Technological advancements are pervading all aspect of business, and live more generally. This includes tech advances that are directly impacting the construction industry in a number of different ways. There are five technological advances that are particularly compelling when it comes to the construction industry.
It is a true understatement to make note that cement is one of the most widely utilized materials in construction. With the obvious stated, cement is also considered to be one of the largest contributors to harmful carbon emissions. Indeed, researchers at Bath University in the United Kingdom determined that cement is responsible for around 7 percent of annual harmful carbon emissions globally.
Carbon is emitted in the process of making cement in the first instance. It is also released when additional cement must be created to repair cracked cement.
Despite being widely used, cement is subject to cracking. Cement cracking is a significant problem in the construction industry and in maintaining structures of all types. More often than not, cement cracking is the result of exposure to chemicals and water.
The same researchers at Bath University have been developing a self-healing cement. The team at Bath utilized a mixture containing certain bacteria that were placed in microcapsules. These microcapsules are then blended into cement. If the cement cracks, the microcapsules are exposed to water, causing the bacteria to come to life.
When the bacteria germinates, limestone is produced. This results in a crack being plugged, a crack “self-healing.” The objective is for the self-healing to occur prior to the water and oxygen entering through the crack having an opportunity to corrode any steel reinforcement contained in the cement.
Another new technological development impacting the construction industry is photovoltaic glazing that is now being integrated into some new construction projects. It is also being utilized in some rehabs as well.
Photovoltaic glazing is intended to can aid buildings generate their own electricity. What photovoltaic glazing turns a building envelope into a solar panel. It really is able to turn the entire building envelope into a solar panel.
This technology is not yet widely available. Nevertheless, there are companies that are manufacturing photovoltaic glazing for building projects. Industry analysts predict that photovoltaic glazing will be in fairly broad use before the end of the decade, in many countries around the globe.
Different derivations on the theme of incorporating kinetic energy into buildings of different types if becoming more commonplace today. Kinetic energy represents a technology under development in a variety of forms at this juncture in time.
One derivation the kinetic energy theme might best be described as kinetic footfall. This is technology that utilizes flooring to harness the energy of footsteps. This technology is capable of being used indoors or outdoors, in high traffic areas. Kinetic footfall technology generates electricity from pedestrians. The technology utilizes an electromagnetic induction process and flywheel to generate and store energy.
Because this technology is most suited to areas in which particularly high pedestrian traffic is evident, the largest deployment of the technology to date is at a football stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The energy generated through kinetic footfall at the stadium is used to assist in powering the floodlights at the venue.
Modular construction has long been something of an ugly stepchild in the construction industry. In recent years, that view of modular construction has started to change. Modular construction is more welcome and desired at this juncture in time.
At its essence, modular construction involves the offsite construction of building components. The same materials and design concepts are utilized in modular construction as is found in more conventional onsite projects.
When the components are completed, they are brought to the construction site. They are assembled at that time.
Modular construction is gaining attention among those individuals who are interested in green and environmentally friendly construction. Modular construction is gaining recognition for its sustainability benefits. Overall, modular construction results in the use of less energy, less vehicle movement, and less waste.
With advancements in modular construction, it is not being confined to smaller projects any longer. For example, a Chinese developer completed a 57-story skyscraper in only 19 working days using modular construction technology.
A great deal of focus remains on the development of new technologies designed to benefit the construction industry on a number of fronts. Odds are strong that during the coming year, some yet unheard of developments in construction industry related technology will be added to the list.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.