Smart elements for sustainable building envelopes
SESBE project, funder under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development of the European Union (FP7), aimed to provide new solutions for lightweight, energy efficient and safe façade elements.
For the first time nanomaterials and nanotechnology were suggested for this type of application. It was used as a tool to custom design functional and performance properties of façade sandwich elements for new constructions and half elements for refurbishment of existing buildings, as well as a new type of sealing tape and intumescent coating for fire protection.
The new solutions are expected to have a significant impact on the building sector, not only commercially and societal but also giving impulses to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to invest more in innovation and to partner-up with competent research partners whenever possible. This approach could be a role model for the partnership of research, industry and SMEs in achieving the mutual goal of making housing sustainable, energy efficient, affordable, safe and healthy.
More specifically, the project's objectives were:
• Increasing energy efficiency by improving insulation/sealing materials by using aerogel. The used aerogel, called Quartzene®, by itself is not nanosized but the effect of aerogel is based on the nanostructured nature of the material (nanosized pores).
• Increasing fire resistance of materials by
- using mostly inorganic, non-combustible materials for the panel components (except for sealing tape);
- utilising heat reflective coatings with transparent conductive oxides (TCO).
• Implementing surface functions of the façade elements by
- easy-to-clean properties by nanostructuring of concrete surfaces in conjunction with a bulk hydrophobic agent in the concrete;
- self-cleaning properties using a top coating of modified, super-oleophobic nanosized titanium dioxide.
- Made aware new types of cement based multi functional cement based materials for facade applications: Thinner, lighter and a good thermal performance.
- Developed new mineral based and highly effective insulation material.
- Provided opportunities for participating industries to expand their knowledge and increase their marked competition.
- Initiated material and component developments, which can be further developed to functional building products.
Project duration: From August 2013 to January 2017.