Smart construction materials are continuously defying the limitations of construction. Finding new and creative technology that can improve the lifespan of a project.
Most recently, a professor from the University of Southern California has been working on smart building materials that move themselves without a motor.
Doris Sung, professor at USC, architect and concerned environmentalist, has become increasingly disillusioned by requests from her clients. The constant demand for glass and steel, she feels, completely disregards the sheer amount of water and energy that goes into making these materials. She’s concerned the trend is having a terrible impact on the planet and has made it her mission to buck the trend.
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Sung explained in a recent interview, "I was concerned about climate change. But in architecture, [nothing was] happening. I kept thinking architecture is not doing anything to help this problem, so that's why I left the field and moved into research."
In her work at USC, Professor Doris Sung has been breaking down the idea of walls and investigating solar sensitive walls and windows.
Sung has described her thought process. Instead of using concrete and glass for unobstructed views that aren’t energy efficient, why not make buildings with a "skin" like a human's. Automatically letting in just the right amount of light and energy a building needs and keeps out what it doesn't.
"I was concerned about climate change. But in architecture, [nothing was] happening. I kept thinking architecture is not doing anything to help this problem, so that's why I left the field and moved into research."
According to an article at Phys.org: The responsive window system reduces energy use, especially air conditioning which is often fueled by power plants that burn fossil fuels, by between 28% and 42%. The windows respond to the elements without using energy—no motors, controls or computer chips. The sun's radiation prompts the motion.