Technology is surging all around us nowadays. Smartphones are so intelligent that they can control our homes. Televisions are much larger, and they have even higher definition. Some home systems have 3-D monitors for the ultimate viewing experience. When you are driving, you can see the bevy of technological advances on your dashboard, but a Houston design build consultant would tell you that what you are driving on is undergoing a massive technological revolution too.
Asphalt covers over 90 percent of the roads in the United States because it is inexpensive, easy to apply and durable. However, it is costly to repair when it develops potholes or deforms. Considerable research is going into increasing asphalt’s resistance to extremes in weather. These new developments could lessen environmental pollution, lower fuel consumption and decrease the cost and frequency of repairs. Nanoclays could be the solution.
Nanoclays are clay minerals that have been optimized so that they can be added to other materials that a Houston commercial construction firm would typically use. By mixing a small amount of nanoclays into asphalt, it becomes stiffer and resists potholes better. That means fewer expensive repairs and a safer road surface. Stiffer roadways also reduce fuel consumption by up to 3 percent and lower carbon dioxide emissions by some 46.5 million metric tons annually. New surface materials, such as Eco-Pave, made from organic resin-based compounds could replace asphalt entirely.
Highways may soon be wired to sense the temperature of the surface. If it is cold enough to freeze, small blue snowflake symbols will appear on the road to warn drivers. This would give them time to reduce their speed safely. If the highway surface is too hot, small sun symbols would display. Wisconsin engineers are working on creating a chemical that prevents ice from forming on roadways altogether. Dynamic paint that can sense temperature is also being developed. Centerlines that glow in the dark are already a reality in some parts of The Netherlands. This paint could be useful for Houston office building construction as well. Israel intends to build piezoelectric energy roads that can convert the vibrations of traffic into electricity.
Smart road lights that would be powered by wind only turn on when a car is passing are on the horizon. Intelligent highways that network with GPS systems can transmit data regarding road and traffic conditions to drivers.
Just as technology has turned your living room into a home theater, this brave new world of road surface technology will soon improve your daily commute or holiday road trip greatly.