Textile composites are changing the face of architecture. Composite materials are lightweight, they’re incredibly strong, and they’re more cost effective than many of the world’s traditional building materials. It’s no wonder they’re driving so much innovation within housing design.
Housing design has remained relatively constant throughout the last few decades. Composite textiles are challenging architects and real estate developers to rethink modern housing from the ground up by incorporating more cutting-edge materials such as GRFC and so-called “skins.” Let’s take a look at three of the most notable ways textile composites are elevating housing design today.
- Lightweighting Houses Cuts Costs
The more lightweight a home is, the less it costs to build. One of the primary benefits of textile composites is that they are extremely light relative to the strength they imbue. This means developers have to spend less money for shipping and distribution of fundamental building elements such as exterior walls, roofing materials, and even interior finishes. Additionally, once on the jobsite, lightweight materials require fewer specialized equipment and less manpower to put in place, reducing labor costs on the backend.
- Textile Composites Are Incredibly Versatile
From a design perspective, few materials offer the relative flexibility and durability characteristics of textile composites. Composites such as GRF are uniquely suited for exterior applications where weather and exposure can become long-term concerns. Outdoor fireplaces, patios, and even entire exteriors are utilizing the strength properties of textile composites to create aesthetically pleasing, durable surfaces. Textile composites come in an endless array of colors, sizes, and thicknesses and are inherently malleable, so it’s often possible to do much of the finishing work right on the jobsite.
- Sustainability through Textile Composites
As the entire building industry looks to go greener, housing design is skewing more and more “sustainable.” Textile composites imbue incredible insulative properties to buildings, particularly when used as skins on the outside of a structure. Glass fiber reinforced composites are particularly prized for their insulative properties and have been a primary component in traditional insulation batting for decades, although their use as insulators for building exteriors is relatively new.
B&W Fiberglass is a leading name in glass fiber textile composites. Our goal is – and has always been – innovation, and we’re working toward that end each and every day. Few industries have seen as much change over the last decade as building design, specifically within the housing sector where cost and sustainability often take priority.