For a long time, answers such as “improve insulation” or “designed better HVAC” systems would have likely been what first came to mind. However, with new building guidelines, standards, and especially with the emergence of organizations such as LEED, Energy Star, and the National Green Building Standard coming to the main stage, a lot of what can be done from a design standpoint has been covered.
The title of this entry is more of a question, rather than statement, although it could be interpreted either way. What I would like to ask all of you is “What do you think the next big leap in building efficiency will be”?
My own personal guess would be window efficiency and the introduction of this handy little material that some of you probably already know about. Its called “Aerogel”, and it has the potential to revolutionize window efficiency. Currently, glass is one of the most energy inefficient materials used in building construction. Even double, or triple pane glass tend to lose their effectiveness after approximately 10 years. At the expense of some partial degree of clarity, Aerogel, as a window insulator could drastically improve the efficiency of windows without (but with, would be better) the use of storm windows or plastic window wrap (you know, the annoying material you need to put up in the winter).
While not directly aimed at window insulation, take a quick look at the article below and tell me what you think. Cheers.
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