For centuries, we have witnessed how the construction industry evolved from creating simple structures to more advanced skyscrapers and innovative designs that make our day-to-day life more convenient. Because of the profound changes in our society, professionals are still inventing different products and materials that can contribute to the efficiency, functionality, and overall quality of commercial buildings worldwide.
We now have drones, virtual reality, environmental-friendly access doors, and panels, augmented reality, BIM, project management, and others. But that's not all! Researchers and institutes are taking technology and innovation to a whole different level. The development of concrete and other construction materials has been intense and aggressive.
Here are the different innovative construction materials that make a significant change to the world as we know it:
We now have translucent wood that professionals utilize to develop solar panels and windows. It is manufactured by first removing the lining in the wood veneer and then nanoscale tailoring. The effect creates translucent wood that has various applications in construction. It was first developed at Stockholm's KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Professor Lars Berglund from KTH stated that transparent wood is a readily available, low-cost, and renewable resource.
Cooling Systems in Blocks
Hydro ceramic can minimize the indoor temperature by up to six degrees Celsius. Its cooling feature is because hydrogel is present in its compound, immersing water in up to 500 times its weight. The absorbed water is discharged to decrease the temperature during hot and humid seasons.
Installing an innovative cooling system in building structures made Hydroceramics one of the most remarkable construction materials to revolutionize the construction industry. If progress continues, this can make residential and commercial air conditioners obsolete and add one more element to the materials needed for building structures.
Bricks Made From Cigarette Butts
Who would have thought that wastes such as cigarette butts could turn into a material that can help the construction industry? Six million cigarettes are manufactured and produce 1.2 million tons of cigarette butts. These wastes can impact our environment tremendously. The elements present, such as chromium, arsenic, nickel, and cadmium, can be absorbed by the soil and pose a threat to nature.
To minimize the destructive effects of cigarette butts on our environment, researchers from RMIT created lighter and energy-efficient bricks from cigarette butts. They were able to innovatively utilize waste in an eco-friendly manner and deliver something revolutionary to the world of construction.
Light Generating Cement
Dr. José Rubio Ávalos from UMSNH of Morelia developed cement to absorb and illuminate light. This one-of-a-kind discovery has vast potential uses and applications.
The construction industry is continuously evolving and is one of the main trends in developing materials from renewable resources and energy-efficient building structures. Because of this discovery, the implications of an illuminating cement are far-reaching. Professionals can use them in creating unique details for swimming pools, parking lots, road safety signs, and much more.
Pollution Absorbing Bricks
Even though the world is fast evolving, the environment is also affected by humans' different developments for a more convenient lifestyle. Therefore, professionals are trying their best to develop materials that will help minimize the effects of pollution.
Carmen Trudell, an assistant professor at Cal Poly, college of architecture and environmental design, developed the "Breathe Brick." This innovation absorbs pollutants in the air and emits filtered air. It is designed to incorporate the building's standard ventilation system. The Breathe brick has a two-layer facade system, with the specialist bricks on the external area and traditional insulation on the inside.
A cyclone filtration system in the middle of the brick diverges the heavy air particles from the air and gathers them in a detachable hopper. Its design is quite similar to a vacuum. You can incorporate the unique design of breathing bricks in a wall with a window and a cooling system.
There is still so much to develop and discover! Innovative materials offer a new aesthetic for the construction industry while providing better quality, energy efficiency, and environmental friendliness relevant to our environment's current situation.