Custom-designed wood could keep buildings cool by reflecting sunlight

by Andrew Manns | 10 Jun 2019
It is a sustainable material to combat global warming
– Tian Li

A team of researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park, have invented a special type of engineered wood that might be able to reduce carbon emissions and reduce cooling costs by 60 per cent.

In order to create the material, the scientists soaked basswood in a solution of hydrogen peroxide to strip away its lignin (glue-like polymers that absorb heat and harden plant cells).

The wood was then placed on a hot press to compress its remaining cellulose molecules, creating a product that’s eight times stronger than natural wood.

Since cellulose reflects almost all visible light and absorbs low levels of infrared light, the high-tech wood has a natural cooling effect, helping to dissipate heat all day and night.

In their study, which was published last May in Science, the scientists tested their hypothesis by modelling the “cooling savings of their wood for 16 different U.S. cities”.

Ultimately they found energy savings between 20 and 60 per cent.

According to Tian Li, one of the paper’s authors, the wood could also help to make buildings in dry climes less dependent on air conditioning, which is considered to be a major contributor to global warming.

Recently, The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that cooling energy use had “doubled since 2000”.

The IEA also said it could “more than double between now and 2040 due to increased activity and use of air conditioning”.

Speaking on the study’s findings, Li explained: “The processed wood uses the cold universe as heat sink and releases thermal energy into it via an atmospheric transparency window.

“It is a sustainable material for sustainable energy to combat global warming.”

wood  University of Maryland  cellulose 
A team of researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park, have invented a special type of engineered wood that might be able to reduce carbon emissions and reduce cooling costs by 60 per cent. In order to create the material, the scientists soaked basswood in a solution of hydrogen peroxide to strip away its lignin (glue-like polymers that absorb heat and harden plant cells). The wood was then placed
CLD,ARC,DES
The high-tech material has a natural cooling effect and is eight times stronger than natural wood / University of Maryland
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7313     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7313     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Fabio Alemanno Design Ltd
Based on ancient knowledge – and confirmed by scientific research – warmth is one of the most important sources of healing and preventative therapy available.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Profile: Daan Roosegaarde
"I want to demonstrate that creativity is our true capital as humans "

Rather than feeling fearful and helpless about the future, we must design a way out of the environmental problems we have created, argues the innovative Dutch designer, artist and inventor Daan Roosegaarde

Interview: Elizabeth de Portzamparc
Elizabeth de Portzamparc
"We need to stop the destruction of our world through predatory practices. We need to think of the future"

The architect behind Nimes’ Musée de la Romanité on designing to counter loneliness and the need for more cultural buildings

Last word: Tina Norden
Tina Norden
"We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional"

Conran and Partners’ Tina Norden on playing with colour at Prague’s newly redesigned Hotel Maximilian

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Earthy tones and natural materials create a relaxed feel
"Sam was such a champion for the team, and my goal is simply to carry that same torch"

As Blackberry Mountain resort opens in Tennessee, we find out why the project is a deeply personal one for owner Mary Celeste Beall

The interiors are by Hong Kong-based practice CCD with input from Jochman
Martin Jochman founded JADE+QA in 2013. He formerly worked for Atkins
"We didn’t want to put in any gimmicks. We wanted to create a building that’s inherently sustainable through passive sustainability"

When Martin Jochman set out to transform an old quarry into a luxury hotel, he faced some serious challenges

features
Thomas Woltz
"I am very proud of stewarding the largest public space to be built in Manhattan in a century"

The Wall Street Journal’s Design Innovator of the Year on designing the gardens at Hudson Yards and looking to the Native Americans for ideas on how to create a resilient future

Movement in the platform creates vibrations, adding a sense of danger
Alan Metcalfe
"When people are a bit scared, they gather together"

Featuring a vibrating glass platform and one of the US’s longest tree canopy walks, Whiting Forest has been designed to bring visitors closer to nature and to one another

cladkit product news
Pelle DVN Table inspired by traditional Japanese carpentry
The DVN Table was created using Japanese joinery techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Jean and Oliver Pelle, the husband and wife team behind New York-based design studio Pelle, have created the DVN Table, ...
Naval architect launches solar-powered floating pods
The Anthénea pod is a luxury floating suite that could be used as a spa or treatment suite
Lauren Heath-Jones
Naval architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle has designed a solar-powered floating hotel suite aimed at offering an eco-friendly and nomadic place for ...
ZHD'S MEW Coffee Table explores relationship between surface and structure
The MEW Coffee Table is described as an investigation into the relationship between surface and structure
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with Italian furniture design firm Sawaya & Moroni to create the Mew Coffee Table. The ...
cladkit product news
Tino Seubert x Theodora Alfredsdottir lighting collection inspired by mid-century furniture making traditions
The Corrugation Lights were inspired by midcentury and post-war furniture making techniques
London-based designers Tino Seubert and Theodora Alfredsdottir have teamed up to create Corrugation Lights, a lighting collection inspired by midcentury ...
Canteen collection combines nostalgia with modern aesthetics
The Canteen collection was inspired by post-war British design techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Very Good & Proper (VG&P), a British furniture brand, has curated a new dining collection that combines traditional woodworking techniques ...
John Pomp Studios expands Tidal collection
The Eclipse Pendant light was inspired by the lunar eclipse
Lauren Heath-Jones
John Pomp Studios, a design practice based in Philadelphia in the US, has expanded its Tidal collection to include five ...
cladkit product news
Space Popular creates video installation for the Gwangmyeongmun Gate in South Korea
Gate of Bright Lights was designed to show visitors how screens and digital interfaces have replaced physical objects the gateway between us and the rest of the world.
Lauren Heath-Jones
Multidisciplinary design firm Space Popular has created a video installation for the Gwangmyeongmun Gate at the Deoksugung Palace in Seoul, ...
Tom Dixon Rock collection inspired by Dixon's travels to India
The Rock collection is made with green marble and was inspired by Tom Dixon's travels to India
Lauren Heath-Jones
British designer studio, Tom Dixon Studio has launched a new collection of marble sculptures inspired by his frequent trips to ...
Arlon Graphics debuts architectural collection
Arlon's architectural range is aimed at interior designers looking for innovative and affordable renovation solutions
Lauren Heath-Jones
Arlon Graphics, a plastic and vinyl manufacturer based in The Netherlands, has launched a range of architectural graphic vinyl films ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates
x
Email this to a friend or colleague
I am happy for Leisure Media to contact me occasionally by email and understand that I can opt out at any time.
Custom-designed wood could keep homes cool by reflecting sunlight
A team of researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park, have invented a special type of engineered wood that might be able to reduce carbon emissions and reduce cooling costs by 60 per cent.