(Spain) — A team of researchers at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain, has developed a new multilayer concrete that is able to support plant life. Both a medium for growth and a construction material, the system allows for thermal regulation and CO2 sequestration.
Created for a Mediterranean climate, the biological concrete is composed of three layers placed on a structural base.
The first is a waterproofing layer on top of the structural foundation which protects against moisture damage. The next is the biological layer which supports colonization of organisms like moss and drought-tolerant vegetation and acts as an internal microstructure that also aids in water retention. The last layer is a discontinuous coating with a reverse waterproofing that allows water to seep through and keep it inside the concrete.
Aside from being a novel way to renovate a home, the concrete has applications in air purification and CO2 reduction. It can absorb solar radiation, helping to regulate temperature inside the building.