Intelligent Manufacturing Systems ( IMS ) is behind the "nanohouse" project to demonstrate applications of nanotechnology and their interaction with conventional building materials. The nanohouse is to represent best practice in sustainable and environmentally friendly housing, in concert with the most recently developed materials.
The science of nanotechnology refers to technology on an atomic or molecular scale and although at the cutting-edge of convergence of scientific disciplines few people outside the nanotechnology R&D community are aware of its commercial potential. The nanohouse initiative aims to design a new kind of very energy efficient domestic house, where the materials used are the results of nanoscience research and nanotechnology.
Some of the types of technologies under consideration for inclusion in the house include:
- UV/IR filtering and reflecting windows for control of unwanted solar heat gain
- Self-cleaning TiO2 coated glass
- Protective coatings for furniture offering UV protection
- Bottles, food containers etc. with tuned optical properties for the enhancement of shelf life of both containers and contents
- Cold lighting systems for the harvesting of daylight during the day and use with ultra efficient bright white LED light sources
- Water quality control systems that remove pollutants from water, and clean effluent water
- Clothes and other textiles with reduced need for washing with detergent
- Light coloured paints without glare and dark pigments for paints that do not retain heat
- Cosmetics such as sunscreens that are transparent yet perform like those that are opaque