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Nãm is the first circular economy urban farm in Portugal, which produces organic mushrooms from the waste of coffee grounds. Nãm came to Novonovo to ask us to make the cladding of the containers where the mushrooms are produced. We designed the project and looked for suppliers who had wood leftovers that could be used for the project. In this way we were able to save 670 wood slats from leftovers from other carpentry projects, giving them a new life in Nãm’s containers.
Finishing: natural varnish
Material: Natural wood, plywood
Type: fir, pine, mahogany ..
length: between 2m & 2,2m
Width: between 3cm & 7cm
Thickness: approx. 3cm
About the client
Nãm is the first urban circular economy farm in Portugal. Located in Lisbon, it produces delicious organic mushrooms from the waste of the coffee grounds of Delta Cafés. Additionally, they use the waste of the mushroom production to produce natural fertilizers that nourish the cultivation of local farmers, closing the cycle.
The story behind
The idea of the partnership between the two circular startups arose after a reunion at a networking event between the founders of Nãm (Natan) and Novonovo (Lorenzo). After several conversations and a visit to Nãm’s farm, the measurements were taken and the first sketches were drawn - then the project started to gain shape.
Novonovo's work involved all phases of the project, from design to execution:
1. Finding a supplier with enough wood slats leftovers to make the cladding of the containers, as well as the appropriate measures for the project, taking into account the dimensions of the containers and their location (partially outside);
2. Visit the supplier's facility and analyze the material to assess the suitability of the wood, its state of conservation and it's the physical characteristics;
3. Discuss and design in order to make the most of the shape, color and texture of the slats available, where the material was the protagonist;
4. Reach an agreement with Nãm and plan the work, define dates and allocate the necessary material.
The treatment and transport of the wood were carried out by the supplier, while Novonovo’s team and an external collaborator built the structure and made the final tweaks.
In total, 670 wood slats were recovered in the cladding project, with several different types of wood among them, namely:
Pine, Cherry, Oak, Black Poplar, Sucupira, Mahogany, Beech, Tola, Acacia.
The original slats were originally from:
Baseboards, Door friezes, Cutting scraps.
By choosing the use of secondary material, it was possible to avoid the use of new raw materials and, at the same time, to take advantage of the flow of existing materials.
From an environmental point of view, it was possible to reduce the ecological footprint related to the extraction of raw materials and to take advantage of the potential of the wood scraps used, avoiding their waste.
It was possible to avoid the ecological footprint associated with the transportation of these materials to waste treatment centers as well as pollution generated from its possible incineration, recycling or landfilling.
The project was developed based on circular design principles, which was also a creative process where time was invested in the detailed observation of the material and the mental, written and graphic projections of possible compositions.
In terms of cost-benefit, working with this wood allowed the use of material from various types of solid wood, some of which are difficult to find and have a high market value.
The final result also has a differentiated aesthetic value with the variety of sizes, colors and patterns of the wood veins that created a very interesting visual set that would be difficult to create out of new wood.