The construction industry has always been searching for innovative methods to build safer, faster, and more sustainable buildings. As research and re-development in materials have become very advanced, new innovative construction methods continue to emerge. Some of these ways find their actual place in small niches, while others turn out to have much broader applicability.
One of the most certain things in the industry is that the future buildings will become more environmentally-friendly, much stronger and more cost-efficient in the next decade. These new trends and innovations such as upgraded building materials, construction scheduling software, etc., truly have a more significant impact in the long run in the industry. For this article, we discover the seven new materials that drastically change commercial construction for the better.
1. Air-Cleaning Brick
IAQ or Indoor Air quality is becoming a more crucial concern for commercial real estate as builders have gained a much better understanding of how constructed environments affect the health of those who work and live in them. Apparently, there is no shortage of methods and ways to improve IAQ. However, most of these ways should require active energy use to clean or filter the air. This particular approach emits other pollutants, especially carbon, into the air for a long time.
There is a passive system invented, and it makes use of the bricks from the outside of a certain building to filter out any heavier particles in the air while making a way inside the space. The concrete funnel bricks air into the internal cyclone filtration section. This section tends to separate heavier elements and then drop them down into the hopper right at the base of the walls.
Clean air is then pulled into the buildings, either passively or mechanically. On the other hand, the maintenance can remove or empty the hopper regularly. It is crucial for builders, subs and contractors to monitor every process, whether it is for maintenance or managing purposes. These are some of the many project managers duties that need to prioritize.
2. Strand rods
In Japan, where earthquakes are prevalent, a carbon fiber composite called CABKOMA Strand Rod has been invented. This particular composite is typically covered in synthetic and inorganic fibers and a finish of thermoplastic resin. And with the use of tensile strength, the world’s lightest seismic support system is created. In actuality, the rods are up to five times lighter compared to a metal wire having the same strength. Both are also very effective – the building is well-rated above the conventional performance requirements, specifically for seismic reinforcement. The strands can enforce the whole structure.
You can check this blog to read more details about CABKOMA strand rod.
3. Passive Cooling Ceramics
Air conditioning is described as an energy-intensive process that usually accounts for outsized portions of global carbon emissions. Hence, passive cooling methods have been invented and used for centuries. However, most of these methods are inefficient when it comes to hot temperatures, and several conflicts are spotted in artificial cooling rather than support. Recently, a façade made from a hydrogel and clay composite that cool buildings is introduced in the industry.
The material functions the very same way as to how the skin cools the human bodies. Water collects the hydrogel droplets that are usually combined in the clay composite. As the building heats up, the heat will be transferred directly to the water and lost due to evaporation. The entire effect happens suddenly when it is hotter. Hence, it only means the system is very responsive to any temperature changes and conditions.
4. Tall Mass Timber
Woods are used now and then. However, in modern times, materials such as steel and cement have all but supplanted woods for tall buildings. And there is an excellent reason for that – wood is typically weaker than the other materials. It is also very vulnerable to fire. By following federal research into more upgraded wood building techniques, the construction industry experts are getting new tricks.
Mass Timber is introduced, where solid woods are laminated and panelized for improved strength and other useful properties. Today, the mass timber category is now including numerous types of laminated timber, glue-laminated timber, and most particularly cross-laminated timber.
- Glue-laminated timber is composed of various lumber pieces glued together and useful for creating strong beams.
- Cross-laminated timber – is made up of lumber pieces stacked in an interchanging direction as it makes large panels that can support tons of weight.
Surprisingly, these two types of timber are resistant to fire. The outer layer creates a char when being burned. It helps in insulating the rest of the woods. In terms of fire testing, the timbers demonstrated the capacity to maintain their structural integrity.
5. Cigarette butts in making bricks
Many different materials are needed for constructing buildings, but who would assume that cigarette butts can be one of them? Six million cigarettes are widely manufactured every year, and they produced 1.3 million of cigarette butt waste. As a result, it impacts the environment tremendously because chromium, cadmium, nickel, and arsenic enter the soil and harm nature.
To lessen the impact of cigarette butts on the environment, some researchers at RMIT developed more energy-efficient and lighter bricks made of cigarette butts. In short, the concept is all about inventively utilizing waste in a more eco-friendly manner.
Research shows that by infusing one-percent of cigarette waste for fire-clay bricks, a greater result in eliminating pollution from the environment is achieved. Builders shouldn’t underestimate the power and capability that a little object like cigarettes can do.
6. Biologically produced furniture
Another latest innovation in the industry is the invention or creation of bioplastic furniture. This particular innovation is due to the collaboration of Genspace and Terrefrom. There are two furniture pieces made through this material so far – a small chair and chaise lounge. This furniture is created by a particular material called Mycoform, made by mixing gypsum, out bran, and wood chips together with fungus. The fungus will be then added since it can disintegrate waste products and can leave durable structural materials.
The combined effect often creates plastic furniture that combusts through time. This process is pollution-free, low energy and usually requires lower technology for production or creation. Foreman
Yes, trash, and you heard it right. Today, builders and architects use recycled materials such as cardboard, scrap metals, and even plastic bottles to construct new buildings with little carbon footprints. For instance, recycled cardboards are being utilized to create a high-quality cellulose filling that can outperform insulations made with traditional processes.
Water bottles and plastic sodas are recycled. However, they can only be generally used to create new bottles before they are finally disposed of. Over the past years, plastic bottles have found new and longer life in the very form of PET carpets.
What’s next for Commercial Construction?
By now, it is already evident that the construction industry is entering a new era, particularly in materials use. It has a direct impact on new materials and their respective role in the building process. Apparently, there are two primary scenarios for using new materials in commercial construction – they will either be reiterated to become eco-friendly and profitable or perish due to the use of new advanced techniques that comply with the modern commercial building specifications and standards.
Interestingly enough, these new materials have gained a lot of attention in the industry due to the discovering of new ways to turn construction more cost-efficient and greener. Every foreman in construction who is typically in charge of organizing projects and overseeing work starts eyeing these latest materials used for commercial construction.
In a nutshell, some materials utilized in the construction could belong in the following category.
- Earth building materials
- Woods as a building material
All the materials mentioned above could transform the many ways builders are used in sustainable and smart ways. On top of that, they can also play a decisive role in reducing the cost of materials without trying to compromise the quality. According to futurists, the construction industry will see drastic changes and technological advancements over the next twenty to forty years.
New Eyes, Arms, and Ears on Site
Drone technology, AI/VR, and robotics will dramatically change every aspect of the industry. Today is just the beginning of understanding how these advancements change construction. With flying drones, monitoring the construction is easy and sends critical visualizations and data back to contractors as the project continues to progress.
Rolling drones will soar up and down behind the walls and building shafts to take accurate readings and relay data. Every single piece of data gathered can be fed back to field engineers and project managers.
Deploying Project Management Software
In supervising construction projects, it is crucial to use a software application to manage a project effectively. Good thing that a certain application is designed to improve overall performance across the board. It is specifically developed to cater to different organizations’ unique needs in the industry. It also features seamless collaboration and communication with all the participants/workers involved. Online documentation, project management for construction, time-tracking, resource, and crew management are some of the best features the application offers.
More Futuristic Commercial Buildings
Increased simulation and processing capabilities allow for new approaches and best ideas in architecture and construction, delivering bolder visual statements. Today, better simulation and computing intelligence will allow for new playfulness in the construction, introducing more and more weird-looking swoops, curves, angles, and cutouts into buildings. There might only be twenty-percent of future building construction that can be seen in the eye. The remaining eight-percent will be devoted to HVAC, communications and energy, and green technologies.
Overall, it becomes so clear that various things are already changing in the construction sector, including the materials used for commercial buildings. Additionally, a great potential is enormous. As long as there is a combination of new materials between modern approaches, more energy and cost-efficient buildings will emerge soon.