Five Revolutionary Innovations in the Construction Industry
In the past, the construction industry lagged behind other sectors when it came to innovation and new technologies. However, that is changing. Today, construction is fast advancing with countless new innovations.
The construction industry contributes greatly to the economic stability of the country. It is an investment-led sector and is quite diverse. Innovation in construction has the potential to have a major impact. Construction is defined as a creative industry and, as such, innovative problem solving will enable construction businesses to compete effectively in an increasingly competitive global environment.
This list of five innovations demonstrates that construction is an environment that is constantly applying scientific discoveries and innovative solutions.
- CO2 Capturing Concrete
New technology has developed a way to turn CO2 into an input for production. The CO2-infused concrete reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is a better-performing and higher-quality product. The CO2 is collected and stored in batches. The gas chemically reacts with the calcium hydroxide and the water that occurs naturally in concrete, forming insoluble calcium carbonate, a nanomaterial. This can then be infused into the concrete. The CO2-infused concrete not only has a great environmental benefit, but it also has an improved compressive strength and handling properties.
- Self-Healing Bioconcrete
Scientists have invented bioconcrete that heals itself using bacteria that is typically found near active volcanoes. The bacteria and calcium lactate is mixed with water and concrete, forming a bonded substance. The bacteria are only activated if the concrete cracks and water gets into the crack. When activated, the bacteria break down the calcium lactate, which produces limestone that patches the cracks. It takes about 3 weeks for the bacteria to heal the cracks.
- Translucent Wood
A group of researchers in Sweden have developed Optically Transparent Wood, a new material that could greatly impact future buildings. The transparent timber is produced by removing the chemical lignin from wood veneer. Once the lignin is removed, the wood becomes very white. Then, the veneer is injected with a transparent polymer, which matches the optical properties of the individual cells in the wood, making it translucent. Translucent wood panels could be used in windows and facades to let light in and would be an effective material for the surfaces of solar cells because Optically Transparent Wood is lower in cost than the material currently used for solar cell coverage.
Hydroceramic material is made up of hydrogel bubbles that are able to retain water up to 500 times their volume. Hydrogel and clay form a composite façade material that is able to cool building interiors by up to 6 degrees centigrade. Hydrogel creates a building system that is a living part of nature and out outside of it. Hydroceramics is a responsive material that creates a passive system that responds to changes in the environment by leveraging material properties. The inventors of hydroceramics estimate that they can generate a 28 percent reduction in the energy requirements of air conditioning.
- Light-Emitting Concrete
Researchers in Mexico have developed cement with the capacity to absorb and irradiate light energy. This highly functional material is very versatile and energy efficient.
The essential feature of light-emitting concrete is obtained through a polycondensation process of raw materials (silica, river sand, industrial waste, alkali and water.)
The new smart concrete can be used for many applications; some potential uses that stand out include:
- swimming pools
- parking lots
- road signs
- oil platforms
- anywhere that having light would be useful and electricity isn’t available.
According to the research facility, the durability of the light-emitting concrete is estimated to be more than 100 years due to its inorganic nature. The material components are easily recyclable.
Innovation is important to the construction sector. The link between creativity and reality should be encouraged through investment, education and training. Lifelong learning is a springboard for creative thinking and practical application.
Investment in construction innovation is essential to maintain a competitive edge in a global market, and investment in risk mitigation for your business is equally important. Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) and its local partners have nearly 100 years of construction industry experience.
Contact us today to learn more about how our extensive experience allows us to tailor risk management strategies that are optimally designed for your business.