Home Science Semi-Transparent Cement Technology Can Revolutionize Building Lighting

Semi-Transparent Cement Technology Can Revolutionize Building Lighting

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The dark opaque walls of any building contribute to a number of negative
effects; They give a congested feeling like the walls are closing in on
you, then there is also the problem of lighting as each room has to
have its own lighting equipment and wiring and they also appear to be
artificial. 
Italcementi, The famous Italian company has recently manufactured a
semi-transparent cement that would allow the much-needed light through
the walls and minimize the problems discussed above.

Their work isn’t just limited to theory or research as they constructed a
building from this cement at an exhibition in Shanghai, China. They
made 3,774 see-through panels using this cement in a 60-40 ratio. These
panels were later used to cover 1,887 sq. meters of a building.
They call this project the i.light concept. The i.lighted building
appeared somewhat different from the outside but the main difference was
witnessed from inside since the walls are transmitting light and you
can even see silhouettes of the scenery outside and even next door
within the building as well. This gives an immediate aura of
spaciousness as opposed to the blank walls that promote conformity and
seclusion. 

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Italcementi says that their mixture bonds with thermoplastic polymer
structure to create a “holey” form of structure as it creates minute
microscopic holes in the wall that help in the propagation of light from
inside to outside and from one room to another. The structure gives the
overall appearance of a giant “honeycomb” as Italcementi puts it. 

From a
certain distance, the walls appear just like any other concrete wall
but from a nearer range, we can see the semi-transparent nature of the
structure. The structure allows roughly 20% of the incident light into
the building.
In sunny days, a lot of electricity can be saved through buildings
based on i.light concept. Not only it provides better light, it also
helps in better air circulation in the building thus saving money on Air
conditioners and ventilators as well.

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