Mention “innovation” or “cutting edge tech” and you instantly think of computers and the internet. The last thing you think of is the construction industry, real down-to-earth work that is foundational to all creativity. You may assume that, since brick-and-mortar is on its way out—at least in the business world, there is nothing new in the world of cement, sand and timber. Yet, just as the digital world moves from 4G to 5G, the world of construction is advancing as well. One of the most promising new developments is a substance called FRP: fiberglass reinforced plastic.
Old Devices Made New With FRP
Made by combining special plastic with glass fibers, FRP is both extremely light and stronger than steel. The substance does not corrode. Beyond merely being fire retardant, some FRP is made to self-extinguish. What can you make out of FRP? There are a number of applications formerly constructed of extremely heavy materials that, when made out of FRP, are much easier to work with and last indefinitely. For example, fiberglass reinforced plastic structural grate, when made out of FRP transports easily to a job site and can be cut to fit as needed.
Potential Construction Materials
FRP is not the only new substance being developed for the world of construction and renovation. Currently, self-healing cement is being studied. This would eliminate those giant cracks that develop in the foundations of homes and buildings, sapping the strength of concrete beams. Also, new grades of OSB—sheets of compressed wood fibers—are being manufactured that are even stronger than plywood and they are fire retardant. Perhaps the best new construction material is trash. Plastic bottles are being turned into carpet filaments. Cardboard is being used to make insulation. Aluminum cans are being recycled into siding. So, when you say “new tech,” remember construction has a lot of new ideas too.