Everyone carries with them preconceived notions of how things are, or how they should be, based on their experience with them. In particular, the physical qualities of things are often unquestioned. These preconceived notions create boundaries that are often subconscious. Therefore, it is refreshing to learn about discoveries or inventions that seem to defy our understanding of physical qualities. These discoveries have shock value at first, but then they force us to think outside the box of expectations. A great idea or discovery will often take on a life of its own that sustains itself through the ideas of others it touches. One such idea that recently crossed my desk is translucent concrete; concrete with all its hardness and properties, but allowing light and shadows of shapes to pass through it.
The trademark name is LiTraCon, and was developed by Áron Losonczi in Hungary a decade ago, and is still gaining its momentum as a patented product. Obviously, there are many standard uses for concrete. But what happens when you have the ability for light to transmit through it? A blank page for creative expression opens up with new ways to use LiTraCon. Apparent are the architectural possibilities which are limitless, but then there are many potential uses yet to be thought of, just waiting for the idea to reach the person to fulfill it.
There are practical uses as safety in previously dark corridors in power outages; allowing natural light into subway stations; and as the walls of a building. I can imagine seeing the trees sway through the eastern walls of my bedroom upon waking to the morning sunlight. Now it is possible to add the element of electric or luminous lights to anything that can be made with LiTraCon as well. In the daytime, light and shadows from outside are invited into the interior creating a new harmonious environment. At night, the lights from a restaurant or dance club can penetrate outside to entice passersby. Creating harmony with interior and exterior elements separated by a concrete wall is now possible.
The material is made from approximately 96% concrete and 4% glass optical fibers. The fiber allows light and shadows of nearby shapes to pass through, but is far from being a window. But this is concrete! The properties of the LiTraCon allow for it to be a load bearing material. Imagine opening your glen cove homes for sale garage to find a luminous concrete floor you park on. Imagine a parking garage made of translucent materials; or perhaps the walls of your office. Unfortunately, the cost is still very expensive to consumers. This greatly limits LiTraCon from reaching its potential. Hopefully, the price will come down to a range that allows the idea to spread worldwide. From an energy conservation standpoint, we can reduce the need for electrical lighting in certain structures. It still takes a lot of energy to make concrete, but the potential savings from various uses is inviting and worth consideration. The world will always have need for solid structure materials. Now, with LiTraCon, there is new light on possibilities.
Post sponsored in part by: Garden City Real Estate