Disruptive Tech Property Industry Impact – Advanced Materials
10th in the series on the impact of the McKinsey and Company 12 Disruptive Technologies, this one has endless possibilities – Advanced Materials.
I really don’t know where to start with this one. I’ve got 15 minutes before my self imposed deadline and have so many possibilities for the application of Advanced Materials in the property industry going through my head I don’t think I can do it justice in 15 minutes.
OK, lets start listing them.
Smart Glass and Smart Insulation – we have seen photochromatic and electrochromatic glass in the development stage for years. It’s awesome. It varies the amount of sunlight coming into a building but changing the properties of the coating on the glass. But what about varying U-Value as well? We want to vary the amount of heat being lost or gained from the building dependent upon the outside temperatures. Could Advanced Materials change their conductivity as the outside temperature changes?
Nanoelectronics – one of the biggest consumers of energy within office buildings is the energy used for IT equipment. Could nanoelectronics change the energy consumption of our IT equipment as well? As the devices shrink does their energy shrink? Could nanoelectronics be used to reduce the heat output from IT equipment – greatly reducing the air conditioning load?
Nano Phase Change – could nano technology be used to embed phase change materials into all elements of a building so that the whole office building including office furniture become one big heat sink? It would greatly reduce the cooling load as well as reducing peak energy demand.
Self Cleaning Office – self cleaning glass has been around for a while but how about self cleaning everything? Could the inside of an office self clean? Could advanced materials be used to absorb dust particles into the structure or fabric of the building and then only cleaned once a year?
Energy Producing Carpet – pedestrian power has been in development for a while but its fairly cumbersome and doesn’t produce a lot of energy. So could advanced material development create nano level pedestrian power that can be embedded into carpet tiles or pavements to generate electricity from foot fall?
Germ Absorbing Ducts – we know that more fresh air and less recirculation of air within an office can reduce the number of sick days through reducing the spread of germs and viruses through air conditioning systems. Could advanced material developments create a lining that is applied to the inside of the air conditioning ductwork to absorb and kill germs and viruses. While i am sat on a train writing this listening to the coughs and sneezes maybe trains should be the first application!
Nano Sound Absorption – one of the biggest barriers to natural ventilation in office buildings is the transference of noise from the road traffic outside to inside the office through an open window. Could advanced materials be used in our roads and facades of our buildings to absorb traffic sound?
Artificial Daylight – seeing phosphorescence in the oceans as night is absolutely incredible could advanced materials reproduce this within out buildings to produce a daylight effect deep into out buildings with little or no energy. We would have to play with the colour, not sure i would want to work in an office that glows green!
Anyway, self imposed deadline is here. Time to get off the train. I might have to add some more later.
What other applications of advanced materials in the property industry can you think of?