Many of us are wondering about the future of construction technology. Will petrol stations be displaced by electric cars and self-charging roads?
Will cracked concrete miraculously heal itself? Will we be able to produce properties via 3D printing? It looks like these futuristic sounding solutions could become a reality. Here is a list of five futuristic construction technologies, some of which are already in use today.
Concrete is the most commonly used construction material in the world, but it’s also prone to deterioration and cracking under extreme temperature conditions. Until recently, the only way to respond to cracked concrete was to reinforce it, apply a patch, or redo it entirely. In 2010 a chemical engineering professor devised a self-healing concrete that contains small sodium silicate capsules. When a crack forms the capsules break and release a gel-like substance that patches the void.
For years, forward-thinking developers yearned for a transparent metal that could be used to construct stronger glass-walled skyscrapers. Then, in the 1980s, scientists used a combination of aluminum, nitrogen, and oxygen to create a strong yet perfectly clear, glass-like ceramic. Known as ALON (transparent aluminum), this futuristic construction material is currently being used by the military to create optical lenses and armoured windows.
Although gel is traditionally thought of as a wet substance, aerogel is created by removing all liquid from it and leaving only a silica structure that is up to 99% air. It can be spun out into thin sheets of fabric that have superior insulating properties, making it one of the futuristic construction technologies that is now actually in use. Once it becomes less expensive, aerogel could be featured in more construction projects across the globe.