Skip to main content

The oldest human homes were made entirely of mud-and-straw bricks that had been baked in the sun. Engineers and architects have developed ever-new construction technologies to use materials to construct bigger, stronger, and more attractive structures throughout the years. The following sections go over a couple of these game-changing technologies.

3D-printed houses using new construction technology

3D-printed home
Figure 1: 3D-printed home in the Netherlands (World News, 2021)

An extensive public art project to create a 3-D house was initiated by a Dutch architecture organization. First, they created the “room-maker”, also known as the “Kamer-maker” which is one of the world’s biggest 3-D printers. It can print enormous LEGO-like plastic parts, integrated into individual rooms of the house using the same plastic material that small-scale 3D printers use. The chambers will then lock together with the house’s exterior printed to resemble a classic Dutch canal house.

Here you can find more information about the 3D-printed homes in Netherlands: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/world-news/2021/04/30/3d-printed-home-like-a-boulder-expands-housing-options-in-dutch-city/

3D-printing
figure 2: 3D-printing construction technology (DesigningBuildings, 2021).

Moreover, a Chinese construction company is constructing houses using a massive 3D printer that sprays layers of cement to create can construction waste. According to the business, one house is just five thousand dollars and the business can build up to ten houses in one day. This is a great new construction technology that many will use in future.

Transparent aluminum used in construction technology

Transparent aluminum
Figure 3: Transparent aluminum construction technology (Adams. J, 2019)

Chemical engineers have longed for a material that is high quality and more durable than metal and the Christal clarity of glass for ages. You can utilize this type of transparent metal to build tall glass-walled buildings with low interior support. These transparent metal windows are immune to high-caliber artillery fire.

The majority of sapphire is made of aluminum. Transparent aluminum, on the other hand, is made up of a specific arrangement of molecules in the structure. Sapphire, like other LEDs, is a crystalline arrangement of aluminum oxide created using the Vapor Deficit Process, or VPD.

However, scientists began experimenting with a unique form of ceramic made out of a powdered mixture of aluminum, oxygen, and nitrogen in the 1980s. Ceramics are hard substances, created through a heating and cooling process. Here, the aluminum powder relates to extreme pressure before it heats up to 2000 degrees Celsius or days. Later, you they are polished it to make a beautiful transparent glass-like material with metal strength. The military already uses this material in fortified windows and optical lenses.

Concrete that self-heals: Modern construction technology

self-healing concrete
Figure 4: New construction technology: Concrete that self-heals (ukconstructionmedia, 2020).

One of the most frequently used building material anywhere on earth is concrete. It is for a fact, the second most used material after water. Concrete is inexpensive and versatile. Unfortunately, it is prone to crack and degrade when exposed to extreme heat and cold. In the past, we could fix these cracks by patching, reinforcing, or destroying the structure and rebuilding it. In 2010, however, a graduate student and a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Rhode Island invented a new type of “smart” concrete that self-repairs. When a fracture occurs, sodium silicate capsules shatter, releasing a gel-like healing fluid that hardens to fill the space.

It was not the only way to make concrete that self-heals. To get considerably similar results, other researchers have used microorganisms, embedded glass, and polymer microcapsules. However, the previously mentioned professor at Rhode Island believes that their strategy is more effective than this.

This great invention can benefit concrete users hugely. The long life of the concrete can benefit the environment as concrete manufacturing accounts for five percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emission currently.

Constructions technology : robot swarms

4.	Constructions of robot swarms
Figure 5 Building structures with robot swarms (Werfel. J, 2016)

The construction industry employs only a very little amount of automation even though it is one of the most well-known large-scale industrial activities. It is a trillion-dollar sector in the United States alone. However, the lack of automation usage in construction technologies is tending to change nowadays with improvements in robotics.

The majority of robotics research connects on single, sophisticated robots. This is how we have come to believe people are highly talented. If construction workers are artificial, to accomplish the same jobs, it’s only natural to try to build it in the same way.

Inspiration from termites

Termites are one of nature’s most clever constructors. It works with thousands of mound-mates to create huge and sophisticated mud buildings. Termites follow their own set of behavioral strategies and not the commands from any single architectural termite.  These termites’ behavior attracted the interest of some robotics researchers at Harvard.

As inspired by the termites, the research group has created small construction robotics that works together as a swarm. Their four-wheeled robots can build brick-like walls by lifting each brick, climbing the walls, and putting the bricks in an open area. They have sensors that detect the presence of other robots as well as rules for avoiding them. The robots, like termites, are completely uncontrollable. They are, however, all set to follow a similar pattern.

Simpler robots will have fewer capabilities and creating and controlling large groups of robots has issues that do not exist in more typical single-robot systems. However, attempting to create an emergent system is maybe the most fundamental element of this situation. The unique collective behavior that develops from their joint actions is a feature of complex systems of autonomous individuals. There is no general means of forecasting what a set of low-level agent rules will lead to in terms of collective behavior typically, the best anyone can do is to experiment and see what the result is. Finding a collection of low-level rules to achieve a certain collective outcome, on the other hand, is inherently more difficult.

Carbon Nano bots in construction

5.	Carbon nanobots in constructions
Figure 6 Carbon Nano bots (Jonbaily, 2007).

This revolutionary construction technology might be mind blowing for some people. A sheet of paper has a thickness of 100,000 nanometers. That is extremely small. It may seem impossible to make materials on a “Nano” scale, however, engineers and scientists succeeded in creating carbon tubes with walls as thin as one nanometer using cutting-edge technology such as electron-beam lithography.

Carbon Nano bots have a great strength-to-weight ratio of any material on the planet. You can stretch these up to a million times their thickness. The proportion of one big particle’s surface area increases when it separates it into many smaller particles.

Carbon Nano bots are so light and strong. It can be implanted into other construction materials such as wood, concrete, glass and more, to increase the density and structural rigidity.  Engineers are even using Nano-sized sensors that may detect possible fractures of cracks in building materials before the damages occur.

Leave a Reply