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May 09 - 2 min read

Living Building Materials: The Next Generation of Sustainable Construction

Living Building Materials: The Next Generation of Sustainable Construction
In recent years, the construction industry has been looking for ways to reduce its environmental impact and increase its sustainability. One area of research has been the development of living building materials, which are made from living organisms and can help create a more sustainable built environment. One exciting development in this field has been the creation of self-replicating concrete and self-mending cement.

Self-replicating concrete is a type of living building material that is made by mixing concrete with bacteria. The bacteria used in this process are able to produce calcium carbonate, which is the main component of concrete. By adding the bacteria to the concrete mix, the material can replicate and grow over time, making it a sustainable and cost-effective building material.

One of the benefits of self-replicating concrete is its ability to repair itself. Traditional concrete can crack and deteriorate over time, which can lead to costly repairs and replacements. However, self-replicating concrete can fill in these cracks and regenerate itself, reducing the need for human intervention and extending the lifespan of the material.

Self-mending cement is another type of living building material that is designed to repair itself. This material is made by adding microcapsules filled with healing agents to the cement mix. When the cement cracks, the microcapsules rupture and release the healing agents, which then fill in the cracks and mend the material.

One of the benefits of self-mending cement is its ability to reduce maintenance costs. By repairing itself, the material can extend its lifespan and reduce the need for expensive repairs. It can also help reduce the environmental impact of construction by reducing the amount of waste produced by construction and demolition.

Another benefit of living building materials in cement is their potential to reduce carbon emissions. Traditional cement production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for up to 8% of global emissions. However, by using bacteria and other living organisms in the production of self-replicating concrete and self-mending cement, the carbon footprint of these materials can be reduced.

Self-replicating concrete and self-mending cement are exciting developments in the field of living building materials. These materials have the potential to reduce the environmental impact of construction, reduce maintenance costs, and increase the lifespan of buildings. As research in this field continues, it is likely that we will see more and more living building materials being developed and used in construction in the future.

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