Recently developed products such as transparent wood, hydrogel embedded in walls, and bricks that help filter air pollution could make a substantial impact on building sustainability in coming years.
Swedish researchers have developed a wood material that is 85% transparent by compressing strips of wood veneer and replacing lignin with polymer. It could be a greener alternative to glass and plastic.
The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona has developed a method to use hydrogel to create walls that can cool themselves. The invention places hydrogel bubbles in between ceramic panels that can be installed in existing walls.
An architect in Egypt developed Breathe Bricks to build a wall. The bricks have a faceted surface that pulls outside air into ports, which is then the filtered by an internal “cyclone filter” that spins the air and eliminates particulates.