Material trends are changing to usher in a new age of environmentally sustainable construction. Today, the construction industry is focused on embracing new materials that can greatly reduce our carbon footprint. As we mentioned in part one, reduced-carbon concrete is one such development. Now, we will continue to explore the material trends to watch for in 2019, focusing on inflated steel structures and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for buildings. Remember, for all of your legal needs including compliance with state and federal laws regarding the environment, consult the Orlando construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law.
Material trends don’t stop with raw materials, new fabrication methods also exhibit a promising future for sustainable construction. Inflated steel structures utilize the concept of free inner pressure forming to stabilize sheet metal by pumping air into it. By laser cutting steel into panels and templates which are then welded together at the edges, engineers can create what is best described as a steel balloon. By inflating this balloon from a single point using high pressure, in the exact same way one inflates a normal balloon, engineers can create sturdy steel structures that can support extremely heavy loads. One example of this fabrication technique being put to use is the NAWA pavilion construction on Daliowa Island in Poland, which was built using inflated steel arches.
PET for Buildings
PET, also known as type 1 plastic, is another material being considered for widespread application in building construction. As the most recycled polymer, the available supply of PET is abundant, but most engineers and architects have not embraced it as a building material like other forms of plastic (e.g., polyvinyl chloride or PVC).
Fortunately, a Belgium-based manufacturer, Armacell Benelux, is now offering PET-based building materials. One of their products, referred to as ArmaForm Core, has been proven to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 34 percent. Additionally, this material is crafted from 100 percent recycled content. Some of their current offerings include structural foam panels, thin sheet materials, and foam cores for insulation. What are the other benefits of this material? The manufacturer’s structural foam panels include features like thermoformability, temperature resistance, and fatigue resistance.
To learn more about the material trends to watch in 2019, read part three.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.