Innovative materials could transform the future of sustainable building

Bacteria-infused concrete, hybrid bricks among results of product design challenge

By Peter Fabris, Contributor | January 20, 2014

Innovative bio-based building products could become standard for green building. The Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge’s goal is to foster products that can be created from safe materials that are built with renewable energy and are completely reusable. Recent winners include a brick made from bacterial byproducts that cement sand particles together in a matrix that's strong enough to use for homes, and insulation created from agricultural waste products that can grow within a wall. Another product in the works is bacteria-infused concrete that reportedly fills in holes and cracks in the concrete, making it last longer and reducing maintenance costs.

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