For decades, concrete, glass and steel have dominated our largest urban environments, enabling spectacular engineering feats and allowing millions to live, work and play in our great cities. But these materials have several major problems.
They are expensive. They are complicated and time-consuming to build with. And they put a huge strain on the planet: In major cities like New York, real estate can account for up to two-thirds of carbon emissions.
To continue constructing ultra-dense environments faster, cheaper and more sustainably, there’s a growing recognition that we need to rethink the materials we use to build them. The field of materials science has become a key focus for the world’s leading real estate companies today, drawing billions of dollars in investment into solutions that could change construction and development as we know it.
In this latest episode of Paydirt, The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani breaks down some key breakthroughs in materials science for real estate, such as green steel, cross-laminated timber and smart glass.