Sustainable building is slowly becoming a business imperative; shortly, those that are hesitant to embrace new green materials will suffer a competitive disadvantage as the market evolves.
Some green materials have only just been discovered for example recycled plastic. Researchers have recently adapted plastic to avoid unnecessary mining and extraction of new milling components; hence reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also minimising transport costs and creating a new use for hazardous plastic waste.
Mycelium is an incredibly advanced building material and it is 100 percent natural having the root structure of a mushroom fungi. Astonishingly, mycelium can be allowed to grow around a composite of natural materials such as straw and shaped into moulds then later dried to create lightweight and durable bricks.
The latest green materials are even stronger than concrete, really calling into question concrete’s continued use in many environmentally unconscious companies. Ferrock is one of the latest inventions—composed of recycled steel dust—which is much better than concrete. It is far more environmentally friendly too as it traps carbon dioxide during the drying process; making it carbon neutral.
Timbercrete blends concrete and sawdust to produce a lighter, less waste intensive, energy efficient green material. The finished material is easier to transport and can be moulded in blocks and bricks. In short, companies that adopt the latest green building materials will benefit from first mover advantage and will be rewarded with cost savings from producing less waste.
However, it is not only modern inventions that are influencing a change in the construction sector: age-old materials like bamboo are experiencing a comeback. In China—where their first recorded use was—arrows were fashioned from bamboo and gunpowder was added to create fire arrows; and these later became the very first fireworks in the world. In ancient China, cables in suspension bridges were built with the fibrous skin of bamboo and the Incas in South America also used this technique.
“We have observed a growing number of the properties listed on our platform now use bamboo,” said Mart Polman—managing director of Lamudi Indonesia. “Bamboo has been growing in Southeast for millions of years but recently it has become a stylish material and is in use all across the world, and importantly it is environmentally safe,” Polman added.
Nowadays, award-winning designer buildings often feature bamboo. A leading architect called Oscar Lopez considered the king of Bamboo has become a trailblazer for the bamboo industry and is recognised as a thought leader especially when it comes to curved laminated beams. Bamboo is so cheap to grow and can be used in a multitude of objects; making it an increasingly popular choice for architects and builders. Bamboo even has the same strength-to-weight ratio of mild steel but with greater flexibility; enough to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. ***