Smart windows could reduce the need for energy-hungry air conditioners

Smart windows that control the amount of heat that enters or leaves a building can reduce the need for energy-intensive air conditioning units and help efforts to retrofit Europe’s buildings to make them more energy efficient.

The European Union is facing a significant challenge as approximately 75% of its buildings are energy inefficient. To address this, there's a growing focus on retrofitting old buildings to prevent heat leakage and enhance energy efficiency. Ioannis Papakonstantinou, a professor of nanoengineering at University College London, is leading the Intelglazing research project. They are utilizing nanotechnology and photonics to create nanometer-thin window coatings that enhance insulation in buildings.

The Intelglazing glass technology consists of two key components. The first is a microscopic layer of nanostructured glass shaped like tiny hair combs, which scatter sunlight and reduce glare. The second part involves a material called vanadium oxide, which can attach to the nanostructured glass. This material is thermochromic and can change its color based on temperature, providing energy-efficient properties. Moreover, these windows are hydrophobic, making them self-cleaning and efficient for use in buildings like skyscrapers.

The aim of the Intelglazing project is to reduce energy use by 25% by effectively managing sunlight and to make windows over 50% more efficient compared to existing window technologies. This advancement comes at a time when nanotechnology in windows is gaining momentum, proving to be an essential component in the retrofitting of buildings for improved energy efficiency.

Read the full news article here.


Document Details and Download

Date published
11 March 2021
Journal Magazine
Horizon The EU Research and Innovation Magazine
Publisher (Company, Organisation)
European Commission
Research Project Title
IntelGlazing; ReCO2ST; CLIMAWIN
Funding Reference for Project (if applicable)
GA 679891; GA 768576; GA 262262
Companies mentioned (up to 8); separate by Semikolon
University College London, UK; Aalborg University in Denmark

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