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June 17, 2019

Waterloo students win environmental challenge; look to develop solution for sustainable construction



As reported in the Waterloo Chronicle, a pair of University of Waterloo students are looking to develop a more sustainable framework for construction through the development of their own company.

Daniel Gonzalez and Noor-ur-Rahman Shaikh are aiming to expand their company IXIM, which looks to develop sustainable solutions in terms of construction.

The post-graduate students developed prototypes of bricks as well using corn stem, and maintain that in addition rice husk or bean pods can be used to develop more sustainable bricks.

“These bricks are made of completely natural products and they are much more sustainable than conventional bricks,” explained Shaikh in an interview with the Waterloo Chronicle.

Gonzalez, 29, and Shaikh, 25, were recently crowned winners of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation(CEC) Youth Innovation Challenge, which held its third annual event.

As a result, Gonzalez and Shaikh will travel to Mexico City to present their winning environmental innovation via live stream to Mexico’s Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Victor Manuel Toledo, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

The presentation is part of the 2019 CEC Council session, which takes place on June 24-25.

The CEC Innovation Youth Challenge invites and rewards innovative technology, science and business ideas by North American youth to advance sustainability and green growth in communities. It is open to students and entepreneurs ranging from age 18 to 30.

Gonzalez and Shaikh are also looking at a cost analysis in terms of conventional bricks versus the sustainable ones they’re creating. IXIM wants to “introduce new concepts in the construction industry,” Shaikh explained.

Shaikh said the construction industry is “mature,” and doesn’t really change, and IXIM’s solution’s comparative advantage is through not using mine aggregates.

The name IXIM, Gonzalez explained, is from Mayan culture and refers to corn.

Keep reading in the Waterloo Chronicle


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