New & Innovative Building Materials

2023-06-13 11:26:04

Architects certainly have their work cut out to come up with building design that makes the best use of eco-friendly materials.

Thankfully there is a real push in this direction. Here are some of the techniques that are being used to construct homes and business premises of the future.

Smart Glass:

This really is a multi-purpose, highly effective building material. Here are just 5 examples of where it can be used:

  • Commercial building projects.
  • Residential building projects.
  • Healthcare establishments.
  • Hospitality suites.
  • Permanent or semi-permanent exhibition buildings.

Glass facades, partitioning and windows can either be manually or automatically controlled. Such operations work to regulate the amount of light, glare as well as heat that is passed through a building’s windows.

What does this mean for the occupants?

Smart Glass is highly effective at regulating the temperature inside buildings.

It can reduce the need for air-conditioning during the summer yet provide additional heating during those cold snaps and wintertime.

An example of self-tinting: Through this process, the glass tints itself in order to shade interiors. This prevents heat from escaping outdoors.

Two forms of smart glass:

This flexible material comes in two forms, both of which respond to heat retrospectively:

  • Electrochromic Smart Glass: This responds manually through an electrical charge that is sent to a printed thin film on the glass.
  • Thermochromic Smart Glass: Many would class this as being even ‘smarter’ glass. It responds to the sun’s direct heat and then shades the inside area with the appropriate level of tint.

Net-Zero Buildings:

This is a very appropriate name for futuristic buildings. Basically, architects will be responsible for designing buildings that generate the same amount of energy as they use over the course of their occupancy. In measurable terms, this will be on an annual basis.

Net-Zero buildings operate through the use of passive systems which heat and cool interiors.

Without wishing to get overly technical the process consists of the building mass; examples being large areas of concrete, stone or water which are naturally used to retain heat throughout daylight hours. This heat is then gradually released during the evening’s cooler hours.

In with the new, but don’t forget the old!

The above are just two examples of ‘new’ technology, but innovative architects have certainly not forgotten the past.

Materials such as:

  • Fungal mycelium – A fast-growing, fully mouldable and completely compostable material that is excellent for cladding, insulation and temporary structures.
  • Natural fibres: These are also enjoying a new lease of life. Examples here are Bamboo, Cork, Linen, Plywood and cardboard. All can be ethically produced with low environmental impact.

A host of ways to make buildings more sustainable:

We have only really touched the surface with regard to the ways that architects are looking at when it comes to the construction of eco-friendly buildings.

Progressive architectural companies have many other ideas, ways and materials that can be utilised when it comes to this type of innovative building construction.

If you are keen to understand more about your next building project, please discuss the options with a well-respected architectural company.

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