Translucent concrete arrives on the scene
Heidelberg Cement develops fibres that allow light to pass through blocks.
German firm Heidelberg Cement has developed translucent cement blocks.
Manufactured by Luccon, a subsidiary of Heidelberg Cement, the new cement block allows light to pass through it.
Speaking to Construction Week at Bau 2007, Ingo Gast, an architect at Luccon, said: "This is the latest in cement technology. We haven't even had a formal launch for the product yet."
The cement blocks are made of regular cement but have fibres running through each piece which allows light to pass through, giving it an appearance of translucency.
With Dubai's construction market being the biggest in the world, the industry is perfect ground for innovative building products.
"The new concrete blocks are a really good idea as it makes the room look more spacious and airy," said Omar Ramiz Fakhira, human resource manager, United Engineering Construction, UAE, who was at the exhibition to source new materials.
"With land plots in Dubai becoming smaller, this new technology will be welcomed I'd imagine. Also with Dubai trying to host world sporting events, such technology will be fantastic for things like stadiums and arenas where natural light is needed, and yet the heat can be kept out."
According to Gast, the blocks can be used to construct anything from villas to multi-storey skyscrapers.
"There is absolutely no difference in strength or quality. It can be used in the construction of a tower or of something smaller as well. Its translucency does not compromise its strength. It is as strong and as durable as a normal block of concrete. The fibre that we have used inside to make it translucent is not made of glass as that would be dangerous," he added.