What comes to mind when you think of innovation? 100 dollars says you thought of smart phones, laptops, and software. But concrete? Surely not.
Well, think again. The world of concrete construction is a surprisingly innovative place, with breakthrough developments happening all the time. They are changing the industry in many exciting ways and look set to shake up the way we build things for years to come. Let’s take a look at what’s trending today.
Concrete – as you never saw it before.
One of the latest innovations to rock concrete construction is bendable concrete, also known as Engineering Cement Composite or ECC. Developed by civil engineering professor at the University of Michigan, Dr. Victor Li, flexible concrete incorporates silica and polyvinyl alcohol fibres into the mix. The result? A new kind of concrete that is 500 times harder to crack and significantly lighter and easier to install than its predecessors. Fancy that!
Every major industry is taking steps to lessen its environmental impact, and concrete is moving with them too. There are currently not one, not two, but several innovations that are reducing the environmental impact of construction. One of those is using fly ash in concrete mixes. Fly ash is a waste product leftover from burning large amounts of pulverized coal. With the right mixture, it acts very much like concrete and can be used in combination with it. It uses far less water and dramatically reduces the carbon footprint. Yet each year brings new innovations.
The future of concrete construction
Concrete itself is not only changing. Incredible innovations in the way we can use it are afoot.
Probably the most major transformation right now is 3D printed concrete. While this pioneering technique has traditionally been for plastics and resin, scientists are now learning how to apply it to concrete. And the benefits are immense. Alongside producing structures quickly – indeed one team made a 3D printed house in 24 hours – 3D printing allows for highly customised construction.
As a team, Kraftur is uncertain of how 3D printing will find its way into our practices, but what we are certain of is that innovation is at our core. We are always finding ways to introduce these innovations in ways that support our business and our clients. We will lead the adoption of these technologies with pride.
Say goodbye to colourless, grey slabs and hello to concrete as you’ve never seen it before. New innovations are allowing concrete to be used in more creative, artistic ways. There is so much more to explore.