Tag: materials


Innovating Architecture: The Role of Innovative Materials

Architecture has always been a reflection of human innovation and creativity. Over the centuries, architects and designers have pushed the boundaries of what is possible. Not only in terms of aesthetics and functionality but also in terms of the materials they use. In recent years, the field of architecture has witnessed a significant transformation with the emergence of innovative materials that are revolutionizing the way we design and build structures. These materials are not only sustainable but also offer unique properties that allow architects to create structures that were once thought impossible. In this blog, we will explore some of the most exciting innovative materials in architecture. And their potential impact on the future of design and construction.

Graphene: The Wonder Material

Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is incredibly strong, lightweight, and an excellent conductor of electricity and heat. In architecture, graphene is being explored for its potential in creating ultra-light and ultra-strong building materials. For example, graphene-enhanced concrete is significantly stronger and more durable than traditional concrete, making it ideal for constructing high-rise buildings and bridges. Moreover, its excellent thermal conductivity can be used to create energy-efficient building systems.

Smart Glass: Transparency with Control

So, smart glass, also known as switchable glass or dynamic glass, is another innovative material that is transforming the way buildings are designed. Smart glass can change its opacity in response to external factors such as sunlight, temperature, or electrical currents. This property allows architects to design buildings with dynamic facades that can adapt to different lighting conditions. Providing natural light when needed and privacy when desired. Smart glass not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of buildings but also contributes to energy efficiency by reducing the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning.

Biomaterials: Building with Nature

Biomaterials are derived from natural sources such as fungi, mycelium, and algae. These materials are not only sustainable but also biodegradable, making them an excellent choice for environmentally conscious architects. Mycelium-based materials, for example, can be used to create lightweight and strong building components. While algae-based materials have the potential to capture carbon dioxide and purify the air. Biomaterials are not only eco-friendly but also offer unique textures and aesthetics that can add a touch of natural beauty to architectural designs.

Self-healing Concrete: Sustainability Meets Durability

Traditional concrete is prone to cracks and degradation over time, leading to costly repairs and maintenance. Self-healing concrete is a game-changer in this regard. It contains bacteria or capsules filled with healing agents that activate when cracks form, effectively repairing the damage. This innovation not only extends the lifespan of structures but also reduces the environmental impact of constant repairs and replacements.

3D-Printed Construction: The Future of Building

3D printing technology has made significant advancements in recent years, and architects are now exploring the possibilities of 3D-printed construction. This innovative approach allows for the rapid and precise construction of complex structures using a variety of materials, including concrete, plastic, and even recycled materials. 3D printing not only speeds up the construction process but also reduces waste and labor costs. Making it a sustainable and cost-effective solution for building projects.


Innovative materials are reshaping the field of architecture, offering architects and designers new tools and opportunities to create sustainable, efficient, and aesthetically stunning buildings. From the remarkable strength of graphene to the adaptability of smart glass, and the eco-friendliness of biomaterials, these materials are pushing the boundaries of what architecture can achieve. As technology continues to advance, we can expect even more groundbreaking materials to emerge, further revolutionizing the way we design and construct buildings. The future of architecture is not only exciting but also promising, as we continue to innovate and build a more sustainable and beautiful world.

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Architecture & Building

The costs of building a house in 2023  

Building a home is something many people dream of. However, with the rising costs of materials and labour the thought of building is putting doubts in people’s minds. So, in this blog we are going to breakdown all the factors and averages costs of how much it will cost to build a house in 2023.  

Building cost factors –  

Size –  

One of the biggest factors when it comes to building a home is the size of the property. Here is a rough guise of average build costs: 

  • Cost for building a 2-bedroom house: From £185k to £280k.  
  • Cost for building a 3-bedroom house: From £240k to £365k.  
  • Cost for building a 4-bedroom house: From £295k to £440k.  
  • Cost for building a 5-bedroom house: From £320k to £480k. 

These costs are for standard designs, if you chose you go for a more abstract design the prices may increase.  

Location –  

The price of construction is going to depend on the area of the UK you are looking to build in. Labour and land costs are lower in some parts of the country. Land located near popular cities are more likely to be more expensive than places in less populated areas.  

Types of finishes –  

The finish and materials you choose will have a big impact on the price of the project. From the flooring to the tiles, to the lighting, every decision you make will affect the overall cost of your project.  

Professional services –  

You will also need to consider the costs of professional services. For example, your architect, project manager, local authorities. This usually adds on an extra 15% of the total project’s costs.  

Will construction costs go down in 2024?  

The soaring prices of construction materials won’t likely decrease until 2024. In 2023, prices are expected to go up by another 7% before they return to the long-term average of 2.7% in 2024.  

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What is a barrier wall system? All you need to know

What is a barrier wall?  

Barrier walls are a cost-effective alternative to a cavity or solid walls.  

The term ‘barrier wall’ is used to refer to a system of an external wall assembly that maintains weather-tightness. Thereby preventing any moisture from penetrating beyond the outermost surface and into the wall itself. The barrier walls are essentially moisture-tight constructions.  

Materials used for barrier walls –  

The cladding material should be impenetrable to the elements. Common examples of barrier wall systems include:  

  • Single skin metal wall panels 

Firstly, single skin metal panels reflect strips of pre-painted metal that are formed into various profiles or shapes. Compared to other materials, these are flexible, lightweight, and easy to install.  

  • Solid-metal wall cladding 

Metal cladding is a type of protective coating. Such as metal powder or foil thats bonded to a substrate by applying heat and/or pressure. The wear protection is generally very reliable and cost-effective.  

  • Insulated metal wall panels 

Insulated metal panels are exterior wall and roof panels with steel skins and an insulated foam core.

  • Exterior insulation and finishing system 

Finally, it’s an exterior wall cladding that utilizes rigid insulation boards on the exterior of the wall sheathing with a plaster appearance exterior skin. 

The exterior cladding is a barrier wall system that serves as the main drainage plane. However, this differs from a cavity wall system where the main drainage plane and defensive line against bulk rainwater penetration is inside the cavity.  

In addition, a barrier wall system often has a lower initial cost.

The exterior cladding is a wall system that serves as the main drainage plane. However, this differs from a cavity wall system where the main drainage plane and defensive line against bulk rainwater penetration is inside the cavity.  


The advantages and disadvantages of thermally modified wood

Thermally modified wood definition – 

Thermally modified wood is wood that has been modified by a controlled pyrolysis process of wood being heated. In absence of oxygen inducing some chemical changes to the chemical structures of cell wall components in the wood in order to increase its durability. 

How to modify the wood –

The wood is placed in a chamber and is gradually heated to 210 – 230 Celsius, and completely void of oxygen to prevent combustion.

The purpose of the wood –  

The bending strength of the wood is reduced during the heating process. So, thermally modified wood is not suitable for structural applications. It is commonly used for non-load-bearing applications such as decking, flooring, wall paneling. As well as ceilings, accent walls, and interior and exterior doors.  

the sustainability of modified wood – 

Going green has never been more crucial than it is now. The process of thermal modification involves zero chemicals, eliminating the harsh toxic substances, that are often in building materials. Sourcing the wood carefully and thoughtfully, while thinking about how to best optimize performance is key for sustainable growth.  

Advantages and disadvantages to using this wood –  

Advantages –  

  • Free of chemicals  

This process only heats and cures the wood. There are no harmful chemicals or toxins that go into the process. Chemicals in wood are dangerous to touch and breathe but you won’t have to worry about that with this wood.  

  • Sustainability  

The modification process will naturally create longer-lasting wood, which will lead to less deforestation in the future. Although, this is contributing to a sustainable building future. 

Disadvantages –  

  • More expensive  

As well as, the original lumber, you will also be paying for the modification process. However, the price will also depend on where you live and the type of wood that you use.  

  • Becomes brittle  

After heating the wood to such a high temperature, a popular complaint is that the wood becomes brittle. This has people wondering how stable the wood can actually be.  

  • Could burn faster 

Due to the low moisture content, the thermally modified wood could end up burning quicker and easier.  

Americana™ Thermally Modified Wood Decking

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Extensions, Garage Conversion

How much does a garage extension cost in 2022?

Building a garage extension is a great way to add extra space to your home. By adding an extension, you could maximise storage space, or make room for an extra car. Garages are an excellent way to keep your homes tidy and clutter-free because you can put as much storage as you like in them. 

If you have decided that your home needs additional space, you should read on and see the average price for a garage extension UK in 2022.  

Why have material prices been affected?  

Firstly, the prices for an extension will be a lot higher than a couple of years ago because prices of materials have risen. The lockdowns and Brexit have caused the prices of materials to fluctuate.  

Due to shortages, there is a range of materials that prices have increased, for example:  

  • Insulation  
  • Timber 
  • Roof tiles 
  • Cement  
  • Plywood 

How much does a single storey garage extension cost? 

The cost of garage extension varies depending on the type and size of the garage you choose.  

The average cost of a single-storey 16 m2 garage can be anywhere between £2,000 – £20,000. 

The cheapest type of extension would be a wooden or a concrete pre-fabricated garage.  

What is a pre-fabricated garage?  

This is a garage that is manufactured off-site and transported to the location where it would be used.. When it gets to your property, it usually takes 1 – 3 days to put together.  

Pre-fab garages are often used because they are the cheapest. Re-fab concrete garages cost between £3,000 – £7,000 and wooden one’s cost between £2,000 – £6,000. Although they are the cheapest option which is a positive to many people, they have less security and they last less time. 

How much do brick extensions cost?  

 Brick garages are the most common type of garage in the UK. However, they are also the most expensive design. They are of much higher quality and more secure than the pre-fabricated buildings.  

A brick garage in 2022 can averagely cost between £13,500 – £20,000. And usually takes 2 – 4 weeks to complete, however, it could take longer if there are any delays.  

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Architecture & Building

The Top Materials To Use If You Are Building A House

Are you looking to build a new home but are unsure on what materials to use? This blog will tell you all of the best materials you should consider.  

Wood –  

Wood is normally used when building the inside and structure of the house, it isn’t really used for the outside. This is because it can absorb dampness and some wood attracts bugs. However, the popularity comes from its affordability and it is lightweight and easy to work with. It also acts as an insulator, which keeps the cold air out and the warm air in. Wood can also be an eco-friendly option when brought from a responsible supplier. Wood has a lower carbon footprint than other materials, using less energy to produce.  

Wooden Houses, Log Cabin, Timber House with Free Design | InGreen

Concrete –  

If you are looking for a material that is both strong and cost-effective then concrete would be the best option. Concrete is a mixture of sand, stone, and water, which then dries and hardens. Because it is so strong, the material can be used to support entire structures. In addition, concrete buildings are low maintenance and they last for a long time. Concrete is also very energy-efficient, it is able to transfer heat absorbed during the day and release it at night when it’s cooler. This may cost the building owners less in the future.  

Luxury modern concrete house in Trento [ Timelapse ] - YouTube

Steel –  

Steel is the strongest material to withstand any structure. It is also a very eco-friendly material to use because it doesn’t pollute the air and it doesn’t affect and involve cutting any trees down. Having a steel structure can make it much safer if there are any natural disasters that strike, it is the most secure structure. Because steel increase durability and longevity, it will be a more costly material.  

Light Gauge Steel Framing for Housing - Hadley Group

Brick –  

Bricks are one of the most durable building materials that are used in construction. If you are looking for your building to withstand time, then brick may be the best option. Buildings made from bricks tend to retain their value over time, for example, the great wall of China. However, when using bricks, you need a solid base to make them safe in cruel climate conditions.  

Can You Render Over Brick? The Full Truth! | Home Logic UK

Stone –  

Stone is another material that has been used for centuries and it has been proved to hold up over time. Many people like to use stone because of its unique appearances. You can go for the style of its aw form for a rustic look or a more finished form for a modern style. It is also durable and is able to protect homes from environmental threats.  

Gallery | Bricklaying and Building Services | Consett

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