Imagine a footbridge as long as a football field with a platform as thick as your hand. Or a 6’ x 10’ sheet just 1 inch thick that bends as it continues to support a 2,000 lb car. Working in collaboration with Rhodia and Bouygues, Lafarge has developed a whole new family of concretes called Ductal. These concretes have high compressive and flexural strength, and their special characteristics enable the achievement of outstanding architectural feats. Ductal concrete incorporates strengthening fibers and opens the horizon to ultra-high performance due to its special composition which provides it with outstanding strength, six to eight times greater than traditional concrete (under compression). “Fiber-reinforced” means that it contains metal fibers which make it a ductile material. Highly resistant to bending, its great flexural strength means it can withstand significant transformations without breaking. Ductal also comes with organic fibers for applications with less load and for architectonic applications
Pervious pavement is a cement-based concrete product that has a porous structure which allows rainwater to pass directly through the pavement and into the soil naturally. This porosity is achieved without compromising the strength, durability, or integrity of the concrete structure itself. The pavement is comprised of a special blend of Portland Cement, coarse aggregate rock, and water. Once dried, the pavement has a porous texture that allows water to drain through it at the rate of 8 to 12 gallons per minute per square foot. For reference, tests conclude that a square foot of bahia sod drains at the rate of 2 1/2 to 3 gallons per minute. According to the manufacturer, this rapid flow-through ratio inspired the phrase “the pavement that drinks water.”
Designed by Jaime Salm and Esther Chung, Tangent is 3D wallpaper that is reconfigurable and made from 100% waste paper. Tiles allow for customization, both acoustically and aesthetically, and are easily recycled. They can also be painted with water-based paints for an additional flair.
With the Clodagh Collection, Lees proves that it can be competitive in the high-design carpet arena. Created in partnership with the innovative designer Clodagh, “these luxurious designs, inspired by Clodagh’s native home of Ireland and her intuitive sense of design, fashion and aesthetics, are translated into highly-styled products with Lees long-standing commitment to performance.” The Clodagh Collection comprises one running line and three custom broadloom products named Buncrana, Glanmire, Kildare and Lisadell. These three-dimensional, textured offerings, which employ Lees’ next-generation TriAx tufting technology, are constructed of DuPont Antron Legacy nylon, and are 5/64-inch gauge, 40 oz. face weight products. TriAx allows yarn to be manipulated to a three-dimensional level of precision by accurately placing and controlling design and textural elements in unlimited pile heights. This creates intriguing surface textures and color interest through highlighting and refraction, giving depth and loft to plain colors in an unprecedented way; solids look like they are constructed of more than one color .
John Harrison, an Australian inventor, has developed anew cement which is based on magnesium carbonate rather than calcium carbonate, and absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. One ton of concrete made with the cement can absorb about 0.4 tons of carbon dioxide as it hardens, and tower blocks built with it could become as important as natural carbon sinks like forests and grasslands. New Scientist reports that cement-making is responsible for around 7% of total man-made CO2 emissions worldwide. Harrison says his cement mixture is made at much lower temperatures- halving the amount of carbon dioxide it produces during manufacture. He also claims his version is cheaper and more durable and, during setting and hardening, a process called carbonation reabsorbs CO2 from the air. Harrison says that “The Kyoto Protocol was a good effort but it got things wrong when it assumed that trees were the only things that could absorb carbon from the air. The opportunities to use carbonation processes to sequester carbon from the air are just huge. It can take conventional cements centuries or even millennia to absorb as much as eco-cements can absorb in just a few months.”
The leaves of the lotus flower are water-repellent. After a shower of rain they immediately appear dry and clean, as water runs off them like marbles off a glass plate. Lotusan has duplicated this effect, one of nature’s own inventions which has proved itself over millions of years, in a new silicone facade paint. Lotusan combines the well-known water-repellent properties of silicone paints with a surface micro-structure based on the lotus leaf. This considerably reduces the contact area for water and dirt, and adhesion is also greatly reduced. The result is that dirt is repelled by water droplets and facades stay dry and clean – even highly stressed weather-exposed facades. The lotus effect was discovered by Prof. Dr Wilhelm Barthlott of Bonn University, a scientific achievement in the field of biology which created a worldwide sensation.
Suspended Particle Device (SPD) technology is a “switchable” light-control technology that has numerous performance and cost advantages over other technologies. SPD-Smart products allow you to instantly and precisely control how clear or dark glass or plastic is, and to easily adjust the light transmission of the product manually or automatically. This is made possible by a thin, flexible SPD film invented by Research Frontiers. Available as a film or already incorporated into glass, SPD film can be easily adapted to a variety of products that people use every day, such as architectural windows, automotive windows, sunglasses, display screens for laptop computers, cellular telephones, instrument panels, electronic games and point-of-purchase and advertising displays, billboards and road signs.
Is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass. However, it is now being used on residential lawns and commercial applications as well. The main reason is maintenance—artificial turf stands up to heavy use, such as in sports, and requires no irrigation or trimming. Domed, covered, and partially covered stadiums may require artificial turf because of the difficulty of getting grass enough sunlight to stay healthy.