5 Cool New Green Building Materials

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When we were kids, we were promised flying cars and high-tech houses in the future. As we become more eco-conscious and thoughtful about our building materials, we could start to see some of those high-tech future houses in our neighborhoods sooner than we think. Here are 5 cool new building materials that you can use today that have something of a sci-fi feel to them.

Self-healing cement

There are a lot of materials on the rise that are made to replace concrete as a main building material. But as everything is evolving, so is concrete. This concrete contains microcapsules that are filled with a glue-like resin that expands to fill in any cracks.

Self healing cement

image: Dr. Vladimir Ronin / EMC Cement

This new and improved concrete will also be able to regulate temperature by releasing or absorbing large amounts of heat,

SensiTile

SensiTile is more about the aesthetics of your cool new future home rather than the green architectural benefits. These tiles are embedded with light conducting channels that redirect and scatter light. The effect is like a fiber optic twinkling. Shadow producing movements cause a rippling effect across the tiles and produces wonderful colors.

Sensi Tile

image: erica rhiannon

These tiles can be used as flooring, wall decoration, or even in ceilings. Nothing says “Welcome to the future” like a room full of twinkling lights.

Animal Blood Bricks

This one might sound a little morbid and isn’t suitable for the faint of heart. Animal blood is one of the most prevalent waste materials in the world. After an animal is slaughtered for food, the blood is disposed of, despite all of its many uses. Architect Jack Munroe found that by mixing the blood with preservatives, sand, and then baking it for one hour, it produces a very durable and waterproof brick.

image: Gizmodo

Animal blood bricks are easily made and extremely cheap to produce and could be the perfect building material for use in developing countries.

Aerogel

Aerogel is the world’s lightest solid material, and it is 99.98% air. This class of super light material is thin, durable, breathable, fireproof, and it doesn’t absorb water, making it the perfect material for thermal insulation. Certain types of Aerogels are extremely strong and can withstand forces applied to them that are tens of thousands of times their weight.

Aerogel

image: Jovan Cormac

It is still quite expensive to buy in bulk, but small portions can be bought online.

Kinetic Glass (Living Glass)

Kinetic glass is also called “living glass” because it automatically opens and closes the openings or “grills” on its surface based on the CO2 levels in the room. Architects Soo-in Yang and David Benjamin developed the idea and created the silicone surface embedded with wires. This non-mechanical glass responds to human presence in the room and adjusts accordingly.

Not only will your house be thoughtful in its use of sustainable and long-lasting materials, it will also take care of your family’s health.

While whole houses made of these exciting materials might be a few more years away, you can start adding these future materials into your home now. Spice up your kitchen with twinkling floor tiles, and take a breath of fresh air in your CO2 controlled living room. What kid of materials are you excited to see?

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.