Top ten sustainability innovations in Construction

The construction industry is responsible for 24% of our carbon emissions. Here are 10 construction innovations that could change the future of the industry

Construction is responsible for 24% of all carbon emissions. Here are 10 construction innovations that could change the future of the industry.

10. Transparent Wood


Wood can be treated into a material that is capable of holding the same properties as glass or plastic. The material is transparent, sturdy as well as being able to store heat. This is a much more sustainable option than plastic or glass as well as weighing a lot less.

9. Aluminum foam


Aluminum foam is created through injecting aluminum into oxygen. Aluminum is a material that can be easily recycled and reused, it is lightweight and nonflammable. Over 50% of aluminum foam is created from recycled aluminum.

8. Cigarette Butt Bricks


There are over 1.2 million cigarette butts dumped and thrown every year, most of which end up in landfills or littered within our environment. Cigarette butts are now being mixed into the construction of bricks, this lessens the amount of energy needed to bake them.

7. LED and OLED


LED lighting is especially effective within household light bulbs, it decreases the amount of energy that consumers use as well as saving them money. It also takes the demand off the energy grid. These lightbulbs last 40 times longer than traditional ones meaning there aren’t as many being disposed of and created.

6. Hydrogel


Hydrogel can be combined with ceramics to be used in construction. This material is capable of absorbing 500 times its own weight in water for cooling purposes. It is capable of cooling interiors by up to 6 degrees. This could save money not only in construction but in energy as less air conditioning is needed in the buildings.

5. Breathe blocks


These blocks are concrete combined with plastic and have hollow insides to allow airflow within buildings. Breathe blocks have been designed to absorb pollution; they are capable of removing 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles. They can improve air quality in countries with higher pollution.


4. Super-Hydrophobic Cement


This material is created by modifying the structure of cement. It is also known as luminescent cement because of the way it reflects and absorbs light which could make it a new stainable alternative to street lighting. Because of this cement's durability it needs little amount of repairs and can last up to 100 years.

3. Bamboo reinforced Concrete


Bamboo reinforced concrete has been created to be a more sustainable option to steel reinforced concrete which is used in most buildings and construction. This is a more sustainable option because most steel is imported and not all countries have the ability to source it, whereas most countries already have growing bamboo.

2. Synthetic spider silk


Spider silk is one of the strongest natural materials. With the help of 3D printing, scientists have been able to create synthetic silk. This is made from room temperature water, silica and cellulose. This could be used as an alternative to materials such as nylon and other strong textiles. The usage of synthetic silk could reduce the CO2 within the textile industry.

1. Plasma rocks


Plasma rock is a new material that has been recently created. The material is made from reused materials found within coastal landfills which are created because of plasma gasification which is when the extreme heat of underground landfills combines the waste into one. Plasma rock is non-toxic, durable, and puts landfill waste to use. This would reduce landfill mass and decrease the amount of harmful materials entering the ocean.


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