The Future of Construction with Innovative Building Materials

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

Alternative building materials, building materials, green architecture, innovation

A nanotruss structure fabricated by Caltech researcher Julia Greer. Photo courtesy of EcoBuildingPulse.com

  • The future of construction with innovative building materials: Building materials of the future are being developed today by scientists and researchers in their labs and range from graphene to nanocrystals. They rethink the form and function of conventional construction mediums. The following innovations represent a potential to change architecture and construction of today, and in the future. For instance: Unbreakable Materials developed by Julia Greer, a materials science and mechanics professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), who uses two-photon lithography to create precise polymer nanotrusses. These nanotrusses can be coated with materials like metal or ceramic, hollowed out to remove the polymer, and then stacked in a fractal construction—essentially a nanotruss made of nanotrusses. The newly created material couples the structural and material properties of its medium, such as metal or ceramic, to possess previously unheard of characteristics including flaw-tolerance and shape memory. Another innovation is represented by Resilient, self-cleaning finishes: A new coating from researchers at the University College London resists moisture even after being scratched or exposed to oil—typical weak spots for conventional repellent coatings. It’s made from coated titanium dioxide nanoparticles, the finish rejects water, oil, and even red wine by bouncing the invasive substances off its surface and removing dirt in the process. It could eventually be used to create a durable, self-cleaning facade that can better withstand the elements than current options on the market. Read more about innovative construction materials in the original article.
  • Seven cities working to become car-less: There are several reasons including transportation, pollution and quality of life, that force many cities today to turn to pedestrian street design instead of motor. A recent UK study found that typical drivers spend about 106 days of their lives looking for parking. The following seven cities around the world have urban planners who are focusing on neighborhood design which doesn’t include motor transportation at all: 1. Paris (France), 2. Madrid (Spain), 3.Chengdu (China), 4.Copenhagen (Denmark),  5. Hamburg (Germany), 6. Milan (Italy), Helsinki (Finland).
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