3 Sustainable Building Materials For The Future
Sustainability is not just a buzzword that is taking the architectural by storm but the need of the hour. With many architects now concentrating on sustainability, buildings that use sustainable methods from the time of conceptualisation to its functionality, once it's operational.
Moreover, with the policy emerging on the lines of a sustainable landscape and regulation in building construction practices that impact the environment, one of the key areas that have been harming the environment is the building materials used during construction. Not just during the time of construction, but these materials harm the environment in the form of wastage and emissions after the structure is operational.
Also read: Not Just Sustainable Homes, Sustainable Offices Are In Vogue, Too
Even though the best practices are put forth, the change needs to be in the materials itself. MakaaniQ lists three such sustainable building materials that will help build a sustainable future:
This is similar to our body, how a damaged cell regenerates or a broken bone repairs. Self-healing concrete is known to mend itself if it cracks open. This concrete is made using limestone-producing bacteria and calcium lactate, two elements that seal the cracks on its own. Moreover, the healing process doesn't affect the strength of the concrete, thus, keeping its load-bearing capacity intact. So, why is this sustainable, well, the building it is used for will never deteriorate, thus, bringing down the repair costs by nearly 50 per cent. Moreover, it will also reduce concrete's carbon footprints.Though at present self-healing concrete is twice the cost of regular concrete, it is said that if calcium lactate can be replaced by a sugar-based nutrient, its price would come down dramatically.
Though at present self-healing concrete is twice the cost of regular concrete, it is said that if calcium lactate can be replaced by a sugar-based nutrient, its price would come down dramatically.
Synthetic spider silk
And we aren't talking clothing here. Taking a cue from Jeffrey Turner of Nexia Biotechnologies of combining a gene of an orb-weaving spider with a goat's egg to let the goat secrete spider silk with milk, the Japan-based company Spiber launched this prototype. They have bioengineered the bacteria and recombinant DNA to develop a synthetic spider thread. This is a versatile product and can be produced up to different lengths without losing its strength. Interestingly, spider silk is known to be 340 times stronger than steel and the synthetic form further becomes functional and customizable. Thus, this is a construction material coming from the nature.
Plastic has been known for its malleable yet hardened form that doesn't absorb water or oil. It is also known to have a long shelf life with no damage caused whatsoever. This material which has revolutionised our day-to-day is now set to revolutionise the world of architecture. A new generation of plastic, inspired by insects' hard outer shell, is made from discarded shrimp shells and protein from silk. Named as Shrilk, this bioplastic is seen as a potential replacement of concrete, steel, and wood. This will have high-quality performance during high temperatures and will also be corrosion-resistant.