A new concept in lightweight construction materials has been developed which could have an important effect on the economics of both the construction and the agriculture industries. The concept involves techniques by which natural wheat is puffed to 40 times its original volume by dampening and then heating the grain to a temperature sufficiently high to puff and carbonize it at the same time. The carbonization stabilizes it, makes it biologically inert and virtually fireproof and render biologically inert and virtually fireproof and renders it water resistant even when completely immersed in water. Used alone it serves as insulation; in concrete, it serves as a lightweight insulative aggregate. The concept was developed in the departments of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto by Victor Riley. Professor Riley reports that the need for such materials is based on three major trends, occurring in North America which affect the economics of construction materials. The trends cited were an increasing energy shortage that neither necessitates construction materials which will provide good insulation to conserve heat, a gradual depletion of natural resources that dictates the expanded use of easily replenished materials for construction, and an accelerating demand for housing of the type that uses materials suitable for prefabrication. To date only a few concrete blocks and small pieces of insulating wall board incorporating expanded wheat have been produced in the laboratory for test purposes. Use of wheat for foundations in Arctic areas, where mineral aggregates are becoming increasingly scarce, is believed by solids and foundations specialist Dr. Robinsky to be possibly the ideal way to insulate concrete placed on permafrost. When used as a lightweight concrete aggregate, the expanded gain is mixed in the proportions of 65 percent grain to 35 percent portland cement paste by volume.