When it comes to modern architecture these days, there is one concern that thankfully, people take into consideration – that is, how “green” a particular building is. After all, we only have one earth, and I don’t think many of us fancy being shipped over to the moon or Mars to live should the earth end up as nigh inhospitable, right? Well, modern skyscrapers then to be covered in a whole lot of glass, reflecting heat back to the atmosphere and generally increasing the temperature by a bit. Smart windows might change that in the near future, where according to Delia Milliron, deputy director of the Molecular Foundry at Berkeley Lab, “We have are developing a coating that comprises a thin layer of nanocrystals that transmit visible light and can reject near infrared light.”
Basically, a cold day will see visible and the near-infrared light being let through so that the building can get warmed up faster, but when it is sweltering on the outside, sending a few volts of electricity through the smart windows would pave the way for visible light to be transmitted, although light in the near-infrared spectrum will be blocked – effectively keeping the sun’s heat out. This way, the building’s air conditioning system need not work as hard, and it will definitely go some way in reducing the overall running costs of maintaining a building.