Be the coolest house on the block with a fresh coat of a new polymer material

This summer, heat waves hit the Northern Hemisphere with temperatures upward of 100°F, highlighting one of the biggest current worldwide challenges: keeping buildings (and the people inside them) cool. A group of researchers from Columbia University may have an answer. They’ve designed a new material that chills buildings by reflecting sunlight. Instead of getting rid of heat that has already slipped into the building, this … Continue reading Be the coolest house on the block with a fresh coat of a new polymer material

Roman Building Techniques – Stronger Than We Thought

There is something unusual about Roman sea walls: they last for a very long time. In fact, while modern concrete erodes when exposed to seawater and eventually requires replacement, Roman concrete grows even stronger. Professor Marie Jackson at the University of Utah investigated the old concrete using imaging techniques called electron microscopy, X-ray micro-diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy. The Romans made concrete out of a mixture of … Continue reading Roman Building Techniques – Stronger Than We Thought