Five Materials Used In Modern Architecture
— 13 January 2022
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— 13 January 2022
As we look towards a more sustainable future, the materials we use in our everyday lives, the ones we have been using for decades, have started to become quite unfashionable. In today’s modern architecture, materials and technologies are used in new ways to construct buildings that represents an eco-friendly attitude, combined with twenty-first-century aesthetics and functionality.
Used for both construction and design purposes, steel is one of the most commonly used materials in modern skyscrapers and office buildings. Used for structural reinforcement on nearly all properties, steel is now being used as part of the exterior, serving as both the body and the skin of the modern city skyline. Due to its strength, durability and lightness, steel is being used as window and door frames, handrails and door handles for many modern buildings.
Used to achieve transparency and high levels of natural light, glass is one of the most commonly used materials in contemporary architecture. Over time, glass as a building material has been redeveloped with a lower U-value and high thermal insulation glass that helps decrease the energy requirement of the building, benefitting the environment.
Generally regarded as a cheap, flimsy and unsustainable material, plastic was initially designed to withstand the elements and outlast most other household materials. With this in mind, plastic can actually offer up a clever solution as a building material for most modern architectures. Due to our high levels of plastic production, recycling and repurposing it for architecture or bioplastics is becoming increasingly popular and has a positive impact on the environment.
Offering a huge diversity in terms of texture, colour and strength, stone is a popular material for many architectural projects and has been used in certain locations around the world already, due to its strength and ability to stay cool in high temperatures.
Easily the most widely used material in the world, concrete is a perfect starting material for a number of structures. Made primarily of cement, a concrete compound can be easily moulded into the desired form through the use of appropriate scaffolding. Concrete is used primarily in forming columns, beams, slabs, or structural foundations for the majority of buildings, both old and new.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that concrete is no friend of the environment, and is known to have a significant impact on the ecosystem. In fact, it’s estimated that concrete construction accounts for up to 5% of all worldwide emissions.
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