Category: Building Material

Bacteria and sand engineered into living concrete

Cement and concrete haven’t changed much as technology in over a hundred years, but researchers in Colorado are revolutionizing building materials by literally bringing them to life. The method developed, presented January 15 in the journal Matter, combines sand and bacteria to build a living material that has structural load-bearing and biological function.

The team created a scaffold out of sand and hydrogel for the bacteria to grow in. The hydrogel retains moisture and nutrients for the bacteria to proliferate and mineralize, a process similar to the formation of seashells in the ocean. Combining the three, the researchers created


TopBuild Acquires Garland Insulating

Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TopBuild Corp. (NYSE:BLD) the leading installer and distributor of insulation and building material products in the United States, has acquired Garland Insulating, one of the largest locally owned and operated insulation companies in Texas and Colorado. Founded in 1946 and serving the Texas market for over 70 years, Garland generated approximately $60 million in revenue for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2020.

Garland’s footprint includes branches in:

  • Houston
  • Dallas-Fort

Rice lab turns trash into valuable graphene in a flash


Jeff Falk
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Mike Williams
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‘Green’ process promises pristine graphene in bulk using waste food, plastic and other materials

HOUSTON – (Jan. 27, 2020) – That banana peel, turned into graphene, can help facilitate a massive reduction of the environmental impact of concrete and other building materials. While you’re at it, toss in those plastic empties.

A new process introduced by the Rice University lab of chemist James Tour can turn bulk quantities of just about any carbon source into valuable graphene flakes. The process is quick and cheap; Tour said the “flash graphene”


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71% experiencing building material shortages

By U.S. Chamber of Commerce,

More contractors are facing a shortage of building materials as the pandemic continues, according to new fourth quarter data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (Index). This quarter, 41% of contractors say less availability of building products and materials is a severe consequence of the pandemic, up from just 15% saying the same in Q3.

Most (71%) contractors say they face at least one material shortage, up 17 points from 54% in Q3. The most reported material shortage is wood/lumber, which has seen higher demand from a boom in residential construction