7 unique building materials you need to hear of!

The field of materials, building material in particular, is one that is always changing and improving. Depending on what the design and consumer needs of today are, the field comes up with scientific and futuristic solutions to the problems of today. There have been a lot of innovative and unique building materials that have made their way to the markets and the designs of today’s world. Each of these materials has a certain quality about it that makes it stand out. Many of these are also being developed with the intent of sustainability and energy efficiency at mind. 

Here is a list of some of the most innovative and unique building materials that you need to know about. 

TRANSLUCENT BRICKS

Translucent bricks in Neri&Hu studio, Beijing

Translucent bricks are a futuristic and energy efficient material. They can be utilized in residential and commercial structures alike to create a modern and elegant look to the space. Translucent bricks' uniqueness primarily comes from it’s texture and appearance. Unlike traditional solid bricks, translucent bricks true to their name are largely opaque i.e. there is at least some amount of visibility through these bricks. The translucent bricks not only have an aesthetic quality that is rather amazing, but are also extremely functional and eco friendly. 

Formulated by utilizing a lot of e waste, translucent bricks allow for efficient daylight and eventually energy saving. Since light passes through it to a large extent it allows for more light to flow around a space without the need for too much artificial lighting, while making it easy to navigate despite partitions with it’s opacity quality. Another plus point of this material is that it also has insulative properties meaning it can help keep the heat from escaping in cold weather, keeping the spaces warm, while keeping them cool in warm weather, ultimately promoting a more energy efficient structure. 

CROSS LAMINATED TIMBER

 

Cross laminated timber is yet another unique venture of the building materials field. Wood as is, has been a classic and widely utilized construction material. Building on that cross laminated timber opens avenues for newer and better designs to be executed with ease. It is built by several layers of strong timber placed strategically and sealed to increase its sturdiness. The strength of CLT is it’s most essential quality. The strength allows for it to be a great and reliable pick for even the structure of a building. 


Further, it has been tailor made to be increasingly resistant to heavy earthquakes and fire, making it a safe material as well. They are rather versatile in their application and can be utilized just about anywhere in the space, be it the exterior or the interior. Another key plus point of CLTs is that they are made ready to install panels as per use needed. This not only saves time, energy and resources needed to get it up and working but also creates a lot less waste, allowing one to construct sustainably. 

LIGHT TRANSMITTING CONCRETE

 

Light emitting concrete is yet another building material that is a better and tech infused variant of the original material. Light emitting concrete, based on the principles of nano optics, the purpose of this concrete is to maximize and allow light to spread and move through it with ease. Utilising light transmitting concrete is a serious step up from traditional buildings, as it allows for a more seamless interaction and integration of a structure with it’s surroundings. Not to forget, it helps a lot in conserving energy. Since the concrete transmits light, and even generates minimal light through absorbed solar energy, the need for utilizing too much artificial lighting decreases. This reduces the consumption and costs incurred.

Additionally, the aesthetic appeal of this product is rather remarkable with a sheen to it, even in the dark. There have also been a lot of points of merits for this product to be utilized on streets and highways, suggesting that better visibility would mean fewer accidents, making this material stand out. It has also been suggested for use in pavements or even in home walkways for beautiful and convenient navigation. 

CABKOMA

Cabkoma strands placed to protect building form earthquakes

Of Japanese origin, Cabkoma is a remarkable material in itself. Formulated with the use of carbon and synthetic fibers, paired with resin, this material is rather unique. Cabkoma rods were made with the idea to create a strong and tennille material that could endure even harsh natural calamities incurring little to no damage. The material is strong utp 10 times more than a steel rod yet comparatively a lighter by a 5th due to it’s formulation. Since it’s lightweight yet reliable, it is a better pick for constructing commercial and residential buildings, creating durable designs without putting too much pressure on the structure’s foundation. 

It is also pretty flexible, and can be modified even post hardening with the help of a little heat. This gives architects and designers the liberty to create and refresh designs as needed. 

The biggest plus point of Cabkoma is it’s resistance to rust, fire, and above all the ability to endure severe shock waves while keeping the structure intact. This material can thus work especially great in areas prone to regular earthquakes. 

BIOFOAM 

 

Bio foam is an exceptional building material that not many know about. Bio foam or Mycoform is material made primarily by utilizing wood, gypsum, oat, and urban chippings combined with some forms of natural fungi and algae, this material is largely bio made. The main purpose of these materials has to do with insulation. Bio foam insulation, as studies have indicated, are known to bring down energy consumption by almost a half in terms of maintaining a space’s indoor climate.

This is because the material, if used to envelope a building can help moderate it’s internal climate. It helps maintain a comfortable temperature indoors without the need for electricity. The biggest USP of this material lies in its decomposing quality. In a world where sustainability is a ruling mission, such a material i svital. Bio foam is completely biodegradable and decomposes itself over time reducing the waste generated. Further it is known that bio foam sees a lot less bacterial growth as opposed to conventional materials, making it the ideal pick. 

SELF REPAIRING CONCRETE 

 

Self repairing/self healing concrete is a rather innovative material. It mimics the concept of a human body the way it heals itself. Self healing concrete is formulated by utilizing specific types of adhesives and fibers alike to create a formulation that is able to recover or repair itself. Cracks and scruffs are rather common in concrete, mostly utilized in places with high foot traffic, keeping it pristine is usually not all that difficult. However, in case of cracks ro wear and tear, self repairing concrete offers a better solution.

It has certain properties in its formulation that it has the ability to replenish crack autonomously. Keeping the concrete intact also keeps the structure or rods enclosed in it also in proper condition. While some require heat others require water to be placed to activate the healing process, leaving it smooth and intact again. This unique concrete can be well utilized in residential buildings, offices or even schools which see high foot traffic as a durable and strong material. 

FERROCK 

 

Ferrock material has been developed to offer an alternative to conventional cement. Cement is a material that is vital and widely used in construction. Each building goes through hundreds of bags of cement to create a sturdy structure. However, prices of the material have escalated rather quickly. Therefore, ferrock offers a cheaper yet effective alternative. It is also a lot more eco friendly. This is because its composition is 95 percent from recycled construction debris such as steel, dust and silica.

It is combined with Carbon dioxide to create the rock hard material that is ferrock. It has been found to be a lot stronger than conventional cement while being much more light weight and budget friendly. It is also not as difficult nor costly to maintain making it an ideal material for any sort of building. 


Overall, the world of materials is always growing and evolving. Innovation and improvisation stand at the heart of this industry. Therefore, there are a lot of unique and futuristic building materials that keep popping up in the market to serve the consumers well. We have rounded up some of the most unique and remarkable ones which you can keep in mind for your next project. 

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