In the modern world, we’re all being encouraged to save as much energy as possible. In terms of our homes, there are many options for adding insulation to make them more efficient. The homes of the future, though, are likely to see a new generation of materials to make them even more efficient.
The problem with most forms of added insulation is that they tend to be quite bulky. But with the latest materials, the insulation can be part of the structure of the building, making more living space available. Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), for example, can be made thin whilst still being able to meet the latest insulation standards.
Another trend is the Vacuum Insulation Panel (VIP) that uses air trapped between layers of material to insulate in the same way as a vacuum flask. One big advantage of this technology is that it retains its thermal performance at a high level for long periods.
The majority of post-war houses have cavity walls, and often this cavity gets filled in order to provide insulation. Future homes will benefit from technology like pre-insulated wall panels which are made in a factory and can simply be assembled on site, giving a weatherproof structure that needs no added insulation.
The roof is also a source of lost heat, and newer buildings are starting to turn to innovative solutions like green roofs. By planting vegetation on the roof, they help to reduce stormwater run-off in wet weather. They also reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the structure and therefore help with temperature control and reduce the amount of expansion and contraction in the roof.
You can upgrade the windows of your existing home to the latest standards by getting them replaced by a Leicester double glazing company like http://www.absolutewindowsolutions.co.uk/, but the homes of the future will have much cleverer glass technology. So-called ‘smart windows’ have a film of tiny solar cells embedded in the glass itself. These allow for control of how much sunlight passes through the glass, helping householders save on the costs of heating and cooling.
There’s also the option of polycarbonate panels. These can be used to create translucent walls that allow light in without being fully transparent. They are also much less costly than windows.
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