The use of new materials in architecture allows the boundaries of everyday practice to be extended. In their bid to build higher, bigger, lighter and more economical structures, architects and engineers are constantly searching for and testing alternatives to conventional products.

At one end of the spectrum of probable future developments stand high-tech products such as aerogels, hollow-fibre reinforcement for composite materials, and what were hitherto regarded as Utopian concepts like autogenously healing and biotechnological products. At the other end of this spectrum stands the intelligent use of traditionally “low value” materials, including glues, cast steel (which, in the form of nodular graphite castings, has proved to be a high-performance substance) and leftover, waste products.
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