Innovation

30 January 2018

Fungus additive helps concrete repair itself

Researchers have found a fungus which when added to concrete can help it repair its own cracks. There are many concrete structures across the world suffering from serious deterioration. Cracks are very common due to various chemical and physical phenomena that occur during everyday use. Concrete shrinks as it dries, which can cause cracks. It […]

23 January 2018

Swedish firm cuts the cost of wind turbines through use of wood fibre

A Swedish start-up looks set to reduce the cost of a wind turbine by 30% – by using a wood-based “natural carbon fibre” to replace concrete in the masts of giant wind turbines. Gothenberg-based Modvion, which is backed by the country’s Energy Agency, is using glulam, a plywood product that can outperform the strength of […]

19 January 2018

Skanska launches solar glass ‘revolution’ for energy-neutral buildings

Swedish construction giant Skanska has teamed up with Polish solar tech firm Saule Technologies to make perovskite solar cells available for use in commercial-scale construction. Saule Technologies, which has been developing the semi-transparent perovskite solar cells cells since 2014, uses ink jet technology to ‘print’ solar cells to any size and shape needed to cover […]

5 January 2018

Floating cities – a practical solution for countering climate change

Floating cities are being developed in Polynesia as a sustainable place to live and a solution for rising sea levels, but they could also potentially help coral reefs recover and provide a habitat for marine life. The construction of the first floating villa is planned for 2020. This would include around 15 islands 82 by 82 […]

19 December 2017

Low carbon homes are built from farm waste

A Danish firm has developed a modular home out of materials upcycled from agricultural waste to create an eco-friendly building with a minimal carbon footprint. Located in Middelfart, Denmark, and called the “Biological House,” the project was built from recovered grass, straw, seagrass, and other natural “leftovers” that otherwise would have been burned and which were […]

3 November 2017

Cross-laminated timber could be low-carbon building material of the future

As more construction firms look to reduce their carbon footprint by sourcing alternative, low-carbon building materials, Europe’s largest forest-based products company Stora Enso has stepped up investment in its very sustainable cross-laminated timber (CLT) products. Many companies view CLT solutions as the ideal replacement for carbon-intensive concrete and steel structures. The CLT market has already grown threefold […]

31 October 2017

‘Pop up’ homes developed to provide affordable housing at low cost

ZEDpods are a new concept in prefabricated housing which can be quickly installed over vacant spaces such as car parks and not require land acquisition or major capital expenditure. The pods are constructed off site and can be erected in a matter of days with a forklift. They have a patented raft foundation that exerts […]

27 October 2017

Architectural tiles made by mobile solar recycling plant

The world’s first off-grid, industrial grade recycling plant has been developed which converts trash in architectural building tiles using solar power. Trashpresso is a solar-powered recycling plant housed on a 40-foot container platform that is movable anywhere by trailer truck. It is powered by a solar-charged energy storage unit housed on a separate 20-foot container platform. It […]

25 October 2017

Innovative ‘floating wind farm’ starts operation off coast of Scotland

The world’s first floating wind farm has been installed off the coast of Scotland and has started delivering electricity to the Scottish power grid. The wind farm uses technology developed for North Sea oil platforms and allows the windmills to float in the rough sea, anchored by cables to be bottom, with orientation and stability […]

17 October 2017

Innovative low cost wave-energy system moves to test phase

A new generation of wave-energy technology has been developed in the UK which can reduce the construction and installation cost while improving the practicality and flexibility in use. The WaveSub system has been developed by Marine Power Systems (MPS), a wave power technology development company based in Swansea. The WaveSub operates by capturing wave energy around six […]

13 October 2017

South Africa’s Gautrain project cuts cement footprint by one third using recycled materials

One cubic metre of concrete has a carbon footprint of 350kg of CO2, making this staple material in the construction industry one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases in the world. But for the construction of South Africa’s 80km Gautrain  mass rapid transit railway system, the cement was mixed with recycled materials to reduce the carbon footprint […]

27 September 2017

Prefab revolution starts with major ‘house factory’ in UK

A vast new factory has come on stream in the UK with timber delivered at one end, and just a week later a fully furnished one-bed flat emerging at the other. The move towards producing high volume ‘prefab’ houses is being backed by the insurance giant, Legal & General Homes which is planning to build thousands […]

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