Living Concrete Incorporates Helpful Bacteria

150504125010-bioconcrete-exlarge-169We have invented bioconcrete — that’s concrete that heals itself using bacteria,” says Henk Jonkers of¬†Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

We use a lot of concrete in our modern world. Concrete often cracks. “If you have cracks, water comes through – in your basements, in a parking garage. Secondly, if this water gets to the steel reinforcements…if they corrode, the structure collapses.”

“The bioconcrete is mixed just like regular concrete, but with an extra ingredient — the ‘healing agent’. It remains intact during mixing, only…becoming active if…water gets in.”

Now Jonkers hopes his concrete could be the start of a new age of biological buildings.

“It is combining nature with construction materials,” he says. “Nature is supplying us a lot of functionality for free — in this case, limestone-producing bacteria. If we can implement it in materials, we can really benefit from it, so I think it’s a really nice example of tying nature and the built environments together in one new concept.”

Read the article from CNN here.

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