Smart Buildings Using Titanium Improve the Lives of Inhabitants
The global construction industry is thriving with an expected growth rate of 4.2% from 2018-2023. Demand for titanium, which is the 9th most common element in the world, is anticipated to soar as construction and building activities are increasing. The metal is used in many applications notably in the aerospace, civil engineering and construction industries. Buildings and dwellings benefit from using titanium or its derivatives because it is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, strong and environmentally-friendly. New technologies continuously appear in the market to improve the designs of buildings that are not only sustainable but also improve the lives of their occupants.
Titanium Is a Versatile Material for Buildings and Dwellings
Titanium is a metal that has plenty of good qualities. It has excellent anti-corrosion properties which means that buildings built with such components are practically rust-free. Corrosion due to acid rain, sea salt, thermal or erosion resistance is non-existent. In addition, titanium is as strong as steel and is not heavy. Being lightweight, it does not exert pressure on the structure. Without the burden of putting an additional layer of anti-corrosion coating, overall construction expenses are reduced.
Its coefficiency of thermal expansion is very near to glass and concrete making the metal easy to use in combination with these materials. As it has little susceptibility to expand or contract when exposed to heat, suppliers TMS Titanium assert that it is good for use in the design and construction phase of buildings. Moreover, titanium has outstanding aesthetic qualities with an excellent texture and a muted silver color. However, it is also available in different hues by applying the ‘anodic oxidation method.’
Safe for Humans and Environmentally-Friendly
Intelligent buildings are designed using technology to improve communication and control as well as exploit energy efficiency and performance. On top of sustainability, smart structures should also be able to improve the lives of their occupants. Recent advances in construction technology indicate promising innovations. Smart facades that are cladded with titanium tiles can filter air and destroy pollutants.
In the PICADA project, smart construction materials that contained coatings of titanium oxide helped reduce NOx gas levels in the atmosphere. These gases are toxic for humans causing respiratory problems. By using photocatalytic materials, outdoor air quality is improved by reducing NOx gas levels to 60% according to a Milan study. Indeed, the results can also be replicated indoors.
The worldwide construction industry is booming. While technology is the focal point of smart houses and buildings, the shift towards using intelligent construction materials is also taking center place. Titanium and its byproducts are construction materials that not only improve energy efficiency but also contribute to human health and the preservation of the environment.
Author: Cindy Trillo