Building a Better Future

There have been a number of amazing breakthroughs in building materials via scientific innovation. Things that one would have never thought possible are transpiring in the development and production of new construction materials and techniques. However, as is the case in many industries and human endeavours, there is always plenty of resistance to change and new concepts. The building business is steeped in tradition and old ways of doing things, so, many in the sector are laggards when it comes to taking up innovative new practices. Building a better future is only going to happen if we all embrace the new evolution in construction materials and techniques.

There is Resistance to Doing Things Differently

The fundamental issue here is that we have always looked to our past when it comes to the really important things in human life. Think of child rearing, new mothers look to their own mothers for advice about how to nurture and raise their offspring. There is strong resistance to doing things differently. Can creativity compete with tradition in the construction industry? Will biomimetic materials and production techniques catch on or will we stick to the tried and true materials. My father always built with brick… Wood remains the skeleton at the heart of most houses and homes.

Biomimetic Insulation Drawn from Polar Bear Skin

Tall structures in the form of towers are being adorned with things like photovoltaic (PV) glass, which can provide both amorphous and crystalline silicon glass. The advantages of these materials offer 30% more light and energy for everyday and solar purposes. Biomimetic insulation drawn from polar bear skin inspiration has produced Plyskin. Of course, no animals were hurt in the development of this stunning new insulation material. These materials may secure our future going forward into the 21C.

Synthetic Spider Silk is Coming

Carbon-fibre balsa is another breakthrough material, which takes nature and makes it better and cheaper for building purposes. Another is synthetic spider silk, ala Spiderman this is the kind of thing that gets us all fired up. Science fiction and fantasy becomes scientific reality. There is a caveat, however, this is still in the research and development stage. Scientists at MIT have created a 3D printing technique to generate fake spider webs to study their structure. Wood polymers are attracting a lot of attention in this sector and we are seeing some new amazing woods with incredible properties.