enemy,” McDonough said. “Climate change is the result of breakdowns in the carbon cycle: it is a design failure. When carbon is used in [the] right way, like in the materials made by SABIC, buildings such as ICEhouse are breathing new life into the carbon conversation. Rather than focus on carbon emissions, we can work with carbon as durable element, as an earthbound asset.”

“Given concerns about climate change, it is understandable that carbon has a problematic reputation, but the truth is when carbon is used in a safe way—as it is in ICEhouse—then it can be a tremendous asset,” added Ernesto Occhiello, Executive Vice President of Specialties at SABIC. The structure’s materials are superior to their traditional counterparts and much more reusable. This is creating ‘Chemistry that Matters’ for sustainable societies.”

The ICEhouse features SABIC’s new fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite technologies, which are used for floor panels and profile structures instead of metal and wood. SABIC says its thermoplastic materials delivering “superior durability, impact performance, and safety with less weight.” The cladding for the ICEhouse made was made with SABIC’s LEXAN product – a polycarbonate resin – filled with nanogels for outstanding energy efficiency.

SABIC also provided thermoplastic composite sandwich floor panels with skins made out of its UDMax – a unidirectional glass fiber reinforced polypropylene tape, which can be being up to 50 percent lighter than plywood and has higher abrasion and impact resistance.

Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC Vice-Chairman and CEO, says that the thermoplastic components of the ICEhouse can be used far beyond architectural settings.

“Through this innovative building, which combines art and engineering, we are exhibiting materials that utilize carbon in a positive way. SABIC solutions can open up a world of new possibilities for designers with their strong, lightweight, and durable properties,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC Vice-Chairman and CEO. “The impact of these new materials will be felt far beyond the world of architecture, bringing benefits to designers in industries as diverse as electronics, healthcare and aerospace.”