The construction industry uses a lot of resources and creates a lof of pollution which is why there is a push for innovative building materials. Innovative building materials are offering energy efficient, green ways to construct buildings that will hold up longer than ever before. These materials will shape the construction industry and the world as they grow in the commercial market. Here are several innovative materials that might shape the construction industry.
Long Lasting Concrete
Roman concrete is making a comeback after thousands of years. Probably one of the oldest innovative building materials on the list, many buildings dated back to the Roman Empire have stood longer than modern buildings. Part of the reason why those buildings are still standing is the concrete grew stronger over time. Scientists have known that aluminum tobermorite is the key component in why Roman concrete keeps its strength. However, they’ve had difficulty adding it into preexisting concrete mixtures.
Scientists have discovered that when the seawater percolates through the cement it reacts with the Roman concrete mixture to create aluminum tobermorite. Now that scientists know how Roman concrete has stood the tests of time, they are working on ways to incorporate that knowledge into modern concretes. While it might be a few years off, this is one of the innovative building materials that can shape the construction industry.
Another long-lasting innovative concrete material is Basilisk’s self healing concrete. Microbiologist Henk Jonkers from the Netherlands’ Delft University found a self—healing solution. When he mixed specific bacterial and calcium lactate capsules into concrete, he created a type that could rebuild itself. Using moisture that fills cracks, holes, and gaps, the concrete is able to form limestone to heal itself.
Recently, construction companies used Basilisk’s self-healing concrete to create a water basin. The benefit is the that when the walls start to crack the water seeping through will be able to heel the concrete. When the water comes into contact with the concrete, it comes into contact with the bacteria. The bacteria produce a limestone which will seal the cracks.
Another one of the innovative building materials is bioMASON. bioMASON creates bricks that without carbon dioxide emissions, waste, and can be customized to fit a project. They create their bricks by growing them from scratch without the heat of traditional bricks. Traditional bricks require being blasted at thousands of degrees which releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. While the company is still young, they’ve received millions in funding to continue their research and development. They’re currently starting up their sample program to be able to better showcase their innovative building materials.
These new concrete solutions will help concrete structures last longer than before. Studies like these will help create innovative building materials that will benefit our environment and the construction industry as a whole.
Power Generating Glass
Companies are springing up trying to find ways to create environmentally friendly and energy efficient materials. One company has come up with one of the coolest innovative building materials, photovoltaic glass. There are several types of photovoltaic glass, all of which generate clean energy for the building. The two main types of glass are amorphous silicon glass and crystalline silicon glass, each have their benefits and drawbacks.
Amorphous silicon glass seems tinted with visible wiring. It lets in about 30% of light and is most similar to architectural glass. Amorphous silicon glass also works best in diffuse light conditions or overcast lighting.
However, crystalline silicon glass generates almost twice the amount of power as the amorphous glass. It also does better in direct sunlight rather than indirect sunlight, which makes it ideal for sun-facing structures. The crystalline glass is comprised of dark photovoltaic squares. This makes it ideal for areas that don’t need or want a lot of light coming through.
These two materials will be seen in more buildings as the material itself becomes cheaper. And since it generates electricity for the building it reduces the impact the building will have on the environment. As well as reducing the overall electrical costs.
Currently, there are many universities and research institutes that are working on ways to reduce the impact construction materials have on the environment. Not only are they looking at alternatives to plastics, but ways to recycle wood in the most effective way. Innovative building materials are shaping the world around us, and impacting our lives every day. These innovative building materials will reduce the carbon emissions of buildings, reduce the energy needed to operate businesses, and last longer.