How New Building Technologies Will Help Climate Change
Climate change is rightly on everyone’s mind right now. And the Engineering & Construction industry has great potential to lead the charge with the help of exciting building technologies and automation. A complete overhaul of the industry is going to be tough to implement, for many reasons, like the over 100 million people worldwide who are employed by the construction industry today. But any incremental improvement in productivity and successful adoption of modern innovative practices can have a massive global impact. Just a 1% rise in global productivity could save $100 billion a year and achieve energy savings of more than 30% according to the United Nations Environment Programme.
From simple to radical changes in Advanced Building Materials (ABM’s) – here are some new innovations we are keeping our eye on that are changing things:
Natural and recyclable flooring – Provides better indoor air quality because these products have little or no VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions. Companies like Green Building Supply offer options from natural wool carpet to recycled hardwood to cut back on your carbon footprint.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling – Using the heat of the earth instead of fossil fuels, geothermal HVAC systems from companies like Geotility last for generations and use limited electric power.
Insulated Wall Solutions – Panergy is a next-generation prefabricated, insulated building envelope that provides superior performance with a lower carbon footprint. Conveniently named, Panergy technology is offered in a variety of styles like brick, stone and stucco and has been field tested for over 35 years!
Organically Coated Steel – Ecca prepainted metal is one of the few proud to produce steel that does not contain genotoxins, acts as an insulating layer, diffuses water, oxygen, ions and slows corrosion.
Bio-Concrete – Sometimes called self-healing concrete, it can reduce lifetime costs by 50% and the faster curing rates make building more efficient. Basilisk uses this method to produce concrete that uses bacteria and limestone to create new concrete, adhering any cracks that form.This is a combination of nature and human engineering.
3D Printing – Projects like TECLA from the company WASP promise gains of up to 80% productivity. Construction time is reduced from weeks to hours. All materials are taken from the local terrain and are 100% recyclable, for sustainable, eco-friendly construction.
Smart Building Materials – The adoption of smart-technology like that offered by Normac home sensors and smart building equipment is becoming increasingly common and changing communities and people’s quality of life. By instituting things like smart glass, smart concrete, and self-repairing coatings, building supplies can be monitored remotely to remove the need for expensive and intrusive inspections, are longer lasting, and impact the climate control of your home.
Steps are already being taken in our industry to reduce environmental effects and improve overall efficiencies. Once more environmental building practices have been embraced across the industry, it will have a profound impact on the environment as a whole.