Innovative Building Materials for New Construction

As the construction industry changes and evolves, so do the materials on which it relies; roofing, flooring, siding and countertops are all due for an upgrade. The innovative use of these materials is proven to result in longer-lasting results and lower expenses for contractors and clients alike.
August 20, 2021

Breaking ground on a new construction project is a major undertaking. As a result, contractors are constantly on the lookout for materials that will make their jobs easier and stand the test of time. The following breakdown looks at some of the most innovative building materials on the market today and how they can be used in place of more traditional options for new construction projects.

Composite Roofing

The most common type of roofing for many properties has traditionally been asphalt or cedar shake shingles, as they offer solid protection for the building and mesh well with many different kinds of siding.

The issue with these products is that they can quickly deteriorate in the face of inclement weather, sometimes blistering, raising, fading or cracking in as little as 10 years.

As a result, synthetic roofing shingles make for a superior alternative to classic asphalt or wood, offering the following benefits:

  • The highest industry ratings for impact and fire;
  • A 50-year limited warranty;
  • Available in a wide array of designs and custom color combinations; and
  • An environmentally friendly fabrication, using polymers from recycled materials to provide elite durability and sustainability.

Radiant Floor Heating

It can often require extensive energy to heat a building during the colder months of the year, as buildings that feature hard flooring options are notorious for developing cold pockets that cause the HVAC system to kick into overdrive.

By installing an electric floor heating system, owners can quickly create a comfortable interior temperature in a much more efficient manner. These innovative systems use ultra-thin heating mats that lay beneath the flooring, releasing heat in a consistent, stove-like manner throughout the day. Controlled by a programmable thermometer, this sub-floor heating system allows for a high level of control of the building's temperature settings and eliminates the need for a fan to be blowing throughout the day.

Quartz Countertops

Most building owners prefer the stately appearance of marble, concrete or granite for their countertops. While these products look impressive and do provide a more durable option than basic laminates, they are highly porous, meaning that they must be frequently sealed to prevent staining and mold buildup.

To achieve the natural stone appearance while eliminating porosity issues, builders are increasingly turning to engineered quartz countertops. Quartz surfaces are created when quartz, one of the most abundant minerals in the earth’s crust that comes in a wide range of colors, is ground into a fine dust and fused with resin binders under intense heat and pressure. The final product is durable and nonporous, allowing clients to clean their quartz surfaces with nothing more than a wipe of a disinfecting rag.

Sound Insulation

Whether building a residential or commercial space, contractors must make the it conducive to remote work, as video conferences are quickly making face-to-face meetings obsolete. This can create some challenges in terms of noise transfer, as many contemporary buildings feature few walls in their attempts to leverage natural light flow as much as possible.

Rather than build a bunch of constraining barriers, innovative acoustic ceiling tiles can help dampen sound transfer while maintaining an open and inviting ambience in the building. Using aerospace-precision manufacturing to reduce noise transfer, modern acoustic tiles are designed in a wide variety of appealing styles, providing performance and an aesthetic that traditional drop-ceiling insulation cannot match.

Steel Siding

Much like roofing, the siding of a building must be able to provide outstanding curb appeal while protecting the building from a wide range of weather conditions. While natural products such as wood planks or brick are a popular choice among homeowners and renters, they must be regularly painted and sealed to maintain an attractive appearance and weather-resistant properties.

An elite contemporary solution is metal lap siding. Steel siding has the highest-quality fire and weather-resistant properties. It is guaranteed to last at least 50 years but will most likely outlast the life of the building itself. Fabricated in a number of attractive colors and designs, metal siding keeps a consistent appearance throughout its lifetime, requiring little to no maintenance to maintain both its protective and aesthetic properties.

Hardwood Flooring Alternatives

There is no doubt that solid hardwood flooring creates a classy effect that will do wonders for increasing the resale value of a building. The problem lies in the upfront cost, as professional hardwood installation can run upwards of $12 per square foot.

If cost is a significant concern, vinyl plank flooring, coming in at under $2 per square foot, offers a viable alternative. While it will not boost the resale value of the building like solid hardwood, vinyl offers a number of attractive benefits, including:

  • A vast array of finishes, some of which are nearly indistinguishable from the solid hardwood it imitates
  • Simplified click and lock installation that can be done quickly and without the assistance of experienced flooring professionals
  • Moisture resistance that is not offered by natural wood products

The Most Innovative Materials for New Construction

Innovative building materials offer a number of benefits, such as reduced construction time, increased durability and management of energy use. When searching for innovative materials in 2021, the products listed above are some of the most desirable for construction professionals looking for an advantage along all of these fronts.

Stay up to date with the latest building innovative products and design trends


Related stories

Ethically Blending Design Concepts During the Multifamily Boom
By Blima Ehrentreu
With multifamily becoming the predominantly accessible housing source, developers are navigating the ethics of incorporating fashion, function, technology and sustainability into the designs of these projects.
Closeout: The Water Is Wide
A new fixed-span bridge replaces two old bridges—one fixed-span, the other swing-span—connecting Harkins Island, North Carolina, to the mainland.
Liftin' on a Prayer: Jon Bon Jovi's New Nashville Bar
By David McMillin
For DPR Construction, building Jon Bon Jovi’s new five-story bar in downtown Nashville meant working around 16,000 daily pedestrians, a packed entertainment schedule and a very tight footprint.

Follow us

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay in the know with the latest industry news, technology and our weekly features. Get early access to any CE events and webinars.