Home Architecture Guide New building materials creating a buzz in the construction industry

New building materials creating a buzz in the construction industry

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Structures, with the progression of time, have changed purposes as earlier they bore the exclusive purpose of shelter, whereas now it is a mixed bag, protection, environment and economy.  Here are a few latest building materials that have created a buzz in the construction industry.


Recycled steel

The Steel Recycling Institute has come out with many sturdy building materials.  The builders are currently in the process of changing the framing techniques and by simplifying it so that panels and steel beams can be used with the various specifications.  The SRI claims that recycled steel is the in thing, as it is not only earthquake proof but also highly resistant to wind.  Not only does recycling scrap steel save energy which is spent in producing steel by nearly 75% but it also spares the unwanted over spillage in landfills.


Insulating concrete forms

This is not a very new technology.  The Portland Cement Association, which is the leading producer of concrete forms called insulating concrete, a “cast-in-place concrete walls that are sandwiched between two layers of insulation material.”   Therefore, you can describe it as a sandwich wherein concrete is placed between two walls that are constructed lot of insulating materials.  This kind of technology, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, saves nearly 20% of energy when compared to wood in cooler climates or places like Chicago.


Polyurethane Rigid Foam Originated From Plants

The Environmental Protection Agency had fined one of the leading surfboard making companies for using toxic chemicals.  This made the San Diego surfboard making company take a different course and come out with foam that is extracted from plants.  Malama Composites makes foam from biodegradable plants like kelp, hemp and bamboo, which is rigid and can be used in wind turbine blades, insulation, and furniture as well as in surfboards.  This foam has heat resistances and moisture resistance and is excellent when used in insulation.  In fact, it not only insulates better but also has a high thermal resistance.


Straw Bales

Lego blocks, according to Mark Jensen, can be used to build small building- but he chooses to use straw bales to construct stucco and plaster walls.  You will find a lot of straw in the grain industry as it is the by-product.  Straw can last for thousands of years if it is kept dry and it can provide very good insulation.  However, the only drawback here is that there are a couple of limitations when using natural straw in buildings.


Cool Roofing

Cool roofing basically works on the principle of colours. For instance, a black shirt would make you feel hotter than a white shirt as the latter reflects heat and keeps the person cooler.  Likewise, cool roofing also reflects the sun’s heat and this leaves the house cooler.  Earlier, customers were only given light colours to choose for their roofs; however, with the enhancement of technology, darker colours are also being used.

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