If you think about the cities of the future, it quickly conjures up images of bustling, Blade Runner-style skylines, full of monumental skyscrapers, flying cars and vast expanses of neon.
Back in the real world, the future of our cities will almost certainly be built on more realistic (and less dystopian) foundations, such as resilience, durability and sustainability.
As we head deeper into the 21st century, one of the biggest challenges facing the built environment is finding effective ways to reduce its environmental footprint (buildings are responsible for close to 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions). So, whether it’s in their design, construction or operation, the buildings we live and work in are going to have an increasingly important role to play in making our cities and communities more sustainable.
As a company that’s committed to creating more green buildings, this is a major opportunity for AkzoNobel. We supply a wide range of products and technologies that can help tackle some of the challenges the built environment is trying to overcome.
“Green buildings need to play a key role in the transition to a more sustainable future,” explains Wijnand Bruinsma, AkzoNobel’s Director of Sustainability. “We can make a vital contribution, because we offer a whole range of innovative technologies and sustainable solutions that can help to decarbonize buildings, increase circularity and improve well-being. As a result, we can help projects to achieve globally recognized green building certifications, such as LEED, BREEAM and WELL.”
One of the biggest challenges is how to keep buildings cooler, without having to rely entirely on air conditioning. We’ve developed a number of products that can reflect sunlight – such as our Cool Chemistry range of paints and coatings – which in turn help to reduce the amount of energy that buildings consume. As the planet continues to warm up, it means cities located in hotter climates in particular can benefit from incorporating these smart coatings into their design. And given the rate and spread of global warming, our heat-reflective products will also become an increasingly viable solution in other parts of the world.
Products that are part of our Cool Chemistry portfolio include:
- Interpon D2525 Low Solar Absorption powder coatings, which contain a reflective pigment that deflects infrared light – and the sun’s heat
- CERAM-A-STAR 1050, a high-performance SMP coil coating which provides exceptional durability and offers superior resistance to moisture and UV exposure
- Dulux Weathershield Sun Reflect, a high-performance exterior wall paint which can reduce the surface temperature by up to 5° Celsius