Ten Years of Nanotechnology in Architecture

G. Elvin
Ball State University,
United States

Keywords: green building, building materials, nanotechnology


Ten years ago, demand for nanomaterials in the U.S. construction industry totaled less than $20 million Today, demand exceeds one billion dollars per year. Hundreds of companies offer nanomaterials for green building?in paints, sealants, wallboard, solar panels and more. Self-cleaning windows, smog-eating concrete, and toxin-sniffing nanosensors are all on the market. Recent advances in nanotechnology are contributing to building energy conservation and on-site renewable energy, reducing dependence on non-renewable resources. Other products still in development offer even more promise for dramatically improving the environmental and energy performance of buildings. Photovoltaic windows, roofing and fa├žade panels now entering the market, for example, could turn future buildings into enormous solar collectors. The development of photocatalytic coatings points to a future of self-cleaning buildings, and advances in nanoscale adhesives may make building materials self-healing. This presentation offers a survey of where nanotechnology has transformed architecture, where it has failed to deliver, and where it is going.