What are smart building materials?
We are all aware of what smart buildings are and how they have begun to make sense in the lives of all of us. This smart revolution has been embraced very rapidly and, needless to say, has brought some highly tangible benefits to its users. As in the case of any form of construction, there is a great deal of material to be used, particularly when we talk about the construction of smart buildings, these materials might not be heard before, but their importance is what makes them stand out compared to the standard elements.
Nano Technology for the building envelope
The use of nanotechnology-based materials is one of those substances that was originally used in space exploration, pharmaceuticals and electronics, but has also been embraced by the construction industry today. Now that our resources have been drained, it is all about turning the current building stock from an energy waste to an energy generator. However, this involves new technologies related to renewable energy sources that are unique to this form of construction as well as to the climate region. Energy regulations for buildings have become very high these days. The use of conventional insulation materials also means a rise in the insulation layers of walls , floors and roofs. In the event that smart technology is correctly adopted in houses, all of the above problems are well taken care of.
Concrete is a common construction material. But even concrete tends to crack as it comes face-to – face with water , wind, stress and pressure. The current approach for dealing with structural instability in concrete has been to replace or restore it. But what if all you had to do was add some water? A new form of smart concrete includes dormant spores of bacteria and calcium lactate in self-contained pods. When these pods come into contact with water, they render the limestone, fill the cracks and strengthen the concrete. Self-healing concrete is expected to save up to 50% of concrete’s lifetime costs by eliminating the need for repairs. Smart concrete is still being studied to determine how long the bacteria will survive, but researchers are hopeful that they will soon be able to formally bring smart concrete to the construction industry.
Shapeshifting metals can experience a great deal of stress and change shape briefly, but they are programmed to ‘remember’ their original shape and return to it if they have been altered in any way. Used in the construction of a bridge, for example, will help maintain a bridge against hurricane or earthquake damage. The practical use of this type of metal is still mainly in the research process, with scientists researching specifically how smart metal can be used by the construction industry. Companies like Shape Shift Technologies LLC are leading the industry, with innovations already being used by the medical community to extend their findings for the use of engineers.
Self Healing Coatings
Ew on the market and even in use are self-healing coatings, sealants and adhesives. A recent report on CNN.com covered U.S.-based company Autonomous Materials and their creation of self-healing coatings used in marine-based structures such as ships and oil rigs. The coatings are made of polymers that respond innately to each other when they rupture, producing a mechanism of self-healing. The discovery of Autonomous Materials is for water-based structures only, but the company is looking to create materials for wider use by the construction industry. Not yet in use, but in the process of being studied by a group of scientists, is a self-curing coating that could be applied to concrete. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces recently wrote about the scientific discovery of this coating, but points out that it is not yet ready for industrial use. This material has the potential to self-heal as it fractures and is exposed to sunlight, allowing UV rays to react with particles in the concrete that expand and then fill fractures.
Developments in concrete and other building materials have been very violent and severe these days. One of the most popular materials that has made a mark of its own is transparent wood. This material has greater insulating properties than glass and is therefore stronger than glass. It also degrades better than plastic, making it one of the few must-haves in smart building growth.
And, above all, when building a smart infrastructure, one has to verify where the sensors are located. The strategic location of devices linked to the Internet for valuable data and information is important, as it ensures accuracy, which in turn helps to take decisive action. Many of the builders who are well versed with the smart definition ensure that the best use of resources takes place as they are the ones who make the structure unique to the others.