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Best New Construction Materials to Discover This Year

Posted by Ryan Cox on Feb 18, 2019

In the
search for solutions to protect the environment while saving time and money,
scientists at top universities around the world have developed exciting new
construction materials. Innovations like these, plus augmented reality, BIM,
and drones, are transforming the construction industry.

Here
are seven of the most interesting new construction materials you need to know
about.

CABKOMA Strand Rod

Because it’s made of thermoplastic carbon fiber, the
CABKOMA
strand rod
is five times lighter than a metal rod and more durable.
It also creates an aesthetically pleasing look on buildings.

CABKOMA puts less strain on the building structure,
helping it withstand earthquakes. In fact, many construction companies are
retrofitting buildings with carbon fiber for this very purpose. Komatsu Seiten,
the company behind it, uses it in their own building.

Cigarette Butts

More than 1.2 million tons of cigarette butts end up
in the garbage every year according to RMIT
University
scientists. The next time you see some lying on the
ground consider this: cigarettes can be
recycled into lighter, durable, and energy-efficient bricks. Bricks containing
just 1 percent of cigarette butts can reduce brick production costs and ease
the strain on the environment.

Cooling Bricks

The Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
has developed a system known as hydroceramics.
These cooling bricks, made from a combination of clay and hydrogel, line the
outside of buildings to create a cooling effect on the insides. As air enters,
the hydrogel absorbs the water and stores it within the bricks. On hot days,
the brick releases the water to cool the building. This cooling effect can cut
energy consumption in larger buildings by potentially lowering indoor
temperatures up to six degrees.

Light-Generating or
Illuminating Cement

Dr. Jose Carlos Rubio Avalos of UMSNH of Morelia has
developed cement with the ability to absorb and expose light. When made at room
temperature, the cement uses less energy.

Illuminating
cement
may be the next big thing for
roads. It traps sunlight and releases it at night to create a glowing surface.
Because of this, roads and other lit spaces can reduce lighting and save on
costs. Other uses include swimming pools and sidewalks.

Pollution-Absorbing or
Breathing Bricks

This innovation comes from the scientists at Cal
Poly who have discovered a way for walls to do more than provide support. They
found a way to turn bricks into air-cleaning devices that work like mini
vacuums. Breathing
bricks
suck in polluted air, filter it through a cone, and release
clean air back into the environment. The nice thing is that you can use
them on existing buildings to take advantage of their filtering capabilities.
Construction companies and buildings will largely benefit from this passive air
filtration system as it will help them meet air quality regulations for
commercial structures.

Self-healing or
Self-repairing Concrete

Repairing cracks in concrete is an
expensive and time-consuming process. Dutch engineer Dr. Erik Shlangen at Delft
University solves the problem with self-healing
concrete
that repairs itself upon
exposure to heat. Here’s how: You can break the material in two, put the pieces
together, and heat it. Upon cooling down, the melted material binds together.
Self-repairing concrete on structures such as buildings, bridges, and tunnels
will cost less to build and maintain, which could potentially save $90 million
per year.

Translucent Wood

Wood is one of the most readily available and
cheapest resources. KTH Royal Institute of Technology researchers have found a
way to make it translucent, as well as mass produce it. Producing translucent
wood
starts with removing the lignin to turn it white. Then,
nanoscale tailoring makes it transparent, letting light pass through. Possible
uses include windows and solar panels.

Although
these new construction materials will lead to millions of dollars in savings,
it’s still critical to protect them, as well as other equipment, on your
construction sites. When valuable assets are stolen, not only would you incur
the costs to replace them, your production time could be delayed while you wait
for the new materials to arrive.

A
proactive security solution, like remote
video surveillance
can help safeguard your site. Trained operators
watch activity in real time to catch events as they happen, for up to 60% off
the cost of a traditional security guard.

To
learn more video surveillance solutions in construction, please contact us.