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Construction Trends: The Development of Living Materials

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Living and working in a building that’s alive itself? It sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel!

While the commercial construction industry is a long way away from any such feats, rapid leaps and bounds have brought it closer, resulting in materials that indeed have living properties. These materials are often used in green buildings, taking advantage of their self-reparative or energy-producing capabilities.

Want to dip your toes into the world of living-material possibilities? Miller Architects & Builders, your Saint Cloud architectural design and construction project management pros, is here to be your guide!

Let us help you gain a broader understanding of these materials, which are revolutionizing the industry as we know it.

What Makes a Living Material?

A living material, also called a biological building material, involves the use of live organisms. According to Architectural Digest, living materials are those in which “microorganisms participate in the manufacturing of the material. In this process the bacteria or other microbes work as mini-factories that develop building materials that can live, multiply, heal cracks and also absorb harmful toxins from the air.”

In other words, a living material is one that shares many of the characteristics of a living thing—it can grow, heal, and manage toxins—though the term is often loosely used.

What Are Some of the Applications of Living Materials?

This is a sector of the commercial construction industry that’s constantly experimenting, staying right on the razor’s edge of innovation. The University of Minnesota cites everything from self-healing concrete to paint that reacts to the presence of a given compound.

Living material technology opens the doors for construction in areas where transportation is difficult, as the stuff can be grown onsite instead of hauled there. Like many new materials, too, aesthetic possibilities are rampant.

Going Green With Living Things

Perhaps one of the most salient applications of biological building materials is in green building.

For example, a biological concrete developed in Spain “absorbs and therefore reduces atmospheric CO2, thanks to its biological coating,” according to ScienceDaily.

That very same concrete also helps buildings regulate their internal temperatures, which in turn can reduce their external temperature-altering demands.

Miller Architects & Builders: Commercial Construction With Modern Trends in Mind

As top-quality commercial contractors and architects, we use the latest technologies and years of expertise to make your build the best it can be. Reach our Saint Cloud office today at 320-251-4109.