Grwp Gwalia an architectural practice based in Wales commissioned the development of interior tiles made of fused recycled bottle glass. This project were designed for a new build development based on sustainable principles. Research considered objective design criteria, including bending strength, stability, stain and scratch resistance, as well as aesthetic features such as colouring, translucency, texture and reproducibility. Mechanical analysis showed the fused recycled bottle glass tiles exceeded the performance of commercially available tiles.
User perception was also a key aspect of the design process and to assess product acceptability a questionnaire was undertaken with 180 people from various backgrounds. The survey assessed the perceived aesthetic, value and mechanical integrity of two recycled glass tile designs alongside three commercially available competitors. Results showed that the recycled fused tiles compared very favourably against the high-end commercially available tile, whilst portraying unique environmental values that exploit a locally sourced waste material.