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What are the most sustainable building materials?

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As time goes on the focus and need for sustainable materials in the building and structural engineering world grows.

The responsibility lies with everyone who is in the trade and so we’ve identified four sustainable building materials that can be used in the future.

Solar Tiles are a great alternative to the traditional concrete or clay. While they protect the building from the elements much like the standard tiles, they also absorb power from the sun.

This power can be harnessed and used which saves you money in the long run, along with being environmentally friendly.

Upping the efficiency of your windows is another option to improve your carbon footprint. This can include moving to double glazing or even triple with three panes of glass.

The super-efficient windows use full-insulated frames to prevent as much heat loss as possible. Further to this, instead of argon, they inject krypton between each pane of glass which is a much better insulator.

Looking for alternatives to traditional bricks is another great way of saving energy and can even improve your structure. Wool bricks are 37% stronger than their traditional counterparts and are made by adding wool and a natural polymer found in seaweeds to the clay of the bricks.

The process in making them doesn’t require you to fire it to make them dry unlike normal bricks and so this makes them much more sustainable and saves you energy in the long run.

Finally, concrete is one of the most used building materials in the construction industry and represents up to 10% of Co2 emissions,  so seeking an alternative to this would prove a very efficient option.

For example, Timbercrete is a mixture of sawdust and concrete and although it is lighter than solid concrete, it is a much better insulation option.

To see more about the structural engineering industry, head over to our website and contact us with any questions you may have!

Recent trends in structural engineering

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The world is and has always been constantly changing and growing around us. No other group of people feels the impact going on around us more severely than structural engineers.

Structural engineers are always having to tackle how to shape our lives and the structures that shelter us in order to meet the demands of our changing world. This demand gives way to new solutions, many of which catch on within the industry and develop into new yearly trends.

Transformation of funding and technique

2017 has bought some huge changes to the engineering field, especially in terms of how it’s performed at it’s most basic level. New innovations are allowing the process to be streamlined, creating new and better chances for collaboration between engineers and their teammates.

Construction builders now have access to better learning tools, creating higher amounts of specialised staff who are better able to help construct more safe and efficient buildings. Structural engineering services across the country are beginning to start taking place on green building by finding ways to reduce the energy consumption of new projects. All three innovations are designed to make the engineering process a little easier.

Modular construction

Modular construction is another new innovation to unfold recently, inspired by the need to put together buildings more quickly without sacrificing their integrity. Construction professionals put together buildings by stacking box units against each other. It’s an efficient process mostly reserved for commercial building projects, such as skyscrapers.

Sustainable materials

The road towards sustainability has yet to falter and has even paved the way to new materials that are starting to make waves within the industry! Structural engineers have designed technology to boost building safety, such as systems designed to detect seismic activity and the buildings reaction and resistance to it. Engineers have also come up with tools using 3D printing and concrete that can repair itself of any damage. Time will only tell what other forms of technology will arise in the next few years, but we believe the future is bright!

Make sure you look out for more structural engineering trends to rise this year as they are all beneficial! We hope to watch these trends continue and grow into the next year.

To see more about the structural engineering industry, head over to our website and contact us with any questions you may have!