Anton Kalafati is the majority owner and operator of B Side Construction in San Francisco, with decades of experience in the field. As a second-generation contractor, Anton Kalafati, in his leadership role is responsible for managing projects, negotiating contracts and employee management. B Side construction team has completed various note-worthy renovations such as the CSU East Bay Presidential Suite and Mill Valley Community Center. Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction leads his company on values, vision, mission, and skills. In the following article, Mr. Kalafati discusses going green and sustainability with projects and the use of green construction materials. Below, he details these sustainable products, how they are used, and how companies like B Side are trying to incorporate these products into future designs.
According to an analysis conducted by Market Research Future, the green building material market is on track to be worth $939.79 billion by 2030. As such, startups and well-established businesses have fast-tracked their sustainable construction material creation, bringing new and exciting resources to the industry at an unimaginable rate says Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction.
While not every innovation makes it through the testing phases, plenty have found their way onto real-life building sites, ready to work their magic constructing homes, office blocks, hotels, malls, and more.
The Innovative Sustainable Building Materials Slinging the Construction Industry into a Greener Future
Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction explains that from engineered cementitious composite to breathe bricks to 3D-printed concrete to mineral wool geopolymer, these all-new sustainable materials are re-shaping construction projects for the better — and greener.
Engineered Cementitious Composite (ECC)
Otherwise known as bendable concrete, it’s 500 times more crack-resistant and shock-absorbent than traditional, brittle concrete, thanks to the small number of polymer-derived fibers explains Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction.
Even though it’s created using the same ingredients as its regular cousin, ECC is much more sustainable. When infused with CO2, it strengthens, lowering carbon emissions and using less cement.
Unbeknownst to many, Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction says that this material has been around for years, solidifying its effective, durable reputation. In fact, it was to replace the expansion joint on the Michigan bridge deck, lasting over a decade without repairs or maintenance.
From laminated strand lumber to nail-laminated timber, manufacturers produce mass timber by bonding softwood to create prefabricated components. The USA uses it for roofs, columns, floors, beams, and more.
As for sustainability, Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction says that it serves as a perfect substitute for concrete and steel, due to its lower carbon footprint. A study in the Journal of Building Engineering showed that there was a reduction of 26.5% in global warming potential when using mass timber to construct commercial buildings.
Bio-Integrated Wall Tiles
Known as Indus, these tiles were designed to help communities in India eradicate pollution from their water. Made from tiles coated in microalgae, they treat the water as it flows across its surface.
They can be formed on-site with laterite, clay, and other regional materials, and the pattern is obtained through various 3D-printed models tailored to suit the pollutants identified in the area explains Anton Kalafati.
Traditionally, cement is made from quarried limestone heated to extreme temperatures, emitting outrageously high amounts of greenhouse gases.
To combat this issue, scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder developed an algae-grown limestone that could make cement production carbon natural — and perhaps even carbon negative.
Since this method involves utilizing concrete as builders already know it, the biologically produced material can be used in structures immediately.
These pollution-absorbing bricks are an effective substitute for conventional bricks. Each one utilizes the filtration principle used in vacuums called cyclone filtration.
Separating dust and pollutants before transferring clean air inside, Breathe Bricks aid purification, helping people breathe easier in their homes and workplaces.
Mineral Wool Geopolymer
Formed by extracting minerals from certain products, mineral wool geopolymer uses waste from items like acoustic sheets and façade panels to reduce landfill residue.
After the mineral wool waste is separated, ground, and geopolymerized, it turns into a ceramic-esque material, considered an alternative for cement. And amazingly, it doesn’t release nearly half as much carbon dioxide!
While bamboo isn’t an all-new material, it’s still somewhat in its infancy within the construction industry according to Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction. But builders are already loving it — the material’s flexibility makes it perfect for both decorative and structural applications.
Developers applaud bamboo for its near-zero waste production. Contractors can use the entire stem of the tree in their projects, and any leftovers are compostable.
When dry, mycelium (i.e., fungus’ vegetative structure) is incredibly mold-, water-, and fire-resistant. Plus, its durability rivals traditional building materials, especially when mixed with sawdust or demolition waste to form bricks.
While not used on a huge scale yet, mycelium has almost no negative impact on the planet and is entirely organic and compostable says Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction.
Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction says that 3D printing brings increased sustainability and productivity to the construction sphere, allowing industry professionals to design and build faster than ever before. Not to mention the formwork is reusable, so it also produces less waste than traditional methods.
The Cost of Going Green
So, with all these fantastic sustainable materials available, why isn’t every construction project as green as possible? Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction says that it all comes down to dollars. Unfortunately, these materials are costlier than regular “building blocks.”
Despite that, many hope that the positive environmental effects will begin to win over bank balances.