Technology is constantly moving forward, creating innovative materials and improving production methods. What was considered “tried and true” only a few years ago has now changed or become obsolete. To keep up with technological updates and emerging trends, here’s a guide to new developments in material market.
Bricks are seeing a resurgence in popularity with an explosion of new market options. Nowadays, brick has become a universal material, available in many non-standard colours and shapes. Combine that with brick’s distinct texture and character, and you have a perfect material for decorating. Maybe that’s why brick statement walls have become a hot new trend over the past couple of years. For inspiration, check out Annual Think Brick Awards showcase with some of the most innovative and creative ways of implementing bricks in architecture, decoration and landscaping.
There are new developments in insulation, like USG Boral’s Soundstop – a 10mm-thick plasterboard that is used to soundproof cinemas. This and similar insulating materials are light and easy to install making them a perfect choice for residential architecture. If you ever wish for more peace and quiet in your home-life, look into sound treatment options – they are not as difficult and expensive as you may think!
Lightweight building materials are steadily gaining steam as well, with CSR reporting a 20% increase in the share of residential properties using them. In addition to technological innovation drastically improving durability, the driving force behind growing popularity of materials like autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) or Gyprock is the fact that using lighter construction materials allows you to cut the construction time from a few months to a few weeks and save a lot of logistical costs.
Lightweight materials also factor into another building trend – pre-fabrication and offsite manufacturing. Builders and supply companies can prepare and assemble whole parts of your home in a controlled factory environment, then deliver and mount ready-made parts onto your home’s frame. While it is unclear whether this particular trend will catch on residential projects, the most ambitious manufacturers promise a complete home construction project in as little as 18 days.
In the past couple of decades new developments in glazing have completely changed the way we think of glass. Windows in our homes are getting ever bigger, encompassing whole sections of walls and rooftops. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the view and let in as much sunlight as possible. Plus modern options, like Viridian’s LightBridge range, for example, offer great insulation for both sound and heat and don’t compromise your home’s security.
Big windows not only help you connect your home and garden seamlessly, they are also an important part of making your home energy-efficient. With proper insulation and shading to cut the glare, these windows let you maximise the daylight without wasting energy on cooling and heating. Plus, bright open spaces with uninterrupted sightlines and great views are always in demand, so it’s a good way to increase your home’s value as well.
Roofing materials market is also booming with decorative variety. Old and familiar options like shingles or terracotta tiles now come in new eye-catching colours and custom shapes. Colorbond steel, already famous for having many different colour options to choose from, now offers a new matt finish to keep up with one of the most interesting recent trends.
Of course, if we’re talking about smart roofing choices and technologies, we also have to mention solar panels. Solar energy is the perfect match for our hot and sunny climate. It helps you bring your home closer to the goal of self-sustainability, which is great for both the environment and your wallet. New developments in solar technologies make them a lot more productive with manufactures promising a return investment in as little as seven years after installation.