Materials from Agricultural Waste: Coconut

Materials from Agricultural Waste: Coconut

Life in the Caribbean and specially in the coastlines and shores of these beautiful islands, coconut palms are as abundant as grass. The fruits produced by this plant are an incredible food and water source as it has been for centuries and centuries to come.

Innovation has been exploding these days with marvelous materials addressing sustainable points for LEED Certified Projects or at least doing something for the sake of the environment. For this, many new materials are now coconut by-products with a series of uses and today, I bring you a few of those natural materials that might be of use one day on any sort of project. Take notes on this and click on the links for more information:


Natural packaging produced out of coconut fibre and a natural binder, here taking the shape of an egg box, this organic material can be pressed and molded to take any desirable shape.

Coconut Tiles

Provided by Kirei these sustainable material certainly adds some LEED points in the MR Category on recycling content, renewable material with an added future patent.

Cocomosaic Panels

Yet another eco-friendly and beautiful material, of course, made out of coconut, can bring out a rustic feel on your walls. This time a custom pattern made out coconut parts, naturally in various colors, offer a natural look and feel for indoor applications. Also LEED Credits for MR Category.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 10.32.01 PMExpanded Cork Cocos Isolation

This interesting combination of natural materials (cork and coconuts), provide an innovative and organic solution for acoustical isolation with added sustainability to any project. As stated on Archello’s website:

“The corkboard material is a natural product (vegetal) originating from cork. The cells of the expanded cork contain 50% of air, are waterproof and are expandable. The Corkboard is not only a good thermal but also a phonic and vibratic insulator. The natural Cocos material provides great acoustic damping and has a leveling effect.”


Cocos Isolation (coconut fibre on top, cork on bottom)- Source:

Palmwood (Red palm)

Surprisingly, we can also obtain usable wood from palms, specifically red palms, as specified by the Wood Database. It isn’t the best wood as it is susceptible to insect attacks and working with this type of wood, is dealing with a different kind of fiber, more difficult to cut. Palms are monocots, which strikes it out of the list of softwoods and hardwoods, basically it can be an artisanal wood for custom designs.


Tropical Veneer

Fabricated in South America, this product is a composite material made out of coconut husks, MDF and organic resins to make it durable and resilient. Various pattens from coconut cut shapes can be provided by Architectural Systems, Inc. Found on

Tropical Veneer

Tropical Veneer. Source:


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Mabelle Plasencia

Founder and Editor at INmatteria©
• Architect | LEED AP BD+C, with an intense passion for materiality, innovation, technology and science. • Arquitecta | LEED AP BD+C apasionada por la materialidad, innovación, tecnología y ciencia.