Discover CoBUILD-19: The Innovative Brainchild of DLSU-D SHS Students Transforming PPE Waste into Concrete Strength

CoBUILD-19 The Innovative Brainchild DLSU-D
CoBUILD-19, an innovative solution developed by Grade 12 students from DLSUD, offers a new eco-friendly and cost-effective approach to tackling PPE waste by transforming it into a concrete strength enhancer. Photos of prototype building and testing, credits to researcher Nicole Ortega.

In our ongoing global battle against COVID-19, numerous environmental concerns have come to light – one of the most pressing being the alarming rise in personal protective equipment (PPE) waste. A group of Grade 12 students from De La Salle University – Dasmariñas Senior High School (DLSU-D SHS) in Cavite, Philippines have tackled this issue head-on, crafting an innovative, cost-effective, and eco-friendly solution dubbed CoBUILD-19.

“From Trash to Stash: CoBUILD-19, the Eco-Friendly Solution to PPE Waste,” states the official press release from DLSU-D SHS about the research study of the team led by Nicole Ortega, with fellow students Elisha Bulante, Denise Chavez, Jairus Garcia, Lia Landicho, Jose Octavo, Tyrone Tolentino, and Lexinne Villanueva. Supported by the St. Benilde Student Research Grant, their remarkable efforts have paved the way for a groundbreaking solution that addresses both environmental and infrastructural issues.

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CoBUILD-19 is created by blending pulverized fuel ash (PFA) concrete with shredded polypropylene plastic waste from PPE. The resulting product exhibits increased compressive strength, with prototypes containing a mere 0.1% of PPE additive showing the highest mean compressive strength. Expert consultation revealed the potential for CoBUILD-19 in roadworks, small residential structures, and other public facilities.

Marlon Cartera Pareja, Principal of DLSUD SHS and a scientist who led the discovery of how squids can help in disaster management, shared his perspective on this student-led initiative in an interview with Good News Pilipinas. “In DLSUD Senior High School, research is one of our central programs,” he stated. “By providing a learning environment that challenges them to find solutions through collaboration, we can make our students realize that they can make a difference in the world.”

The students presented their study results to the Department of Trade and Industry Cavite and environmental groups during the DLSU-D SHS Research Conference in May 2023. The feedback was promising, and the potential benefits of adopting CoBUILD-19 for waste management are significant. It’s cheaper than current waste disposal methods, and its production can reduce PPE waste and the demand for natural resources.

“We have a program we call an incubator program in which we choose good student research and they present this to agencies and organizations. The research was done as part of the requirements in DLSU-D SHS,” Marlon added.

The CoBUILD-19 initiative demonstrates the profound impact innovative research can have on addressing critical environmental and societal issues. It underscores the power of students to enact change, providing a beacon of hope as we navigate the complex challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If this goes into mass production, it will turn out to be cheaper than the commercial products being used now,” concludes Principal Marlon Pareja. And in the face of global crises, economical and eco-friendly solutions such as CoBUILD-19 are indeed more valuable than ever.

With the environmental, economic, and construction industry benefits offered by this revolutionary product, the potential for CoBUILD-19 seems limitless. As the students continue to refine their solutions, we are left to anticipate how this innovation will help shape a more sustainable future.

Previous researches of DLSU-D SHS students include developing plastic straw alternative using saba fruit peelings, electricity-generating pedestrian crossing and shoes, and single-use plastic alternative using rice water.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the DLSU-D SHS students and their mentors for developing the CoBUILD-19 PPE waste transformation into a concrete enhancer!

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.