Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Smart windows: A no-brainer for future buildings

All across Europe, consortiums of EU researchers are working hard on new concepts of smart windows that will help to reduce the energy bill of new and retrofitted buildings. A comfortable place for manufacturers in a growing market and the EU ambitions for reducing its CO2 emissions are at stake.
Smart windows: A no-brainer for future buildings
Windows are one of the most determining aspects in the conception and design of energy-efficient buildings. In Europe only, excessive heat loss and gain through windows are deemed to account for about 4 % of Europe's total energy consumption.
Reducing this energy bill is one of the main challenges facing industry, and the market is already getting to grips with it. The first stage of technological evolution mostly saw glazing technology move away from single- to double- and now tripled-glazed windows. But whilst this already represents a dramatic change, the true revolution is only about to hit the market: ‘Smart windows’ – a concept encompassing novel technologies that help control or store the light and heat transferred from outdoor in – will soon be a must have on the product lists of all market players.
According to a recent report by Research and Markets, the global revenues from electrochromic (EC) glass and films – special glass coating controlled with a manual switch which can block up to 98% of solar radiation – will reach EUR 580 million by 2024. Other smart window solutions like photochromic, thermochromic, SPD, PDLC, hydrogel, pixel-based and microblind technologies would bring up this value to over EUR 650 million. These facts raise a fundamental question: is the EU industry technologically ready to claim a substantial share of this emerging market?
Over the past few years the EU has been lending market players a hand to ensure that they will be ready when the time comes. This CORDIS Results Pack covers some of the most exciting technologies being developed within this framework, ranging from advanced EC film technologies to lightweight materials, quadruple glazing, energy-harvesting solutions and other innovative approaches to insulation and energy efficiency.
A window of opportunity for CO2 reduction
More than 60 % of the total heat loss of buildings takes place through windows. Technology to significantly improve window insulation properties while reducing price and the carbon...
Smarter windows, smarter energy management
Up to 40 % of European primary energy is consumed in buildings and 20 % of this energy is lost due to the building envelope and especially the windows. The SMARTBLIND project aims...
EU project opens up potential for energy-efficient windows
New insulated window concepts that enable manufacturers to achieve energy savings of up to 15 % and weight reductions of up to 50 % have been developed.
Windows that preheat and cool themselves
A European consortium of manufacturers and suppliers is developing a high-performance self-regulating window which looks set to dramatically reduce heat loss from buildings.
EU research opens window on energy saving building innovations
Ultra-thin glass membranes and ink-jet printed organic photovoltaic (OPV) are just some of the energy saving innovations developed by EU researchers.
Wrapping buildings in a layer of insulating liquid
Large-area fluidic windows use a fluid contained in microchannels to harvest ambient heat and solar energy and manage heat exchange, thereby boosting energy efficiency.
Smart windows with electrochromic film: almost ready for prime time
EC film devices have been hampered in making the move from research to innovation by a number of technical and economic obstacles. EELICON aims to overcome these obstacles by...
Integrated window system aims to cut heat loss – and provide warmth
An EU-backed project is tackling one of the main causes of heat loss in buildings by developing an integrated window system that can provide homes with warmth while delivering...
More about research and innovation in the field of Energy-efficient Buildings:
Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) - Research & Innovation - Key Enabling Technologies - European Commission

Related Results Packs

Old meets green: New technologies to retrofit buildings in Europe
A great deal of EU-funded projects are focusing on the building renovation industry to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient materials and technologies.
New materials: Reducing building's embodied energy
The construction industry is one of the biggest consumers of energy and raw materials, and a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. EU research into innovative new building...
Striking a balance between energy efficiency and indoor air quality
Technologies guaranteeing acceptable indoor air quality in EU buildings will be key to the market success of energy efficient solutions. This Results Pack sheds light on some of the...
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