As a contractor, you’ve witnessed firsthand the construction industry’s shift toward more sustainable practices. Although today’s building methods are significantly more sustainable than those used in the past, there is still a lot of work to be done if we want to develop net-zero buildings crafted with green construction practices. When the industry changes, so do your legal needs. As new materials are introduced and building practices change, you will be best served by partnering with an Orlando construction lawyer who is well-versed in the latest changes in federal and state policies governing construction.
In parts one and two, our Orlando construction lawyers introduced an array of cutting-edge building materials including reduced-carbon concrete, inflated steel, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Now, we will explore carbon-eating plastic and self-assembling materials.
Chemical engineering researchers at MIT and the University of California at Riverside have developed a process virtually identical to the carbon-fixing phenomenon that takes place in plants to create a carbon-negative material that continuously siphons greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This material takes CO2 from the atmosphere and turns it into a carbon-based substance that can be used to reinforce building materials. The most exciting aspect of this avant-garde technology is that it not only gets stronger over time, it can also repair itself.
This material does include one natural ingredient, chloroplasts, which plays an integral role in the material’s ability to repair itself. While this material cannot be utilized for practical building purposes yet, it can be utilized as a self-repairing coating for structures. Scientists believe this is the first step toward living building materials.
Another material inspired by biological processes, self-assembling materials are being developed to mimic various features of biological tissues. The material, first introduced by Scientists at Northwestern University, can grow and alter its material properties. Once it reassembles into a new form, it can even revert back to its prior state. This organic substance is built from peptides and DNA-infused peptides. As unbelievable as it sounds, this material actually replicates DNA to create superstructures strengthened by the formation of double helixes. Starting off as a soft substance referred to as hydrogel, this material grows stronger over time as its internal structures are reinforced through a process called self-replication. In other words, it copies itself to increase its durability.
New materials mean new possibilities for the construction industry to grow and flourish, but it also means new policies and an increased risk of litigation. For all your construction-related legal needs, our Orlando construction lawyers are standing by.
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.