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  • Britney Heerten

The Future of Building Materials

Updated: Feb 5

In the building industry we have a responsibility to help the growing movement towards sustainable energy efficient buildings and help to reduce the carbon footprint. If companies do not put effort toward becoming more earth friendly, they run a risk of eventually not being in business at all. The article at the link below interests me because it tells about how the companies that produce building materials such as steel, concrete and timber are working on ways to reduce their environmental impact. I appreciate that the writer provides questions that we should be asking ourselves when we specify these items. I've provided the list below.


https://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/concrete-steel-or-wood-searching-for-zero-net-carbon-structural-materials_o

What to Ask When Specifying Steel

  • Is steel available from an electric arc furnace mill, and, in particular, one that is powered by renewable energy?

  • Can the structure use braced frames instead of moment-resisting frames to reduce the mass of steel required?

  • Can you source ResponsibleSteel-certified steel?

What to Ask When Specifying Concrete

  • Can the amount of cement be reduced in the concrete mix?

  • Can the overall mass of concrete in the project be reduced?

  • What is the least energy-intensive cement kiln that is locally available?

  • What carbon-sequestering aggregate or mix techniques can be included?

What to Ask When Specifying Wood

  • Is your wood product reclaimed? If not, does it come from a sustainably managed forest?

  • Can the structure be assembled with removable fasteners to allow for potential reuse of the members?

  • Does the project use efficient framing techniques that minimize the mass of the timber required?


Building materials will likely evolve and change over time. The top sustainable building materials according to Press Information are:


The innovations that are happening in the industry are very fascinating. I found the

(Potato) Chip Board and the Mushroom Insulation to be the most intriguing. These

are worth taking a look at.


Source: https://www.volvoce.com/global/en/news-and-events/news-and-stories/2019/six-sustainable-building-materials-of-the-future/


1. CROSS-LAMINATED TIMBER

2. MEMORY STEEL

3. (POTATO) CHIPBOARD

4. MUSHROOM INSULATION

5. ZERO-CARBON CEMENT

6. AIR PURIFYING FAÇADE




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