Posted: June 13, 2007

Not enough nanotechnology in construction

(Nanowerk News) NanoByg - a survey of nanoinnovation in Danish construction - has released a report that concludes that the use of nanotechnology in the construction sector can be improved.
The construction sector was among the first to be identified as a promising application area for nanotechnology back in the beginning of the 1990s. But today we see that the construction industry is falling behind other sectors in applying nanotechnology.
This report looks into the perspective and potentials of nanotechnology in construction and noticeable discusses the possibility for a Danish initiative – called NanoByg - in this area.
Behind the idea of NanoByg lie three assumptions:
1) The enabling character of nanotechnology means that it has the potential to create radical and systemic innovation within architecture and construction.
2) Current (Danish) nanoscience is to a large extent oriented at applications in other industries than construction – so it is currently unlikely to have a significant impact on the construction industry.
3) The fragmented nature of the construction sector means that it is likely to have a low uptake and spread of such a new and advanced technology as nanotechnology unless careful action is taken.
The report consists of a short analysis of the innovation trends and dynamics of respectively construction and nanotechnology, and a mapping of the activities and actors that are or could become relevant for the application of nanotechnology in architecture and construction. The focus here is very much on identifying potential nano-activities of relevance for construction and not just existing activities, which, as our mapping shows, are quite limited.
The reports main conclusions:
Insufficient cooperation hinders nano use in construction
The report states that Denmark does not use the vide range of possibilities nanotechnology makes way for in the construction sector. This is due to deficient cooperation between researchers and the construction industry and also due to few large actors within nanotechnology focusing on the technique's use in construction.
Wide range of nanotechnology use possible
Self cleaning windows, bactericidal kitchen tables, roofs with built in solar cells and windows automatically adapting the level of light. Those are just some of the possibilities nanotechnology offers for the construction sector.
Source: NanoByg