Modern Construction Projects and Futuristic Materials

Modern Construction Projects

We have more materials choices for modern construction projects. And we’re developing better options for strength and longevity. It’s an exciting time!

Durability is the ability to last a long time without significant deterioration. A durable material helps the environment by conserving resources and reducing wastes and the environmental impacts of repair and replacement. –Portland Cement Association

Modern construction projects are already using technology to make better business choices. As the focus on more durable buildings and roadways increases, here are some of the materials we’ll see trending:

1. Cigarette-Butt Bricks

If you’re like many, seeing cigarette butts on the ground is disgusting. It pollutes the view and the ingredients (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and nickel) contaminate the soil. Researchers are developing energy-efficient bricks using cigarette butts. The bricks are lighter and use less energy in the manufacturing process.

2. Concrete Admixtures

“A holistic view needs to be taken about concrete durability,” says NBM&CW magazine. Mineral admixtures are providing strength-driven solutions for HPC (high-performance concretes) and SCC (self-compacting concretes). Today’s typical concrete can have six or more ingredients.

3. Light-Generating Cement

This newly developed cement can absorb and generate light. The potential for this invention is huge.

4. Martian Concrete

Northwestern University is researching construction projects on Mars using available materials. And they’ve come up with a Martian concrete mixture using sulfur.

5. Pollution-Absorbing Bricks

It’s called the Breathe Brick and it sucks-in pollutants and releases filtered air. You’ll see these bricks incorporated into buildings’ ventilation systems.

6. Translucent Wood

This low-cost resource can be used for windows and solar panels. There will be many application ideas for translucent wood in modern construction projects.

Construction Monitor for Modern Construction Projects Leads

Technological solutions are driving business development for modern construction projects. Construction Monitor’s analytics are the most efficient, easy-to-use technological resource for thousands of companies nationwide. Contact Construction Monitor to learn why.

The Future of Commercial Construction Materials

Commercial Construction Materials

Commercial construction roadwork on I-35 in Texas began in 1960.

In 2020, when a newspaper printed an article: “Construction nears completion on I-35,” it became the latest of a long history of jokes among Texans about the I-35 commercial construction project.

Considering most concrete and asphalt roads begin needing repair after 20 years of use, I-35 construction crews may have jobs for life. But what if those materials – concrete, asphalt, and others – could self-repair?

It’s not a sci-fi movie plot; it’s happening now. Scientists are “cooking up” asphalt, concrete, and metals that “heal themselves,” reports CityLab. Its potential is mind-boggling.

5 Commercial Construction Materials That May Change Our World

You hear a lot about “sustainability,” but it’s much more than a buzzword. The future of the commercial construction industry may be re-shaped with some of these materials:

  1. Air-cleaning bricks – Most air-cleaning methods emit pollutants, which is defeating the purpose. CalPoly invented a passive system: concrete bricks filter air particles.
  2. Laminated mass timber – Wood is a weaker material. But cross- and glue-laminated timber is able to support a lot more weight and is “surprisingly fire-resistant,” says one study. Another study says as much as 31% of global emissions could be reduced by using wood in buildings and bridges.
  3. Passive-cooling ceramics – California students have designed a building material of clay composite and hydrogel. As the building heats up, the heat is transferred to hydrogel droplets. The effect cools buildings.
  4. Recycled trash – Recycled water bottles, cardboard, and possibly aluminum cans may be used for insulation and commercial construction materials.
  5. Strand rods – Japan released a CABKOMA Strand Rod that can save lives during an earthquake. The seismic reinforcement system uses fibers and thermoplastic resin and the rods are five times lighter than metal wire.

Construction Monitor for the Future of Your Business

The costs for most of those materials are prohibitive for now. But you can expect to see more sustainable materials used in commercial construction when they become financially viable.

The future of your business depends on your ability to make informed decisions that drive profit. Construction Monitor has the data analytics you can use. If you need to know more about how to use building permit statistics for leads, please contact us today.

Dealing With Rising Construction Materials Costs

construction  materials costs

Overall costs are lower than they’ve been since 2010 for the construction industry. But construction materials costs are rising. In August 2020, we saw the largest increase in lumber prices since 1949. Some of the rising costs can be attributed to:

  • Construction demand is greater than mills’ current production capabilities.
  • DIY (do-it-yourself) renovation projects increased among at-home homeowners.
  • Mills closed due to pandemic; those that remained open saw a dramatic demand reduction.

5 Strategies for Managing Construction Materials Cost

With no end in sight to the pandemic and international tensions running hot, construction materials costs will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Anirban Basu, Associated Builders and Contractors

You can’t control higher construction materials costs but you can better-manage construction project materials:

1. Bulk shipments – Large orders for materials needed at different phases of the project lead to:

  • Potential damage from moving materials repeatedly
  • Shuffling materials around
  • Time lost trying to find where materials are stored
  • Unplanned deliveries

Ask your distributor(s) to work with you to break down deliveries according to contractors’ needs.

2. Inventory – The number of hours we lose locating and retrieving materials is amazing. We also tend to over-order because running out of something presents more challenges than having too much of anything. Every day, crews lose time making lists of needed materials and stopping work to retrieve ordered materials. This is a key project planning area construction management teams can improve upon.

3. Pre-work kits – Encourage distributors and contractors to package materials in customized kits for faster delivery and onsite installation. This also reduces waste.

4. Update cost estimates/plans regularly – Changes in construction materials costs need to be factored into the project as soon as possible.

5. Use construction management software – When a contractor needs additional materials, shared software alerts workers of the possible change in project scope. It can eliminate miscommunication.

Construction materials costs are leading to newer – better – construction industry materials. And technology is driving development. Construction Monitor has been a leading provider of analytics for the construction industry since 1989. Ask us how we can customize data to make it work for you.

Will New Construction Materials Revolutionize the Industry?

Tough, long-lasting construction materials such as concrete and steel have consistently been the standard for the industry. However, newer materials, including many types of composites, are becoming more popular for use in construction projects.

The Next Wave of Construction Materials

construction materialsIn an article on the website Construction Dive, reporter Kim Slowey reports on the increasing use of composites and how they could dramatically change what kinds of materials are used in and the way buildings are constructed.

Composite materials, including fiberglass, structural plastics and carbon fiber, have the potential to revolutionize the construction industry and the way buildings are put together, noted architect Greg Lynn, quoted in Slowey’s article.

Lynn reported that composites and the strong, fast-drying adhesives used to put them together could be used in many applications where steel and concrete have traditionally been used.

Probably the most dramatic application, according to Lynn, would be using composites and adhesives in the construction of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. Many types of composites are significantly cheaper than traditional building materials. At the same time, composites can provide equal or greater strength while also being lighter and easier to handle.

Composite construction of skyscrapers, Lynn stated in the article, would result in buildings that could better withstand the stresses of an earthquake by reducing building movement. Composite and adhesive construction is also less costly than traditional building methods.

Slowey noted that another type of new sustainable construction material, cross-laminated timber (CLT), is also gaining popularity for use in building high-rise structures.

Potential Drawbacks

Understandably, the use of these materials has not yet become widespread. Overcoming perceptions about composite construction will be a major hurdle for its advocates. For example, tenants may not be eager to occupy space in what they perceive as a “glued together” skyscraper. Anything less than standard concrete and steel may be seen as inferior or unsafe.

Construction Monitor gives today’s construction companies the edge they need with information on the latest industry developments and construction leads. Contact us today for more information on the use of composites and other types of new construction materials and how these materials could change the way projects are planned, built and maintained.

New Report: Construction Material Costs Continue to Slide

Prices for construction materials continued to decrease in the early part of 2016, although industry experts expect those prices to start moving upward in early spring and later.

construction material costsFebruary 2016 marked the eighth consecutive month of material price decreases, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a major industry trade group.

Construction input prices were down 0.6 percent in February 2016, marking a 3.7 percent decrease since February 2015, the ABC reported. Nonresidential inputs showed a 0.7 percent decrease from January 2016 and a 3.8 percent decline since February 2015, according to the ABC.

The ABC’s findings were reached following an analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index released on March 15, 2016.

Prices slid downward in eight key areas, the ABC noted. These include:

  • Crude petroleum
  • Unprocessed energy material
  • Fabricated structural metal
  • Steel mill products
  • Plumbing fixtures and fittings
  • Nonferrous wire and cable
  • Iron and steel
  • Softwood lumber.

In contrast, only three areas experienced increases in February 2016.

  • Prepared asphalt and tar/roofing and siding products
  • Concrete products
  • Natural gas

Anirban Basu, the ABC’s chief economist, found that global financial issues, such as weakness in the commodity markets, lackluster economic growth in the United States and abroad, and strengthening of the U.S. dollar contributed to the cost declines.

The price decreases are not expected to last throughout the year, however. The ABC expects prices to rebound beginning in March 2016 or later. Upticks in prices are not expected to be substantial, however, noted reporter Emily Peiffer, writing on the Construction Dive website.

Peiffer also reported that declining construction material costs have harmed the U.S. energy sector and the regional and local economies that rely on it. Even a modest increase in prices in March or later is expected to help give those economies a boost, Peiffer noted.

Construction Monitor is the industry’s top source for construction leads and news and information on topics that affect building projects throughout the United States. Contact us today for more information on changes in construction material costs and how you can take best advantage of the recent decreases in material prices.

Lumber Liquidators Under Fire After Reports of Formaldehyde in Flooring Products

Lumber Liquidators, a discount flooring supplier based in Toano, Virginia, is alleged to have been selling hardwood flooring imported from China that contains high levels of the chemical formaldehyde. The allegations against the company were made in a report by the television news program “60 Minutes.”

Continue reading Lumber Liquidators Under Fire After Reports of Formaldehyde in Flooring Products

Construction Materials of the Future: What to Know About These New Options

construction materialsIn this era of high-tech research and development no sector stands still, including the construction materials industry. New methods to reduce the labor intensity of construction while promoting values like energy conservation, environmental suitability and superior performance are emerging in laboratories and may one day arrive at the worksite. Though 2x4s and masonry won’t disappear anytime soon, expect some of these advances to take their place among the construction materials of the future.   Continue reading Construction Materials of the Future: What to Know About These New Options