Since most foam materials are made of petrochemical plastics, they aren't very climate-friendly. But now an alternative is in sight – a novel foam material produced entirely from wood, which is not harmful to the environment and is also recyclable. In the long term, wood foam could replace conventional products used for thermal insulation, packaging, scientists say.


Panelox is a unique composite panel consisting of two layers of aluminum with two color anodized patterns etched into the surface by Alumet. The panel, manufactured by a top producer of composite materials, has a non-combustible core and .05 mm thick aluminum surface sheets.

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The Vehicle (originally Vertical) Assembly Building, or VAB, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) was first used to assemble the massive American Saturn V launch vehicles beginning in 1967. At 3,664,883 cubic meters it is one of the largest buildings in the world by volume. The building is at Launch Complex 39 at KSC, halfway between Jacksonville and Miami, and due east of Orlando on Merritt Island on the Atlantic coast of Florida. The VAB is the largest single-story building in the world, was the tallest building (160.3 m) in Florida until 1974, and is still the tallest building in the United States outside an urban area.

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The world is currently awash in mirrored buildings that claim to "disappear." There are "vanishing" childcare centers, roadsidecafes, universities, and even a skyscraper. But frankly, most of them are still 95% visible, despite the mirrors and glass they have deployed (often ingeniously). This country house set in a forest outside of Warsaw, Poland is different. Anyone strolling through the woods could be forgiven for thinking there was a windowed white box floating above the grassy, gnarled earth. Designed by the young Polish architect Marcin Tomaszewski, 'Izabelin House' has a reflective ground-floor and an opaque upper level.

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Good insulation depends on the materials employed and intelligent technology. The MAAS Profile / BEMO Systems GmbH company group has teamed up with BASF in developing the first bracket for ventilated façades made of the thermoplastic Ultramid® to be awarded a DIBt (Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik) national technical approval. The plastic, an extra high-strength polyamide compound, is already in successful use in the automotive industry, e.g. for engines mounts, and is now being launched as an innovative material for ventilated façades in the construction sector. Similar materials have already been performing impeccably in the thermal separators of aluminum façades and windows for decades.

Nichiha, a leading Japanese manufacturer of high-quality fiber-cement facade panels, recently introduced yet another novelty. It is an state-of-the art technology material with quadrilateral connection from Fuge (Future Generation) line.

Chinese construction workers have once again awed the world, this time by erecting a 30-story hotel in 360 hours in Hunan Province. The building is the latest achievement of Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), a Chinese construction company renowned for its eye-opening efficiency.