GOOD DESIGN AWARD

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Year awarded
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Special Award
Company Info

2010

GOOD DESIGN|サステナブルデザイン賞

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Award-winning item
Structural board material [KENABOARD]
Business Owner
Panasonic Electric Works Co.,Ltd.
Domain/Category
Living - Residential Facilities
Company
Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. (Japan)
Award Number
10B06046
Outline of Good Design Award winners
Outline of Good Design Award winners 2010

Outline* The shown information is the one as of the awarded date and might has been changed.

Outline

A new durable paneling material that is strong,flexible and lightweight," made from the eco-friendly material kenaf. Kenaf grows quickly, rapidly absorbing CO2. Using it as a substitute for wood helps protect forest resources. It achieves maximum wall strength factors of 3.2x and 2.8x. Since it allows the home to have fewer load-bearing walls than structural plywood, it increases freedom when designing space. The excellent moisture permeability (about 10 times that of structural plywood) minimizes condensation within the walls and makes the home more durable. Since it is lightweight (weighing about one-third less than structural plywood), it is quick and safe to build with. The company is also using the material to make interior sliding doors. This allows a simple, modern sliding door design that is thin and lightweight and does not warp even at heights up to ceiling level."

Producer

Kazuo Kawai, New Buisness & Products Planning Department, Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd.

Director

Yuzo Okudaira, Kenaf Products Development Group, New Products Tecknologies Development Department, Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd.

Designer

Yuzo Okudaira, Kenaf Products Development Group, New Products Tecknologies Development Department, Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd.

More information

http://sumai.panasonic.jp/kenaboard/

Already on the market
2005/8/1

Evaluation

Nowadays, people look to see whether design is ethical to the environment and society: is it eco-friendly, does it consider clean energy, is the manufacturing performed under fair labor conditions? On the other hand, the deforestation is a problem, especially in the tropical rainforest. Given the circumstances, the manufacturer focused on kenaf, a fast-growing plant, and does everything from cultivation of the kenaf to manufacturing of the boards in Kuantan, Malaysia. Kenaf is already used as a non-wood fiber to make paper, but there have been problems, such as reaching 30% scrap rate, or excessive dust during the manufacturing process. Members of this company's kenaf project confronted such problems and created a production system that does not waste even the tiniest scrap of kenaf. For example, they developed biomass power generation as a set with the product and are able to supply nearly 100% of the energy used in the factory. This is a great example of a company being socially responsible and practicing ethical design. The project team further aims to develop a structural wallboard product using no binder at all, only kenaf, heat and pressure.

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