Bacteria is helping create unconventional, yet sustainable building materials

If we want to start building more sustainably, we have to think beyond traditional building materials such as brick, wood, glass, and concrete. At least, that’s the way two European designers are thinking after creating a self-supporting column out of knitted fibers. While a knitted structure would typically droop to the floor, this column uses a type of bacteria that helps form a rigid layer. Such a structure can’t necessarily compete with other high tech fibers such as carbon or glass fibers, but it does allow for much more complex shapes which can be used for “spatial dividers, shading features, reinforcement and potentially even structural roof or wall systems.” Ultimately, the goal of developing such unconventional building materials is that it could pave the way for new, high-performing self-repairing materials in the future.

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Bacteria is helping create unconventional, yet sustainable building materials

If we want to start building more sustainably, we have to think beyond traditional building materials such as brick, wood, glass, and concrete. At least, that’s the way two European designers are thinking after creating a self-supporting column out of knitted fibers. While a knitted structure would typically droop to the floor, this column uses a type of bacteria that helps form a rigid layer. Such a structure can’t necessarily compete with other high tech fibers such as carbon or glass fibers, but it does allow for much more complex shapes which can be used for “spatial dividers, shading features, reinforcement and potentially even structural roof or wall systems.” Ultimately, the goal of developing such unconventional building materials is that it could pave the way for new, high-performing self-repairing materials in the future.

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