When planning a construction project, one of your major decisions is the kind of building materials you might use for your construction project. Whether it is a house or an office building, you want them to last. While construction techniques are a part of that, the more important factor determining durability is the building materials used. Here is a closer look at some of the choices you might have regarding construction.
One of the more interesting materials out there is polycarbonates. These are plastic materials and have been around for a long time. But it has only been recently they have become prominent. This is thanks to developments that allow for the sheets to be more challenging and also more transparent. The main purpose for getting polycarbonates is to use them as a substitute for glass. Companies like Duralon sell them as substitutes for roofing and skylights. If you are worried about glass being fragile, then polycarbonate sheets are a good substitute.
Wood has been used in building for a long time. But laminated timber takes it to another level. Instead of simple wood, these are engineered wood panels superior to normal wood used in buildings. This is because laminated timber comprises multiple layers of lumber stacked on each other and bonded by adhesives. The fabrication process gives it natural insulation and sound-dampening properties. These panels can match steel and concrete in their toughness.
New Concrete Mixes
Concrete is another major construction material that may seem like old technology. But researchers have been finding ways to keep it relevant and effective. The most interesting development is self-healing concrete. This type of concrete uses bacteria that generate limestone so that any damage to the concrete seals itself. This reduces the need for maintenance and repairs in the long run. It also ensures that any structure using it will be able to last longer. Other scientists have come up with some interesting concrete innovations. For example, there is pollution-absorbing concrete. The concrete is mixed with materials that react to sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. It results in concrete absorbing these pollutants to clean the air.
A more space-age material is aluminum foam. This is a solid metal material with a large porous space inside. While it can be made from various metals, aluminum is the favored choice because of its properties. Metal foam is created by injecting air into cooling metals. The air creates the spaces inside, which is what gives the material a high strength-to-weight ratio. It is used for a variety of purposes, whether as insulation, decoration, and even fire-proofing. They are also great for dampening sounds, so a room that needs soundproofing might find them helpful.
Bricks have also evolved far from their original use. As the basic building block of most houses, bricks are easy to find and are very useful. But in the future, they might provide the perfect solution for power storage. With the popularity of solar panels, many building owners are looking to store the generated power. This is where the power bricks come in. Bricks are porous and provide the perfect way to store energy with the right treatment. Called power bricks, the inside of these bricks is plastic and materials that allow for power storage. When done right, any home using these bricks will have a large store of energy to use.
Recycled Plastic Building Blocks
One of the major concerns nowadays is waster and recycling. Technically, all plastics can be recycled, which makes using them for building materials worth it because of their properties. Plastic is tough and hard to get rid of. While that can be bad for the environment because of their difficulty to dispose of, this also makes them great materials for longer-lasting buildings. Additionally, with the right process, more blocks are made from a variety of plastics. It can also be pretty affordable, so you can save a bit on construction when you choose to use recycled plastic.
The right building materials can make the difference when you are hoping to build to last. Considering it is a major investment, you should look towards the future for some of the building materials you should use. While some of them are still years out from commercial use, others are already available to the public and should be easy to integrate into your construction project.