Category Archives: Materials

Leave a Reply

Community Solar Power

A community in Canada has an unusual form of solar power that can provide over 90% of the annual heating and hot water needs for the homes, despite being situated in a cold Alberta location where winter temperatures can reach -33 degrees C (-27 F). The Drake Landing Solar Community collects solar energy in a…

Downward Trend For Steel Industry Fantastic News For Metal Builders

steel industry

The Steel Industry has become the latest unwitting victim of a slowing Chinese economy and domestic market oversupply driven by the continuing trade war with the Trump Administration. The accelerated decline in demand for steel products is directly affecting critical global industries including automotive, industrial, oil and gas, machinery and importantly – construction. A sustained…

Bamboo: The Ultimate Sustainable Construction Material

bamboo hearts

Bamboo is an unbeatable plant that has been used since ancient times for various purposes. In today’s world of plastic and steel, bamboo continues to grow in its importance, and is even being used as a housing material. The international technical cooperation organizations have recognized the exceptional qualities of bamboo and are carrying out an…

Light Gauge Steel Framing Market Predicted $43.65 Billion By 2025

Light Gauge Steel

The market for light gauge steel has increased year after year, with Asia and the Pacific currently dominating the market thanks to things like China investing more into their housing schemes and other structural developments. As the world turns to more affordable and even eco-friendly building techniques and materials, there is becoming a growing need…

Stylish Sustainability: Trondheim’s New Student Village

Meaning more than just focusing on the environment, sustainability also means creating a sense of place and belonging. Interpreting this philosophy brilliantly, MDH Arkitekter has nearly completed Moholt 50|50, an award-winning university student village in Trondheim, Norway. Envisioned as a community-focused commercial district featuring distinctive Scandinavian aesthetics, MDH Arkitekter’s minimalist approach and stylish use of…

Cellulose Insulation – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Made from consumer paper products, cellulose insulation typically contains about 85 percent recycled content. Using this green building material can effectively lower the carbon footprint of your home or business property. Essentially, this is because cellulose insulation is plant cell matter that is still storing the carbon sequestered when it was alive. Responsible management of…

New Construction Materials… That Self-Repair?

Opening up a new field of design for construction technology, the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is envisioning futuristic materials that repair themselves. After recently launching the Engineered Living Materials (ELM) program, DARPA’s goal is to create a whole new class of construction materials. Imagine engineering living cellular systems into the…

Brush & Wattle — The ABCs of Green Building Materials

The age-old construction techniques employed in traditional brush and wattle structures are time-tested and worthy of great respect. “Touching the Earth lightly,” these techniques are both low-impact on the natural environment and highly sustainable, employing the most natural and abundant of green building materials. Brush, referring to tree branches, twigs, leaves, and bark, has been…

Bricks – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

In terms of sustainability and green building materials, brick is probably king. The process of making fired clay bricks has been around for over 5,000 years and just keeps getting greener. Today’s brick kilns use about 70 percent less energy to fire bricks than just 50 years ago. Brick is a term usually referring to…

Blocks – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Blocks used for residential and commercial construction employ a wide variety of green building materials in their composition. The most popular and commonly used is the standard hollow concrete block, but there are many variations in shape, weight, and composition. Sand, cement, gravel, and water are the most commonly used elements in blocks, but there…

Bamboo – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Bamboo is a truly remarkable green building material. It’s twice as strong as concrete and slightly stronger than steel. It’s also a renewable resource that needs little energy to grow, prevents soil erosion, provides biomass, offers wildlife refuge, and produces a healthy food supply for both wildlife and humans. Offering significant remediation from the effects…

Aluminum – The ABCs of Green Building Materials

Used in a wide variety of ways in the building construction market, aluminum is a very versatile green building material, especially when it’s recycled. Everything from huge external building structures to delicate window blinds can be manufactured from this lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant metal. Doors, windows, and awnings are popular products made from this material,…

Artificial Turf Is The New Green Landscaping

Artificial turf isn’t just for mini golf and football stadiums anymore! It has become the go-to product for homeowners suffering through drought or trying to reduce their water consumption. Tanner Shepard, owner of LawnPop, an Austin, TX turf installation company, says that their brand has been growing at a rapid pace. “Synthetic grass was a…

The ABCs of Green Building Materials – Adobe (New Series!)

Green building materials are as diverse as Earth itself. Some of the most sustainable materials on the planet are modern inventions, and some are as old as the hills, like adobe. Familiarizing yourself with the best green building materials will help ensure your environmentally friendly projects enjoy sustainable success. Over the next several weeks, watch…

Low Cost Coating For Glass Enhances Sustainability Of Buildings

Glass coating increases sustainability

Researchers at Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi have created a new coating for glass that blocks heat transfer at less cost than traditional methods.

Panama Jungle Features Plastic Bottle Village

Far south, a few degrees north of the Equator, the plastic bottle is being smartly repurposed as a residential building insulation material. We visit Panama, where on an 83-acre jungle locale, 90 to 120 planned homes will be insulated by thousands of plastic bottles which have been recovered from the waste stream. The individual behind…

Reversible Concrete Allows for Easy Removal

Yes, you read the title correctly – reversible concrete! It seems like an oxymoron – concrete is known for its stability and strength, and its permanence. Well, not anymore! Last October at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Self-Assembly Lab at MIT and Gramazio Kohler Research of ETH Zurich showed off a process that might finally one-up…

Analyzing Exterior Deck Options

When asked what is a highly desired feature outside of the house, a good number of people will first select an exterior deck or porch. Here’s why: if done well, it makes an inviting place to visit with family or friends to enjoy summer cookouts, or simply as a great place to sit back, relax,…