3 Clever Building Product Inventions: from yesterday, today and tomorrow

These products might sound plain, but they are revolutionary, in taking building beyond basic bricks and mortar.

Claimed to be the most used man-made product in the world, we can’t go past reinforced concrete. Concrete has an appearance that equates it aesthetically with ‘natural’ materials such as timber and stone. Mastered and set by the Romans 2,000 years ago, it wasn’t until the early 19th century that its recipe was rediscovered. The basic mix, is a sand and gravel aggregate, bonded with cement and water. Reinforced concrete, is made by adding embedded steel. This enables it to withstand great weights and forces of nature. It is extremely versatile, as it can be moulded to any required shape. Bridges, dams, canals, highways, high rises and cantilevers are just some of its achievements, and it is constantly breaking new ground.

More recent, is the invention of industrial double sided tape.. yes! Seriously, it is now so good that buildings can be fixed together by tape!  3M, the tape pioneers, developed this strong bonding product so that it’s not necessary to drill, rivet, weld or screw.. clever! Its benefits include, fast and easy application, absorption impact, compensation for thermal expansion, and an almost invisible bond finish. The 3M VHB Tape range, secures wood, glass, metal, plastics, painted surfaces, and even concrete… but you might need another clever product to unstick it!

Carbon emissions remain a major issue and challenge to building. Significant amounts are released during occupancy, due to heating and cooling. There is a great need for clever building products to combat this. Swiss products, ‘Skyframe’ and ‘Vitrocsa’, are relatively new frameless double and triple glazed window systems, developed for exceptional thermal insulation in a wide variety of climates. Not only are they environmentally sound, but are beautifully designed, leaving only the glass visible.

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