Commercial construction continues to evolve with the use of new materials and the embracing of technology. With the advent of ‘smart cities’ creating new innovative commercial spaces, construction is seeing accelerated growth including the use of ‘new age’ materials that enhance building efficiency and combat material shortages. In evolving to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint, this brings an increased desire to create sustainable construction materials that are eco-friendly and ensure both the short and long-term safety and financial benefits of projects and its environment.
Smart City, Smart Living
Smart cities see both the public and private sector work to create a data driven environment with the use of modern technology.
While the term ‘smart city’ can be defined in several ways, at its essence it’s an older term that describes a city that uses technology to provide services and solve city problems. In ancient Roman cities this could refer to elements that make life easier such as aqueducts and water drainage systems for example. In the modern world this technology may be used to do things like improve transportation and accessibility, improve social services and economic equality, promote sustainability, reduce waste, and improve social inclusion.
A smart city makes use of information and communication technologies to address urban challenges, improve operational efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. A key with infrastructure is tools that are highly functional and progressive, turntables for loading docks and buildings are a part of that and we have seen numerous cities employ the use of turntables giving highly functional and efficient results, making life easier through the use of resources and progressive technologies.
Innovative materials are now beginning to shape the future of construction, with advancements in creating efficient, durable, economical and sustainable materials now becoming more widely available. While traditional materials such as brick, concrete and timber will always be essential to property development, there are new materials that have stronger, longer lasting and better properties.
Here are some of the new materials being adapted by the building and construction industry.
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT):
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) material consists of planks of sawn, glued, and layered wood, where each layer is oriented perpendicular to the previous. By joining layers of wood at perpendicular angles, structural rigidity for the panel is obtained in both directions, similar to plywood but with thicker components. This means the panel has great tensile and compressive strength. CLT is a great choice for strong commercial buildings with excellent acoustic, high fire resistance, seismic and thermal performance.
With easy application, workers can quickly and easily install flexible CLT with little to no onsite waste because manufacturers cut the CLT to size, including door and window openings. Furthermore, lightweight CLTs require smaller cranes than other heavier materials.
Carbon concrete is a composite of concrete and carbon fibers, meaning it’s stronger, lighter and more durable than conventional concrete. While standard concrete produces significant quantities of carbon dioxide, C02 emissions could be significantly reduced by using carbon concrete, which is essentially the idea that concrete could be altered during its curing process, which has the potential to drive concrete’s carbon dioxide emissions towards or below zero.
The building material can be produced from any substance that contains carbon. Compared to reinforced concrete, carbon concrete performs better in terms of load-bearing capacity and weight. In addition, carbon does not rust, meaning a concrete covering, as with reinforced concrete, is not necessary.
Created from a natural mix of hemp, lime and water, it is then pushed into timber frames to build an insulating wall. When the hemp fibre and mineral binder (lime) are blended together with water, this results in a chemical reaction between the lime binder and the water, with the binder setting and gluing the hard particles together. When this is set, and additional water has dried out of the mixture, the final material is hempcrete.
It has several advantages including fire resistance, insulation and termites are not an issue as with traditional timber. It also weighs significantly less than regular concrete, making it easier to transport and can be grown in a range of climates and soils. Unlike other composite materials such as concrete, mortar, and plaster, the binder portion is not intended to fill all the voids between the hemp particles but only to coat the particles and cause them to adhere to one another where they touch. A hempcrete mix typically has a high percentage of void space in the final mixture. As we aim to reduce emissions, hempcrete makes ecological, financial and environmental sense as it is renewable, has a low impact on the environment, is energy efficient and compares favourably with conventional insulation materials.
Self-healing (mending) concrete contains saturated bacteria or fungi that bind surrounding materials into a new structural material that can grow in the pores of the concrete, adding to its impermeability. It can also grow into cracks and fissures, repairing them all on its own, improving the durability and lifespan of the concrete. This material is also designed to reduce the amount of new concrete required and decrease the maintenance cost for existing structures.
Self-healing concrete works when specific forms of bacteria are added into the concrete in small capsules. The capsules also contain a food source for the bacteria – calcium lactate. Once contact with water occurs from a crack in the concrete, the capsules dissolve and the bacteria feeds on the lactate, multiplying, and producing limestone or calcite. This fills in any cracks and stops any substances entering the concrete. This means that once the crack is sealed and water can no longer seep into the concrete, the bacteria becomes dormant again only reactivated upon contact with water. The bacteria are able to survive up to 200 years without any oxygen or water so this process can continue for the lifetime of the concrete.
Finding a better way
As we have seen, there is always a better way to do things, and technology is a great tool to improve our processes. At Australian Turntables we care about providing businesses with valuable tools and methods to simplify work.
Our contribution to the world is Rotative Platforms that are designed to save space, increase productivity, improve safety and your profit margin. We can impact any industry and company, making life easier by helping to turn vehicles around, providing several benefits in the process.
At Australian Turntables we create products that are designed to save space, increase productivity, improve safety and your profit margin. No matter how complex your problem may be, we strive for practical solutions and realise that when you are willing to shift your perspective, a better way will always appear. Our turntable solutions are designed for the modern world and the future, adapting to work with modern technologies, we embrace outside-the-box thinking. We work with any industry to make things better, none more prevalent than construction by reshaping the way we think.
The advent of these new, progressive materials give us even more inspiration to continue to push the envelope and help industries imagine what can be. With the continued advancement of smart cities, our solutions to optimise your space go hand-in-hand with the forward momentum being created and fostered by new technology. Let’s work together, whether it be to save space, save money, increase safety or just to give you time for what really matters. Let’s turn things around.