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Tag: building materials

Revolutionary New Construction material made from Unlikely Waste


Researchers at a South African university have developed a way to make building materials using something we literally flush down the toilet every day.

Urine is the key ingredient in the construction of eco-friendly building materials, human urine that is.

The bio-bricks may be the sustainable alternative to the clay and concrete bricks that currently dominate the building landscape.

The technique used in the prototypes involved “growing” the bricks from urine, similarly to how seashells are naturally formed.The bricks take six or eight days to form.

The invention comes from 2 students and a lecturer at the University of Cape Town.


Prefabricated Building Materials and Intelligent Building Future

An article on detailed the latest developments in construction, including prefabrication and modular building technologies.

These building developments include the use of innovative materials and unique construction methods.

In the article Kate Harris, CEO of Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), highlighted the need for more prefabricated construction that includes better insulation than we’ve seen in the past.

She says insulation hasn’t been done well in Australia, for hot or cold weather. Although quick and efficient this is one of the areas that still needs to be addressed.

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Victoria’s Non-Compliant Cladding the Topic of Taskforce

The Victorian Government plans to establish a taskforce of experts to investigate the extent of non-compliant cladding on buildings in the state.

The recent Grenfell Tower Fire in London has highlighted the issue of non-compliant cladding contributing to the rapid spread of fires,  described by state government as  a “critical public safety issue”.

The Taskforce’s co-chair, former Premier and architect Ted Baillieu said agencies, stakeholders and all citizens need to work together to ensure cladding is compliant with the country’s strict regulations and buildings are safe.

One of the aims of the taskforce will be to ensure resident, owners’ corporations and building managers are educated on the issue.



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NSW Implements Heftier Safe Regulations After Grenfell Tower Fire

The NSW Government is said to be considering stricter regulation on use of combustible cladding after the London Grenfell Tower fire that resulted in 80 deaths.

According to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW’s building safety measures will be re-examined after reports that cheap cladding outside the London tower caused the fire to quickly spread. This has been an issue of concern here in Australia for a while with incidents like the Lacrosse fire highlighting the risks of combustible cladding on buildings.

The state government said up to 2,500 buildings in NSW could be fitted with flammable cladding.


The state government said a high-rise safety taskforce will be set up to identify any buildings that are at risk.


Timber is the Material of Choice for Fraser Coast Council

Timber building material will be the material of choice for the construction projects of the Fraser Coast Council, after this Queensland council became the first to adopt a wood encouragement policy.

Responsibly sourced wood will now be the first preference for construction and refurbishment projects when it is equally fit for use as other materials such as steel and concrete.

Timber Queensland chief executive, Mick Stephens highlighted the importance of the council’s decision in helping recognise that timber is a sustainable material and has a range of environment benefits. He also stated that the use of timber could align with the council’s sustainability goals.

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New Register to Address Non-Conformance Issues in Construction

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NATSPEC is a new organisation formed to evaluate whether a proposed substitute product meets Australian standards and has documented proof of doing so.

The organisation formed by government and industry bodies is being headed by Richard Choy who explained that the organisation was aimed at mitigating the risks posed by the large amount of non-conforming products.

This is an important issue, given that between 2006 and 2012, there were numerous reports of products that did not meet standards. Some of the products include copper pipe tubing, fire collars and glass sheets, structural steel bolts etc.

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Solar Shingles the Latest Product Released by Teslas


Tesla’s latest product was recently revealed by Elon Musk during a presentation in LA. The product is solar panel roofing that come in 4 different styles. What makes them different to other solar panels? In the words of Musk “the key is to make solar look good”, which is what this product does.

The tiles have a special coating that changes depending on the viewing angle. The coating becomes transparent when seen directly from the angle of the street making it inconspicuous, camouflaging it essentially. Underneath the coating are the solar cells.


Transparent Wood More Resilient Than Glass


A new study out of North America shows that transparent wood is a better choice than traditional glass when compared in a number of performance metrics.

Transparent wood allows for energy efficient windows that provides more uniform and soft lighting.

Optically transparent wood was developed by researchers at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology.

The product lends itself better to mass production and may be a viable alternative for glass in windows and solar panels.

Researchers extracted the lignin from natural wood, which made it white in colour. A polymer was added to increase the optical transparency of the wood.

Researchers have found the new material is better for thermal insulation and to reduce energy efficiency of buildings.

The Evolution of Pavement Installation with Flexi-concrete


A new form of flexi-concrete has been developed by researchers from Singapore which promises to provide a more durable, slip resistant and speedy alternative to traditional pavement installation.

Construction times could be cut by as much as half with a new innovative concrete developed by researchers from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

The material developed is more flexible than traditional forms of concrete, which makes the paving less brittle. This allows for it to be used to make slimmer precast pavement slabs.

By adding synthetic polymer microfibres to the concrete mix, NTU researchers developed ConFlexPave concrete which is able to flex and bend when subjected to stress, unlike conventional concrete which is brittle and inflexible.

The new material is also slip resistant which makes it perfect for road and pavement use.  Read more at