From housing to roadways, construction projects play a big role in society. They also have the potential to harm or hurt the environment, depending on the materials involved. So, even if you don’t work in the field, it’s important to have a general idea of where the construction industry is headed. Here are a few sustainable construction methods to keep an eye on in 2019.
Modular construction involves prefabricated structures that are initially made off-site in a factory. A construction crew then transports and installs the modular units at a specified location. This method has been increasingly popular with companies due to its speed. Vanguard Modular Building Systems even suggests that modular construction can be 50 percent faster than traditional building methods, especially when weather delays slow down on-site construction.
Another benefit of this method is sustainability. Units can be composed of recycled material, and any material that goes unused during factory development can simply be repurposed for later projects. Overall, there’s less waste involved.
It might not be too long before self-healing asphalt paving provides relief for your pothole woes. Scientists in the Netherlands are testing the potential applications of asphalt that mixes bitumen with steel wool. If successful, asphalt erosion due to environmental factors could be reversed, increasing the lifespan of this common construction material. Look for further developments in 2019.
Zero Net Energy Buildings
Zero net energy buildings aim to only use as much energy as they produce. This is possible with the increased use of features such as photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electricity. Of course, it’s not enough to simply increase the amount of energy generated; developers would also need to reduce the amount of energy the building uses. This can be accomplished by relying on features such as newer, more efficient appliances and thicker insulation.
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, private commercial property owners and government agencies are moving toward this type of construction to address spending and environmental challenges.
3D Printing Construction
The recent rise of 3D printing has many industries racing to find practical purposes for this new technology. Unsurprisingly, experts in the construction industry see the possibility for a major shift in the building methods. The Netherlands seems to be on top of things; Eindhoven is on track to be the first city to have inhabitable 3D-printed homes. The project is expected to be completed in 2019, and if it’s successful, this efficient building method will lead to a decrease in cement usage.