A lot of us have heard of how 3-D Printing and Robotics are changing the future of construction, and we are excited about how those innovations are making an impact already. However, there are even more up-and-coming new technologies that have some significant benefits, including big cost savings, energy conservation, and helping the environment. Here are some of the most exciting materials that are on the horizon right now:
“Frozen Smoke” Insulation
Otherwise known as aerogel, it’s a semi-transparent silica structure that’s made by removing liquid from gel. This creates a lightweight substance that is 90% air, but holds its shape! For insulation, it’s been formed into thin sheets that have up to four times the power of fibreglass or foam to keep out heat or cold from passing through!
This material is really transforming the construction industry because it can add years to the life of concrete on a building wall, roads or tunnels as well. It works when water gets into the crack on concrete and reactivates bacteria that was mixed into the concrete, which excretes calcite and heals the crack.
Cigarette Butt Bricks
There are over 1 million tons of cigarette butt waste every year, and it can take up to 10 years for a cigarette filter to decompose! Not only does it litter our environment, but this means that they’re leaving toxins that leak into the ground and waterways. In order to reduce this threat, researchers have developed a light and energy efficient brick that’s actually made of cigarette butts, an innovative solution that is eco-friendly in multiple ways!
With the strength of steel and resilience of concrete, Bamboo is a renewable resource that has been formed into modular interlocking structures around trees. Entire cities have been built using these structures because they are scalable and can expand into almost any direction.
This bullet-proof matter is made applying laser technology to aluminum oxynitride. It looks like glass but is almost as strong as steel, so it adds a practical yet high tech aesthetic to buildings.
A new cement has been created that can absorb and radiate light. Applications for this cement can be used on pathways, swimming pools, parking lots and more – saving energy resources from what may have been previously only provided with a light bulb. Not only that, but energy use is lower than regular cement because it can be created at room temperature!
These large concrete bricks connect together similar to your smaller ‘Lego’ toy blocks. The modular design has room for insulation, electricity, and plumbing, which gives a significantly better thermal energy control resulting in a reduction in construction costs.
These exciting new construction materials have the potential to transform the buildings we live and work in every day. And if you’re looking for a position with exciting new projects to work on, call Madden! We work with employers that are looking for talented craftsmen like you.