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Chemical Industry brings 4 Key Innovations to the Smart Cities Platform

The role of chemical innovation in realizing Smart Cities is vital. The European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) has published a new report outlining where chemistry can make an immediate impact: ‘Innovative Chemistry for Energy Efficiency of Buildings in Smart Cities’.

Cities are crucial for the social, economic and entrepreneurial development of the EU. To achieve true ‘smart living’ in the future will require major joint public and private efforts, as acknowledged by the Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership (EIP) proposed by the European Commission. The SusChem report analyses the nature of Europe’s building stock – comprising some 1.6 million structures in the EU-27 – and concludes that substantial gains in energy efficiency can be gained through refurbishment solutions. The Key Innovations described in the report are: 1) High Performance Insulation Foams and Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIP) that can reduce energy heating costs from 30% up to 80%. Cavity wall insulation maintains the thermal storage capacity (thermal inertia) of the building external walls, thus keeping temperature fluctuations at acceptable. VIP provide design freedom when refurbishing glass facade buildings. Their insulation performance is almost three times higher than conventional insulation materials. 2) Phase Change Materials (PCM) that enable walls and ceilings to absorb and store excess heat during the day and release it at night, providing energy efficiency on heating and cooling. PCM enables walls and ceilings to absorb and store excessive heat during the day, in order to dissipate the excessive heat during the night when air temperatures has gone down 3) High Reflectance and Durable Outdoor Coatings that if applied to roofs and walls reflect radiation from sunlight and reduce roof and wall temperatures, leading to energy savings on cooling. Such coatings on building roofs and walls in hotter climate regions can save up to 15% of air conditioning energy consumption while also allowing for smaller and more effective conditioning systems. 4) High Reflectance Indoor Coatings that reflect light better than normal paints and maximize the feeling of space and illumination. These coatings optimize the use of natural and artificial light (increased perceived light up to 20%) and can help keep sunshine heat inside the building in wintertime. Today 40% of primary energy Europe is used for heating and cooling buildings. “Overall using these tested energy efficiency solutions can reduce primary energy use in buildings by up to 70%” said SusChem coordinator Jacques Komornicki

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