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Posted: September 20, 2007
Nanotechnology to Benefit Green Building
(Nanowerk News) "The convergence of nanotechnology and environmentally sensitive 'green building' is here, it's happening now," said Dr. George Elvin, director of Green Technology Forum and author of its latest report, "Nanotechnology for Green Building."
"In one case," Elvin noted, "a company is saving $2.6 million in energy costs and reducing their CO2 emissions by 35 million pounds per year thanks to a single nanotech innovation."
"However," he cautioned, "the nanotech and building sectors have to get to know each other a lot better in order to realize the dramatic benefits awaiting each of them."
The report facilitates the "getting to know you" mission and highlights successful examples with over 250 hyperlinked references to case studies, university research projects, patents, and technologies available for license.
"This is a state-of-the-art survey and a forecast," Elvin said. "Its benefit to the nanotech community is that it explores and explains the enormous economic opportunities in green building design, construction and operation." While alerting that community to new opportunities, the report also demonstrates to architects, building owners, contractors, engineers and others in the $1 trillion per year global building industry that nanotech is at this moment beginning to fulfill it's promise of healthful benefits for people and the environment.
"The demand for green building is at an all-time high," Dr. Elvin noted, "and those in the industry and in ownership positions adopting nanotechnology now are likely to emerge as leaders and be rewarded accordingly."
Those who do not lead may well be led by the demand for more stringent conservation measures, Elvin advised. Cities like Chicago and Seattle have already adopted stringent green building requirements for new construction, and developers must find new ways to meet them. "Nanomaterials offer a whole new frontier for green builders, and this report shows them how," Elvin said.
In addition to results of extensive research, the report presents exclusive insights into trends, drivers and barriers in the field via interviews with leaders in the nanotech arena. Elvin, whose books include cutting-edge studies published by Wiley and Princeton Architectural Press, predicted that nanotech's many environmental performance benefits "will be led by current improvements in solar insulation and coatings, followed by advances in water and air filtration, solar technology and, more distant, in lighting and structural components."
As an example he pointed to available improvements in nanocoatings for insulating, self-cleaning, UV protection, corrosion resistance and waterproofing. Some available coatings are considered "healers," in that they remove and render benign pollutants from a building's surrounding atmosphere.
While considering the obstacles to widespread adoption of nanotech in the building industry, the report presents news of the many nano-enhanced products currently on the market that have been demonstrated to outperform conventional products. "Product costs continue to fall," Elvin observed, "making nanotech's promise of reduced waste and toxicity, lower energy and raw material consumption, greater safety and security, cleaner and healthier buildings and other human health and environmental benefits far more accessible."
The resource-packed report identifies over 130 startups and established companies offering or developing nanomaterials for green building, more than 50 projects underway at universities and research centers, and 40-plus patents available for licensing. More than 250 citations and links to these resources are provided.
Ordering information for the 116-page "Nanotechnology for Green Building" report is available now at http://www.greentechforum.net/greenbuild
Dr. George Elvin, director of Green Technology Forum and author of this study, is a frequent speaker, author and advisor on emerging technologies. Published by Wiley and Princeton Architectural Press, Dr. Elvin is an Associate Professor at Ball State University, and a former Visiting Research Fellow at Edinburgh University's Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Fellow at the Center for Energy Research, Education and Service.
Green Technology Forum is a research and advising firm focused on nanotechnology and biotechnology for growing green businesses. From green building to solar energy and water filtration, we provide the experience and expertise that help businesspeople decide where they want green technology to take them. We help develop market studies, strategies, products and services that benefit our clients, their customers, and the environment.