Just like most industries, the construction industry sees frequent innovations. Innovative construction materials are slowly but surely shaping the future of our architecture. Here are 8 innovative construction materials you should know about.
1. Bricks made from cigarette butts
Did you know that a certain type of bricks could contain cigarette butts? When cigarette butts are used to make bricks, these bricks become lighter and more efficient. This process contributes to turning trash into an innovative construction material that can be used to build different buildings.
2. Bricks that absorb pollution
Another type of bricks has been designed to absorb pollution. Each of these special bricks contains a filtration system. Outdoor air enters the bricks and comes out clean, while the pollutants fall into a removable hopper located at the base of the brick wall. Imagine if all buildings were built with bricks that can clean polluted air!
3. Cement that generates light
Many innovative construction materials try to be energy-efficient. A type of cement that can generate light has been developed: it absorbs light during the day, and radiates it when it gets dark outside. This cement can be used to illuminate parking lots, roads, swimming pools, and more.
4. Concrete reinforced with wood fiber
Concrete can be reinforced with wood fiber, or more precisely, with nanocrystals that are made from wood fiber. This reinforced concrete will be stronger, more resistant to impact, and will leave a much smaller environmental footprint. Wood fiber is a byproduct of different industries, and doesn’t have to be wasted.
5. Concrete that can repair itself
Scientists are working on a type of concrete that can repair itself. This concrete is mixed with bacterial spores, and when it cracks and water seeps in, these bacteria will develop and naturally fill in the crack. This self-healing concrete could make it a lot easier to repair and maintain buildings.
6. Sulphur-based concrete
Another special type of concrete is being developed, with the intention to eventually send humans to live on planet Mars. On Mars, water would be a precious resource, and could not be used to mix concrete. Therefore, a sulphur-based concrete would be a perfect construction material to construct buildings on Mars, if the colonization of this planet ever happens.
7. Metal sheets that can reinforce other materials
The purpose of many innovative construction materials is be greener, stronger and cheaper. Metal sheets can be applied to other materials through a mechanical bonding process, and can effectively reinforce concrete, wood and wood composites, rubbers, and plastics. This process offers many interesting possibilities.
8. Self-cleaning surfaces
What could be better than a building that can clean itself? Self-cleaning surfaces will soon be created thanks to an innovative coating that rejects water, oil, and other liquids. A building covered with such a water-repellent coating would effectively clean itself each time it rains, as the raindrops would carry dirt and dust down the building.