Introducing Alusid - Sustainable surfaces from recycled glass and broken sinks

4 February 2019

In an era of rapidly diminishing material resources, mounting industrial waste and the growing threat of climate catastrophe, the need for meaningful action is growing ever more urgent. Since 2015, ALUSID has been pioneering the design and manufacture of sustainable architectural surfaces by diverting waste materials from landfill. Shards of glass from kerbside collections, broken sanitary ware, glaze waste from ceramic manufacture – all find their way into ALUSID’s Preston facility, re-emerging as beautiful sheets of coloured SilicaStone – a new surface material produced from at least 98% recycled waste.

"As our environment and its resources are so fragile and finite, we need to find every way possible to respect them and reduce our reliance on them."
- Professor David Binns

Professor David Binns and Dr Alasdair Bremner developed SilicaStone while conducting a research project at the University of Central Lancashire. The pair were exploring ways in which waste and low- value materials, destined for landfill, might be productively repurposed when they developed an innovative and aesthetically versatile material made from glass, ceramics and mineral waste. Through the process of sintering (binding materials together by applying heat and/or pressure), low-value materials and by-products are transformed into beautiful architectural surfaces that can be used for a huge variety of design applications – from furniture to table tops.

Realising that SilicaStone has enormous potential as a sustainable alternative to natural stone, traditional ceramic or modern, polymer-based surfaces, David and Alasdair founded ALUSID with the aim of making the material available to architects and designers. SilicaStone can be cut, ground, polished and glazed just like traditional granite and, thanks to its structure, it can be produced in a huge range of colours. Made without the use of resin, SilicaStone is UV-stable and naturally fire-resistant – making it highly versatile and suited to both indoor and outdoor use.

Its appeal lies not only in its versatility but also in its looks. By its nature, every piece of SilicaStone is unique and no two surfaces are ever quite the same.

"We live increasingly in a world where almost everything is made to be as perfect as possible. I love the natural, subtle and beautiful imperfections that occur in our products – derived from using recycled waste as our raw material. ALUSID’s products will always have some level of natural imperfection, as they are made from waste that nobody else wants."
- Professor David Binns

In the years since its launch, ALUSID has worked with architects and designers in the UK and internationally and has showcased SilicaStone at a number of headline design exhibitions. Recent appearances include London Design Festival 2018, at both designjunction and Ready Made Go 4 at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, where design studio M-L-XL demonstrated SilicaStone’s viability as a product-design material with its ‘Blanco e Nero’ games table.

Both designers and architects are welcoming the opportunity to employ a sustainable material that doesn’t add to landfill and which avoids the kind of environmental damage associated with quarrying natural stone, and the carbon cost of transporting it long-distance.

Now firmly established as design material, SilicaStone is now available in three 3D tile designs, as well as in solid-surface blocks for furniture and countertops, cut and coloured to order and polished by hand. Alongside developing the SilicaStone product range, ALUSID continues to research and develop new sustainable materials and methods of making – including a new consumer product family due to launch later this year.

"This design and testing process is ongoing and offers almost limitless possibilities in terms of finish. So far we have only skimmed the surface in terms of what might be possible."
- Professor David Binns


For further information and images about ALUSID and SilicaStone, please contact Emma Collins at Zetteler
T: +44 (0)20 3735 5855

SilicaStone is distributed by Panaz.
For more information and to discuss your requirements please visit