The construction and operation of buildings accounts for approximately 40 percent of all U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases. The most-used building material in the world, concrete, is used to construct many of the nation’s homes and office buildings — but a new MIT report says a variety of measures could drastically reduce, and ultimately even eliminate, the carbon footprint of most new concrete buildings, as well as some older ones.
Buildings of the future will be made from self-healing concrete, be powered by their solar paint and even have flying robots, says Jasmine Gardner
“Smart cities” is the buzz phrase of the moment. It refers to energy-efficient and spacially economical urban worlds in which we’ll live in years to come — all thanks to technology. Smarter cities are now a focus of both big business, such as Shell and IBM, and small entrepreneurs and scientists, such as the Dutch microbiologists who have developed a self-healing concrete. Cracks in the buildings of the future will be filled by calcium carbonate, produced by a bacteria feeding on nutrients, both incorporated into the cement. The bacteria are only activated when rainwater gets into a crack.