How the house of the future will be made?
1- Boulders of insulating fungi
Cultivate bricks like growing wheat. This is the idea of the Ecovative company which markets blocks in mushroom. The mycelium (plant part of the plant) is mixed with a set of corn leaves and other residues from agriculture. Once the mixture is placed in a mold, it is enough to wait five days to obtain a compact brick, 100% ecological and biodegradable. Ecovative has been selling it for a few years for ten dollars.
As far as larger constructions are concerned, everything is possible. A gigantic artistic tower was also built in New York, within the annex of the famous MoMa (museum of modern art), as can be seen in the video below:
2- Brick walls made of recycled paper
It is by mixing the cellulose from the recycled paper with a little cement that Chris Fretolloso and Barrry J Fuller develop a resistant and ecological brick. The two men baptize their invention BetR-blok, a waterproof material, fire resistant, and with excellent performance in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation. Still in the test phase, the process has already been used to build a few houses with original design, as can be seen in the video below.
3- A coating that regulates heat
Better than a connected thermostat, there is the Micronal PCM or “phase change” material. These are microcapsules that are placed on much thinner coverings than a brick wall and suitable for temperature. Thus, when it is hot, the latter melt to allow the freshness to enter the accommodation or the office. On the contrary, when it is colder, the heart of these microscopic organisms solidifies in order to keep the room warm. (Click on the image to enlarge). An innovation that says goodbye to air conditioners and thus saves serious energy. BASF construction is one of the companies marketing this type of material.
4- A giant 3D printer to build faster
Faster and more economical. Tomorrow’s accommodation may be built on the chain via 3D printers. The Chinese building company, WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co, built around ten 200 m² houses last April in just one day. Each room (walls, floors, roofs, etc.) is generated separately, layer by layer, by a giant printer 6.6 meters high, 32 meters long and 10 meters wide, before being assembled on the site. The materials used are all waste and industrial surpluses from abandoned sites or factories, such as cement or fiberglass. Each house costs $ 5,000, or around 4,400 euros to produce.
5- Wood residences for less CO2
For several years, wood constructions have been making a comeback. It is estimated that almost 5% of new houses would be made of this material. Besides the advantage of being biodegradable, it is synonymous with longevity, especially if it is sheltered from humidity.
But its main quality lies in its almost zero ecological footprint. Better still, it absorbs CO2 emissions from cars, for example. Naturally insulating, the wood retains more heat than concrete, which allows future inhabitants to save significant energy.
6- An aerogel to protect against noise
Against noise pollution, the Lumira airgel may be the solution. Integrated into the design of windows, this substance allows thermal insulation and maximum soundproofing (it is estimated that it would be 3 to 6 times more efficient than conventional materials), while allowing sunlight to filter widely. Calbot, which develops the Lumira, has already participated in the design of a residential building where the aerogel was used in 2012 in New York. A great first at the time.
The gel, composed of 97% air and 3% amorphous silica grains, has an almost transparent appearance once solidified, as can be seen in the following video:
7- Concrete with vegetable fiber
Unlike the materials usually used on construction sites, this lighter, greener and better quality concrete optimizes the energy performance and airtightness of a habitat. A guaranteed material without cement or synthetic resin made from overhead lime and other vegetable fibers. It is then possible to develop sustainable housing, respecting the environment. The French company NovHisol, specializing in the construction of 100% green buildings, has won numerous awards thanks to its “green concrete”.
8- A cardboard house that keeps the heat
For 60,000 euros it is possible to build a housing of 90m², insulation, cover and wooden frame included. The only condition is to make it out of cardboard. A less fragile material than it seems.
Individuals use companies specializing in the manufacture of walls and other facades in this material. To be sure that the cardboard does not take water, it is superimposed in layers then wrapped in a solid plastic film. The cardboard naturally retains heat. This type of accommodation therefore allows serious energy savings during the winter.
9- Facades of economical straws
Also called the house “Feuillette”, after its inventor, the straw house offers the same level of economic and energy profitability as cardboard. Sold everywhere 1 to 2 euros per boot, it is easy to get supplies. A house of 173 m² still requiring some work costs nearly 130,000 euros. Once the coatings of earth or lime are applied, the straw is definitively protected.
The majority of construction sites are carried out in self-construction. Companies have not yet grasped the potential value of this material.
10- Bio-crossing with algae
Developed by the German institute Fraunhofer, this tiles are more flexible, lighter and greener than those made of ceramic. Made up of fossilized micro-algae among others, it can easily take any form after molding. Its resistance to heat (up to 120 degrees) is also acclaimed by researchers. Each tile is biodegradable. The most creative can add fluorescent pigments to it in order to have a soil that shines in the dark.