Building materials have traditionally come from nature, which can also drive the cost or demand up – depending upon production and/or accessibility from resources available on earth. This is largely a driving force behind the innovation of new materials, which are usually developed to be more consistently available, as well as eco-friendlier and more cost efficient. Here are five of the newest hottest innovations in building:
3D Graphene is said to be the new up-and-coming steel, Steel is usually used for strength but it’s also extremely heavy. 3D Graphene, on the other hand, is 200 times the strength but only 5% of the weight! With that kind of strength, contractors can build skyscrapers that are over 98,000 feet It’s also being used in the manufacturing of lighter more fuel-efficient vehicles, or as a spray-on coating for solar panels or transparent ‘skins’ on the inside or outside of a building that can be used to help regulate temperatures.
Invisible Solar Panels
Both commercial and residential buildings will love these new transparent panels that save money on electricity bills without big bulky panels. The window-like material was invented by researchers at Michigan State to produce power by pushing wavelengths of light to the cells at the edges. The application for this material is exciting, as it may be used anywhere a window is already – buildings, cars, even airplanes!
These self-cooling walls can help save up to almost 30% of electricity consumption caused by traditional air-conditioning, and are made from layers of ceramic, fabric, and hydrogels. They can be used as a low-cost alternative technology to cooling the temperature by about 5 or 6 degrees, as both clay and hydrogel are inexpensive! And they are also great in wet environments, as they can absorb up to 400x it’s volume in water!
Teams from University of Seville in Spain and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK worked together to develop these bricks which are made of seaweed and wool. They are 37% lighter than traditional brick, less prone to crack, and are stronger as well! They don’t need to be fired after they dry either, so they are saving energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
This see-through wood is 90% transparent, with the ability to both absorb and release energy. It was made by removing the light-absorbing lignin from wood, and then adding acrylic components to make this new frosted looking material. It’s stronger than traditional wood and it gives better insulation – making it ideal for building structures as replacements for natural indoor lighting, windows, solar panels, and more. Plus, it’s biodegradable, although some argue that it isn’t as sustainable – and material that is recyclable or reusable would be better.
If you need more craftsmen that can help you build with the latest materials, contact Maddden Craftsmen! You don’t have to sift through resumes or conduct interviews — we’ll make sure you have the talented craftsmen in place that you need to ensure success for your next project.