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GREEN-BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION LABELLED EQUILIBRIUM FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
A different market approach that is the perfect synthesis between 'for profit' and 'non-profit' which, in this case, represents an interest that goes beyond the financial to encompass the environmental as well social benefits, to prove there is a sustainable future. According to the General Manager, Paolo Ronchetti, this is the hallmark of Equilibrium, a company operating in the green-building sector and that of natural building materials and technologies with which to achieve energy efficiencies.
Mr Ronchetti, is there a product which, more than any other, has brought you market recognition?
“The organic brick comes to mind. It is a natural biocomposite of lime and hemp wood (the so-called ‘natural beton' obtained through a special ‘cold’ process that allows marked reductions in energy to be achieved) that insulates, from the point of view of temperature and sound, with incorporated low energy and the capability of absorbing CO2. The organic brick was introduced at the "Fa’ la cosa giusta" (Do the right thing) trade fair last year and is entirely manufactured in Italy. Equilibrium has in fact converted a former works in the province of Bergamo that once produced cement blocks. Now its manufacturing process is also to be made totally environmentally friendly because it will be produced using a machine that mixes the lime, water and hemp eliminating the needs for fossil fuel energy sources for the baking. The organic brick is essentially left to dry for forty days and the lime is baked at a temperature of 900oC, half the temperature of that required for making cement."
How are you operating on the foreign markets?
The first foreign market to which we turn, in terms of geographical distance, is Switzerland. Together with the Swiss company Hemp Eco Systems, with whom we are in partnership, we are endeavouring to create an international technology network to put in place a common international standard on materials and technical specifications. We are also operating alongside them in Holland, Denmark, France, Australia, Brazil and the USA. In general when it comes to operating abroad we use the transfer of know-how, but when it come to locating the raw materials for production this occurs at a local level and is essentially a production that involves no distance at all.
What do you think lies ahead for your company in the medium to long term?
“We are certainly looking to the vertically integrate our transformation processes, beginning right from the hemp cane. In the medium to long term one of our goals is integration even between the different stages of the production process.”
How important is product diversification for the future of a company such as your own?
“I’d say that diversification is essential. We are thinking of creating a spin-off product that comes from the multitude of alternatives offered by hemp, including in food and pharmaceuticals, for example. We are essentially considering the creation of a compound with anti-inflammatory properties that is naturally rich in omega 3 and 6.
In short, this idea of using ancient methodologies and construction materials for tackling the problems of modern day living is on that is for this company, based in the province of Como, both original and innovative. Through research and development, Equilibrium has set up a system that, by combining natural fibres and lime-based binding agents, is capable of solving the problems of energy loss and the poor management of dampness that are a feature of many buildings.”