If you watch any of the building or renovation shows on TV you will have noticed that from time to time they feature a project that strives to innovate. Sometimes they look back into history for inspiration, hay bales covered by wattle & daub for walls for example, and sometimes they look to the future. Cutting-edge techniques and materials are used to achieve something wonderfully unique and beautiful. Something that satisfies the eye and the imagination.
Think you know about concrete? Two example to make you think again
Used for thousands of years, you might think there is not much to innovate with in a mix of aggregate, water and cement. Emerging at the moment however, are numerous exciting innovations to this staple of construction and here are two for you to consider:
Ultra-High-Strength Concrete (UHSC)
Sometimes called Ultra-High-Performance Concrete, this material redefines conventional knowledge. Essentially, UHSC optimises particle density to whatever the required purpose. It can flex more than standard concrete and take more pressure/load, all while needing less material. This means that walls can be thinner and supports are either not required or can be significantly smaller. UHSC gives you more freedom of design for this reason and enables a better use of space.
Using UHSC can reduce material costs significantly as well as limit the carbon footprint of your building project.
This is a very exciting new product that is gaining popularity in all forms of buildings, but especially in luxury homes. Originally developed with safety in mind, fitting light-reflective patches to platform edges and stairs in industrial environments, the potential of this product for high-end domestic use was realised when the attractive design and high degree of customisation was noticed by the fashion world.
One of the noblest functions of this product is the use in tactile guidance systems for the blind. The incorporation of different textures on walls, floors and stairs strikes a perfect balance of design and flare while being sensitive to the needs of everyone in the household.