Amsterdam-based startup Respyre is turning concrete into a green and living material with its “bio-receptive” concrete product which when applied to existing structures facilitates the growth of moss.
The aim is to apply this concrete as a layer on existing but otherwise bare concrete surfaces. By doing so these bare surfaces will over time be transformed into moss overgrown ‘living’ surfaces such as green walls, which increases local biodiversity.
The innovation turns unused surfaces into opportunities to bring nature into the city in an easy, affordable and circular way, since recycled concrete aggregates and natural products are used.
Respyre’s concrete is bio-receptive due to its porosity and water retainment, micropore texture, acidity and nutrients that are included in the mixture – all of which creates the perfect setting for moss to thrive on. With this bio-receptive concrete, moss can purposefully be grown on any horizontal and vertical surface in urban areas.
Moss is able to remove pollutants from water and air, absorb and retain excess water, increase biodiversity, reduce noise pollution, provide cooling and can do even more.
According to Respyre, the product “can be sprayed or plastered on – application to existing structures extends the lifetime of the construction as it is protected against weathering and detoriation – and can also be used to produce prefab elements.”
Respyre’s bio-receptive product has been successfully demonstrated in the lab and is currently being tested in actual user environments.
Respyre was founded in 2020 by Mark de Kruijff, and developed in partnership with two professors from TU Delft.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living