Buildings around the world are resource-hungry; they are among the largest waste/pollution producers. For example, the building structures constitute almost half of the global raw material, 30% – 40% of the global energy consumption, and nearly 55% of waste production. This data led to the development of green sphere of construction, here in Israel and worldwide.
Is it possible to reduce the impact of building upon the environment?
Green construction uses concepts such as architectural design principles, climactic considerations and recent technological advances in order to generate a sustainable environment that fulfils the needs of the current generation without putting at risk the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The concept of green building relies upon architecture that is both considerate with the inhabitants’ needs and wellbeing while caring for the surrounding environment and reasonable resource consumption.
Nanoplate – advanced solutions in green building
Similar to so many other fields, the field of green construction stands to benefit from the scientific revolutionary discoveries in the field of nanotechnology. Based upon its own research Nanoplate, has developed advanced applications corresponding with the principles of green construction. The company is also a member in the Israeli council for green building.
As part of the international efforts to reduce energy consumption, a nano-particle dye was developed that is capable of reducing energy loss by 30%. This dye has an additional advantage – it functions as a bacteria and mold growth inhibitor.
Self-cleaning – photo-catalytic function of nano-titanium dioxide (TiO2)
Titanium dioxide has been in use for quite a long time in various applications when particle size is of one micron and up. Innovative manufacturing procedures that managed to produce nano-metric particle size brought a change in its characteristics. One of the newly acquired properties is the photo-catalytic function of nano-titanium dioxide. The substance reacts with organic pollutants and in fact actually breaks up the molecular structure.
This kind of behavior is similar in its core to the photosynthesis process that occurs in plants. It is possible to apply the material with relatively simple methods such as spraying or squirting on top of inside or outside walls.
The freshly coated surface will then have self-cleaning properties – when wet as a result of a self-initiated action; or by rain – broken up molecules get washed up while the coating remains intact. In other words, the main advantage of using the material is in significantly reducing the use of harmful and unfriendly detergents. Such surfaces have already been implemented in Japan and other countries. Fronts of buildings coated with the material can keep moldy blemishes and bacteria away for a period of up to a decade. It is possible to exploit the material also for vast metropolitan areas to reduce the detrimental conditions such as air pollution, smog and the like.
Two such initiatives are already in place in Los Angeles and Milano, Italy.
Easy to Clean coatings
Nanotechnology has bred a totally new family of coats with the Lotus effect (the ability to highly repel water as shown by the Lotus leaves). Such behavior enables water and oil to be repelled from virtually any type of surface making it impervious to dirt and stains while allowing easy cleaning. The surfaces could be made up of fiber, metal, glass or any natural or synthetic building material. Low maintenance coats not only make our lives easier, they are environmentally friendly, reducing significantly the use of cleaning materials in the home and the different surroundings.