Nanotechnology in Construction: A Roadmap for Development

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Title: Nanotechnology in Construction: A Roadmap for Development

Author(s): P.J.M. Bartos

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 254

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 1-14

Keywords: construction; forecasting; guidance; nanotechnology; research and development; roadmap; trends and aims

Date: 10/1/2008

Abstract:
Compared with other major industrial sectors, the construction industry has lagged behind in awareness of the potential for exploitation of nanotechnology. Both the awareness and actual exploitation in construction are now increasing; however, progress is uneven, especially in the current early stages of its practical exploitation. A roadmap then becomes a useful tool, a template, for predictions of trends and developments connecting nanotechnology and construction. The Roadmap for Nanotechnology in Construction (RoNaC) outlined in this paper is aimed at facilitating identifications of desirable aims/destinations for construction research and technical development (RTD) over a short-to-medium timescale (up to 25 years). The RoNaC was developed as an aid for forecasting research and investment directions. It provides guidance to construction industry, investors, and national/international bodies supporting research and development about the diverse pathways toward current nanotechnology-linked expectations, aims, and targets in this very large and economically significant domain. The complexity of the construction domain is such that a single overall chart would be far too general in a scale so large that it would become incomprehensible. Sectorial or "topical" charts have been developed instead of a single "map", and three examples of such charts have been worked out to illustrate this approach. Requirements for adequate research infrastructures, effects of appropriate drivers, and diverse vehicles for RTD are considered together with an assessment of the "environment" conducive to progress along the pathways and directions indicated in the charts.