Which stories caught our eye at the start of 2023? This month’s Industry News Digest takes you to the beautiful Apple Tree House in the Canadian woods, we zoom in on mental health awareness in the construction sector, and introduce a newly designed brick made from concrete and glass waste.

Building DING’s new wing with waste bricks

The Ghent Design Museum DING is looking at a revolutionary low-carbon brick to use in the construction of a new wing. The ‘waste brick’ was developed by three architectural studios, and 63% of it consists of recycled municipal waste. 

The unique material is composed of waste streams from the city of Ghent, which include crushed concrete and white glass. After being filtered and sorted in a local production centre , the material is pressed into the right shape and size, with lime as a binding agent. According to the designers, the production process is free of resultant emissions or by-products, and so simple that it could easily be replicated in other urban settings. The new museum extension might be unveiled by the end of 2023, the museum states.

Read the full story here.

Mental health support is still ‘under construction’ in the building sector

A recent report from Dodge Construction Network reveals new insights on how civil construction companies address their staff’s mental health issues. The sector still has a long way to go, since only 34% of the responding contractors claim their staff has decent access to professional mental health support.

According to The Civil Quarterly (TCQ) report, 77% of civil contractors indicate they make some level of effort regarding the mental health of their employees. Unfortunately, not much is being done to back this up. Only one-third of respondents say they have access to accurate information on mental health and declare they receive the basic tools to address mental health issues.

The report also revealed more promising data: 36% of respondents said the state of mental health at their organization has improved over the last five years.

Read more here.

This glass home was designed around an apple tree

ACDF Architecture (Montreal) has designed a modernist-style home that surrounds an apple tree and offers remarkable views. 

The house, which is surrounded by a forest in a rural area near Montreal, is square-shaped, with a small courtyard in the middle. The apple tree was planted on the patio because it reminds the owner of vivid childhood memories, or so the architect says: “The tree was symbolic of his earliest encounters with nature as a child.”

Glass walls throughout the home enable residents to view the courtyard as well as the other living areas from different parts of the house. "The main focal point is the beauty of the great outdoors, evolving through the seasons and framed by the full transparency of the Apple Tree House’s glass walls," ACDF adds.

Discover more of the Apple Tree House here.