New Age Materials Making a Difference to Sustainable Architecture
The Green Building movement has meant that almost every passing day new building materials are hitting the market. However, not all of them go on to make a distinct name for themselves. It is only a select few which go on to become a commercial success.
Fly ash is a term that is being often heard in recent times. An industrial byproduct usually generated at thermal power plants, the material is not only environment friendly but also score high when it comes to long term durability, while also aiding aid in the improvement of quality and is also economical to use. With over 200 odd thermal power plants in the country, the efforts to promote the use of fly ash are paying dividends. The use of fly ash bricks and blocks, apart from the use of the material as an ingredient in cement manufacturing, has come as a shot in the arm for sustainable architecture.
Photo Caption: Fly ash is contributing to a sustainable future built environment ( Pic Courtesy: Commons Wikimedia)
Self Healing Concrete
While the actual process of making concrete has not undergone any major change over the years, it is not the case with the mix design. The kind of ingredients that go into making concrete these days differs vastly from the earlier times. A lot of research is being carried out in various reputable academic institutions when it comes to the development of self healing concrete. Attempts are being made by researchers to come out with mix design that will enable concrete to be durable for years together. If there were to be development of cracks later on due to a variety of factors, the key ingredients used should be such that they will ensure ‘growth’ of new concrete to fill up the cracks.
While fly ash bricks are contributing their bit towards creating a sustainable built environment, these days ‘Smart Bricks’ are also gradually finding an increasing number of takers. What exactly are these smart bricks? Well, they are bricks that are manufactured using high-strength concrete that enable quite significant reduction in building costs, ensure minimal wastage at the construction site and enable structures with superior thermal efficiency, all of which add to their sustainability quotient. Also known as ‘Lego’ bricks due to their resemblance to Lego blocks, these bricks are designed with conduits which allows wiring to run through them.
Photo caption: Smart bricks ( Pic Courtesy: www.lego-dom-if.ru)