Five Materials Improving Sustainability In Construction

Joe Peach explains the technology behind five materials that will dramatically increase sustainability in the building industry. Among the list are wool bricks which are stronger, greater insulators and don't require firing to set.
November 15, 2010, 10am PST | George Haugh
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The building industry is famously slow to partake in the green revolution says Peach, and has long been left behind by advanced technologies available in transit or energy production. However, the future does still mean progress and many exciting innovations are now occurring in the construction industry, which will sustainably address some of the globes growing housing needs.

Scientists in Spain and Scotland found that simply adding wool and a natural polymer found in seaweed to the clay of a brick makes it 37% stronger, and more resistant to the cold wet climate often found in Britain.

Another innovation comes from the world of concrete production, which accounts for a staggering 7-10% of global carbon dioxide emissions. When producing sustainable concrete crushed glass can be added, as can wood chips or slag - a byproduct of steel manufacturing. Whilst these changes aren't radically transforming concrete, by simply using a material that would have otherwise gone to waste, the CO2 emissions associated with concrete are reduced.

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Published on Friday, November 12, 2010 in This Big City
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