Manufacturing Trends

Smart building materials: Better, stronger, and greener

Smart building materials enable manufacturers to save money and make production facilities more efficient.

By Richard van Hooijdonk for Smart Industry

Factories of the future will be built using smart materials that will be more efficient, stronger and greener. And scientists are already inventing new types of concrete, wood, and reflective materials that will enable businesses to both improve their facilities and profit by supplying components to the construction industry.

The market for innovative and green building materials is set to reach $364.6 billion by 2022. And that’s just a glimpse of future potential, as the global construction industry is ripe for disruption, too. Manufacturers that stay abreast of the innovations in this field are likely to gain new production efficiencies and establish a foothold in a major new market.

Concrete, the most widely used construction material today, is a major hurdle on the path to greener building materials, as it contains cement, the production of which is responsible for a great deal of greenhouse-gas emissions. Thankfully, a new trend is promising to reduce this carbon footprint—carbon-infused concrete. Technology developed by the Canadian startup CarbonCure, for instance, is based on injecting captured CO2 into concrete. Once the material hardens, the carbon stays put and turns into a mineral that keeps the structure extremely stable and increases its compression strength. This way, the concrete is not only stronger, but also far more environmentally-friendly due to the reduced amount of cement that’s needed.

To learn more, read "Smart building materials are a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for manufacturers" from Smart Industry.

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