Transparent wood, cigarette butt bricks top sustainable construction breakthroughs

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In the United Kingdom, renewable solutions are helping the construction industry—the cause of nearly half of the country’s carbon emissions—become a little greener. Planning and Building Control Today compiled several of the top green technologies, noting that the country needs to build 300,000 homes per year to keep up with housing needs.

For example, Swedish researchers have found a way to make wood transparent, creating a renewable alternative to plastic and grass. Scientists at Australia’s RMIT University have found a way to discarded cigarette butts into bricks, reducing the energy required for baking. And in Singapore, bamboo-reinforced concrete has been found to be more environmentally friendly but also has more flexibility to withstand earthquakes.