Outdoor furniture made from bird-repellent flax and elephant grass: Circular seating comfort

Whilst you do not deliberately sit on it differently, it was deliberately made differently. Schiphol features outdoor furniture made from bird-repellent flax and elephant grass. These pieces of bio-based designer furniture are not only multi-functional, they are also responsibly manufactured.

We are currently testing bio-concrete as outdoor furniture at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and elsewhere in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer.

A combination of smart bio-based materials

Elephant grass (Miscanthus giganteus), industrial hemp and flax are being grown in the vicinity of the runways. These crops are the basis for a variety of bio-based materials. The Miscanthus is used for bio-concrete, and the flax and hemp fibres are used to make a bio-composite. The bio-based outdoor furniture features an innovative combination of these materials. The bio-concrete core keeps the furniture standing even in force 11 winds. The bio-composite exterior gives the furniture a more high-end look.

A summary of the advantages:

  • The crops used take in CO2, absorb noise and repel birds (which is important for aviation safety).
  • The benches combine two types of bio-based materials: bio-concrete and bio-composite. This is positive in terms of both cost and flexibility.
  • At the end of their service cycle, the benches can be broken up and reused in bio-based insulation material.
  • The local cooperation ensures short lines in the chain.

Working together to meet challenges

Both the environment and businesses stand to make tremendous gains from the production of bio-based products and applications. This requires special partnerships. For this initiative, the partnership involving the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, Miscanthusgroep, Strukton, Hempflax, TSG, Hogeschool InHolland and Schiphol resulted in the first unique benches in April 2016.

We predict a growing demand for bio-based materials in the future. Parties with different interests are fishing in the same limited pond. This calls for a regional management function in order to guarantee the continuity of purchasing and production.