Could this self-healing concrete revolutionise construction?
The most obvious benefit of bioconcrete is cost reduction. Repairing cracks in concrete is currently an expensive undertaking, with maintenance costs for bridges, tunnels and other infrastructure in the EU reaching €6bn annually. With bioconcrete, this expense can largely be reduced or eliminated entirely. Whilst the invention is still in its early stages of development and thus not yet ready for large scale infrastructure projects, it certainly has application in smaller scale projects.
In addition to cost reduction, the environmental benefits of moving away from traditional concrete can’t be overlooked. On a global scale, governments and regulators are ramping up initiatives to curb the impact construction output has on the planet, and may very well incentivise construction companies to use greener materiasl like bioconcrete.
There are three products in the bioconcrete repertoire: a spray that can be applied to small cracks; a mortar for repairing large cracks or structural damage; and the self-healing concrete itself.
There is no doubt the construction industry is on the cusp of a technology and innovation shake-up. Alternative materials that promise cost reduction, environmental friendliness and other functional benefits are on the rise and this is great news for the industry and the planet. whether or not Bioconcrete gathers mainstream adoption remains to be seen but if the material can deliver on it’s mission, it will fill some long overdue cracks in the industry.