Smart solutions help save on energy bills and protect the environment
Considering that traditional buildings account for a whopping 40% of all energy consumption, and around 55% of electricity usage, it’s easy to see why more people are choosing to buy or build smart houses that are more energy efficient.
A lot of the solutions and materials used to create these conscious constructions, or smart homes, are coming from the chemical industry. While many of us know about solar energy – which uses onsite photovoltaics panels to convert energy from sunlight into electricity – few are aware of the variety of other materials also available. Some prevent thermal heat loss, such as high-performance insulation foams and panels made from recycled material, while others help destroy air pollutants.
Thanks to chemical solutions, windows and roofing can become ‘smart’ too. Glass is coated with a microscopically thin metal or a metallic oxide layer, which can change colour and opacity in response to electricity, temperature, and light. This is used in windows and roofing to reduce the heating and cooling demands of buildings. It is also possible to get windows to adapt their transparency – and even self-clean.
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