As the push towards a more sustainable future continues to usher movements of ingenuity and innovation in design and use, our understanding of space and the areas that we inhabit will take on new characteristics. The results of increasing technologies, new products are underway that could transform the inert habitations in which we carry out our daily lives--living, working, playing, eating, sleeping etc… into more deliberate, programmable environs that mimic small ecosystems.
Pollution absorbing bricks are designed to generate electricity from solar energy, recycle waste water, all while cleaning the air. The objective is that the brick will serve as a component of the building's ventilation system. As a facet of a modular unit, the bricks will serve as energy generating bioreactor walls, forming partitions that can be programmed to produce electricity or filter/purify air and water, all fueled by synthetic microbes.
Think of it this way--the process by which the brick converts energy while also possessing the capability of air/water purification can be compared to the methods in which the various chambers of a cow’s stomach work. Each chamber has a different function and procedure but an overall related purpose. The microbial cells work in conjunction with computers to “sense” or assess conditions within the building and control the bioreactors, altering the structures environmental state.
What's In it for you?
Perhaps you’re thinking, why is the development of a “brick” so important to the future of the building materials industry? A brick with the ability to harness microbes that can power electricity is truly amazing, but it goes beyond that. The brick we’re referencing is representative of a new perspective and conceptual ideology that is laying the foundation for marked change within the industry.
These ideas and innovations are formulating product expectations that will improve upon what is presently available. Something as simple as a “brick” that highlights a revolutionary way to “live better” will in turn influence other products so that they are compatible with the new technology. They serve as catalysts, opening the door to fresh possibilities.
The beneficial results of leading edge technology are far reaching and can positively impact the lives of those here in the U.S. as well as in developing countries. The implementation of the air cleaning brick alone could influence projects of varying scopes from using this microbe harnessing technology to power LEDs to constructing toilet blocks for those in developing countries to forming entire buildings across the globe.
So what does this mean for you as a building materials manufacturer? Well, it definitely provides considerable food for thought and potentially a bit of homework, as this is material for business growth. Innovations are the visionary byproducts of consumer demand and need. Your partners and customers speak every day through their demand for and lack of demand for your products? Are you listening?
As you make the necessary adjustments to set your company on course for increased growth, ponder the many opportunities that are available to you in an age driven by technology. Digital strategies and implementations are vital and will continue to propel the growth of the building material manufacturing industry from here on out. It’s wise to ensure that both your products and your internal systems are adept at meeting your partners’ and customers’ needs today as well as in the future.