As we’re about to dive woolly-hat-wearing head first into winter, the problem of keeping your home cool isn’t so pressing, but this idea is still really interesting, if not quite topical.
Keeping your home at a pleasant temperature requires a fair amount of energy. You want to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Insulation is a great way of keeping your house at the right level without using too much energy. But a new technology from ETH Zurich is all about making the home respond a little more like a human. And what do we do to stay cool?
They have developed a synthetic mat that you add to the roof of a building that basically lets the building sweat to cool down. When it rains, the mat soaks up the water. Then, when the temperature starts to rise, the mat shrinks and ‘sweats’ the moisture out, which cools down the building. Clever, right?
Testing has shown that houses with this ‘sweat mat’ on top warm up slower than those without. In fact, the researchers claim that houses with this new technology on their roofs would save 60% of the energy it would normally use to keep cool with air conditioning units. That’s a pretty impressive figure.
More testing is under way. And if all goes well, we could be encouraging our buildings to sweat so that we don’t have to.
P.S. And now for something a little more seasonal – our best ways to stay warm this winter.
(Spotted on TreeHugger)