Structural engineering and chemistry aren’t quite as charismatic as paleontology or physics, but those sciences impact your everyday life more than any other. From the insulation in your attic to the metal in your bed frame, those two scientific disciplines have helped to build almost everything we see. Here, you’ll learn about the environmentally friendly, light and durable materials that will build offices and homes in the future.
Most of us know that concrete buildings are more well-known for their durability than their potential for easy lighting—but all that’s going to change thanks to translucent concrete. It’s made by mixing strands of recycled glass to make a sheer but very durable block. The concrete is sold under the trade name LitraCon, and it’s already being used to build sustainable pavement and flooring (but it’s strong enough to comprise a load-bearing wall).
You might not think that paper is sturdy enough to make up a countertop, but you would barely be able to distinguish a RichLite countertop from one of wood. 70% of the material is comprised of recycled paper, which is treated with a resin and baked to form solid sheets. This revolutionary material was first used in various industries as a fiberglass reinforcement, but it’s seeing wider use in architectural projects.
According to those who created it, liquid granite may completely replace traditional cement. Liquid granite has the same load-bearing potential of cement, but it’s of much lighter weight and it’s made from 30-70% recycled content. It’s fire resistant, being able to withstand temperatures of up to 1100 degrees Celsius.
This futuristic building material looks out for your health by monitoring your home’s CO2 levels. Developed by architects David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang, living glass is a transparent material that controls air quality by opening or closing slits whenever people enter or leave the room.
As those who ride motorcycles or drive exotic cars may know, carbon fibre is very lightweight but strong (almost five times stronger than steel, while weighing 2/3 less). It’s made of strands of carbon thinner than the hair on your head, and it can be molded into any shape. Carbon fibre is also very flexible, making it ideal for eco-friendly construction in tornado- and hurricane-prone areas.
Home builders and remodelers can get many benefits from using eco-friendly but futuristic building materials. They’ll enjoy lower replacement and maintenance costs over the time they are in the home, as well as lower energy bills and greater energy efficiency. Living in the green home of the future means better health and more flexible design.
This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Vibrant Doors.