What You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Moss-Concrete

May 2, 2023 | 0 comments

Learn more about our product through these 10

Frequently Asked Questions.

We are very lucky to see all of you so interested in Respyre. And even better, you are thinking critically about the product and its use, helping us and our company improve. However, due to the big capacity of questions, it might feel like we are leaving you in the dark sometimes, but we do read all of your messages! We hope to answer most of your questions through this FAQ!

1. Is the product already available?

At the moment, there is no commercial product available on the market. We are focusing all of our time on Research and Development, as well as running pilots. This way, we can learn as much as possible about our product and prepare for our product launch later this year. More information about this launch will be available on our new and improved website, which will be online in August.

Please note that when we launch our products, they will mainly concern the Dutch market. We do aspire to expand abroad when the time is right, but for now, we do not have the capacity to supply outside of our beautiful small country.

 2. Is moss able to survive in harsh environments? 

Moss is a very resilient plant species and is able to live in varying climates. There are 600 different moss species in The Netherlands alone, and of these 600, about 50 can grow on stone. Because of this great number of different mosses, there are a lot of climates they can grow in. Our research is mostly based on Dutch/European environments, which might be less extreme than other places of the world, however, we have experienced that moss survives many climates. Moss is able to survive many months without any water. Some species lose their green colour over the summer and turn a little brown, but not all of them. We make use of different sorts of moss, this way, even in dry summers, it is possible to have a green aesthetic (although not completely of course, we are dealing with a living product, they change over time, just like trees). Additionally, the moss species we use can also easily survive cold winters without dying!

3. Is it not dangerous that the coating of moss makes it hard to inspect the condition of the concrete?

The concrete that we use only functions as an outer layer on the structure. It is correct that it’s harder to inspect it for cracks, but it is possible to inspect when desired, by removing little pieces of moss in several locations. The mosses can easily grow back afterwards. However, if our concrete would crack, it will only provide an extra living environment for the mosses to establish themselves.

The concrete structure that is underneath our layer of concrete will also be more difficult to inspect, but not impossible. This, however, will have to be consulted with a constructor or a contractor before building and applying the moss wall.

4. Will the use of moss cause a bug/insect problem?

It is true that moss encourages the appearance of bugs and insects. Moss creates a perfect housing for the little creatures. When you’re not a big fan of insects you could consider this a problem, yes. So, the answer to this question very much depends on the person that you are asking. We see the extra insects as a big win. These insects help to keep our city alive by helping plants procreate and by being a nutritious snack for bigger animals, increasing the biodiversity in the cities.

5. Does moss only grow when it’s facing north?

Yes, moss prefers to face north. Facing north means less sun and thus, more moisture. That is why you see moss more often on the north side of things. However, mosses do not refuse to grow anywhere else, as long as we can provide the mosses with enough water through our gels we are able to grow them anywhere we would like! 

6. Can I apply the moss-concrete to a structure that has already been built? 

Yes, this is possible, but applying the product to an existing structure causes extra weight, for which it has not been designed. That is why you should always consult a constructor to advise you. We are able to help you consider the options, but not equipped yet to be the advisor.

7. What are the maintenance requirements?

For our pilots we are using irrigation to encourage the growth of our moss and to quicken our research. However, the goal is to apply our moss-gel by spraying it on the structure, this gel should be able to feed and water the moss enough to make them attach and start growing without any extra maintenance. 

8. Isn’t the use of concrete counter-effective with Respyre’s mission? 

Concrete has quite a bad reputation. And this is completely deserved. However, our concrete is not normal concrete. We make use of recycled products, which severely reduces the emission of CO2. By using this circulair concrete form we are able to keep working with concrete without having a negative impact on the environment.

It is important to know, however, that this concrete is not a constructive concrete, but rather recreative form. This means we are not able to build houses or buildings with this concrete, it is only used as a thin outer layer or panel to grow our beautiful moss upon.

9. Won’t the water retained in the concrete have a negative effect on the structure?

No, it won’t. The concrete layer we attach to the building acts like a sort of membrane around the structure. It is completely designed to retain water and keep intact when it freezes. The concrete is not like a sponge that is constantly full of water. In our concrete, every centimetre inwards the concentration of water diminishes, because the water is only needed at the surface for the mosses to thrive upon. This means that the use of our concrete does not cause a bigger chance of leakage or damage. If anything it prevents it. However, if the constructive concrete of a building is already poor and has insufficient coverage to defend itself against water, leakage and damage might occur, but then it would’ve happened anyway.

As for the development of mold. Mosses spread themselves based on their water needs, when there is more water in a certain place, there will be more moss. This way the natural instincts of moss prevents a surplus of water that might cause mold.

10. Why the *** are you not responding? 

We are very happy to see that Respyre has gotten a lot of attention in the online world. Many of you are super enthusiastic about our products, and it’s great to see how many of you are reaching out to learn more. Sadly, our team is not big enough to respond to everyone personally. We understand that it might feel like we are ignoring you, which sucks. But we are reading everything you have to say and take it with us in our journey of improving and developing. At this time though, we are completely focused on creating the best product possible, so you can use it to make our world a little better. We hope you understand, and please keep reaching out!

Thank you for your interest in Respyre!

Also, keep in mind that not everything said or written about Respyre on social media is always correct. Sadly, social media makes it easy for people to make things up for extra views. To find the correct information about us and our products please consult our webpage or keep reaching out to us!