Sandstone roads could replace regular asphalt. The resulting roads are 20% more reflective and can reduce the urban heat island effect by 2-3 degrees celsius. The project is a part of the iida awards 2010 competition, organized by designboom in collaboration with incheon (south korea) metropolitan city.
Scientists have produced a method of creating a biological substitute to asphalt, that could be produced at much lower costs, and have the same behavior as a paving material.
The new “sandstone” road surface is produced by using sand and a specific type of bacteria. The idea belongs to designers Thomas Kosbau and Andrew Wetzler, who are the winners of the Korean green design competition the iida awards.
The team says that mixing common sand – one of the most abundant resources on the planet – with a solution containing the microorganism Bacillus Pasteurii could result in a cementing process that turns the mix into biologically-engineered hardened sandstone.
After the two are mixed, the solution is sprayed on yet another layer of sand. The microbes act again, solidifying the layer underneath, and resulting in a tough, road-worthy material that can sustain heavy traffic.
Additionally, given the low cost of manufacturing the material, it will be a lot cheaper to repair it as well. When cracks appear, all maintenance crews will have to do is spray some of the bacteria solution within, and leave the road to solidify again.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.