Sustainable Design

The responsibility of ensuring environmentally sustainable design rests with us all. Every inch of Durra Panel is 100% natural and recyclable. The Durra manufacturing process combines heat and pressure to form a solid panel core. No chemical binders are needed as a natural polymer in the straw fibre is released during this process and acts as a binding agent. As a result, Durra generates no toxic waste. Durra Panel is an innovative building material that meets the needs for today’s ‘green’ construction industry.

> Download Durra Panel ESD Report

Renewable Resources

The wheat and or rice straw fibres used in Durra Panel are a natural renewable annual resource which is an agricultural waste by-product from farming that would otherwise be burnt after harvest contributing to carbon emissions.

‘It takes 18 acres of wheat straw renewable every year to build an 18 square house.

It takes the equivalent of one acre of clear cut forest replaceable only every 30 years to do the same job.’

No Water or Gas

Melbourne is currently at Stage 3a water restrictions, and with our precious water depleting. Ortech plays a critical role in water conservation, by using no water or gas during the manufacture of Durra Panels.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s)

Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), which are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, include a variety of chemicals in products which contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollutions. VOC emissions reduce air quality and can lead to adverse health effects. Reports by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and similar results by the CSIRO have found concentrations of VOC’s in indoor air to be 2 to 5 times greater than in outdoor air.

This is a major issue in the building industry, especially for office environments. The use of VOC free or low VOC building materials are in high demand. Durra Panel is 99% free of VOC emissions and contains no formaldehyde or additional chemical binders and instead uses a water based glue to bond the Kraft paper liner to the panel core. The use of water based glue eliminates potential VOC emissions.

Embodied Energy

Embodied Energy is the energy consumed by all processes associated with the manufacture and transportation of a product system, from all stages of the life cycle. Energy in Australia is mostly supplied in the form of electricity by burning brown coal; the major contribution to Australia’s green house gas emissions.

Every material used to construct a building will contribute to the building’s total embodied energy. However, choices of materials and construction methods can significantly change the amount of embodied energy over a building’s life.

The key to reducing your embodied energy is firstly to use durable low maintenance materials that have low embodied energy, are locally sourced and have a high re-use or recycle content. Durra Panels have a low embodied energy of 12.6 MJ/m² and fit these criteria. It is also made from a renewable resource and any waste material can be used for mulch.


Durra Panel can be designed as a demountable, reusable system. Correct installation and disassembly will ensure a long life for Durra Panels. At the end of its serviced life, Durra Panel is biodegradable and can be safely disposed at landfill or mulched for garden use as a fertiliser.