Climate change is making it more challenging for engineers and planners to design buildings and other infrastructure that can withstand Canada’s weather conditions. Dr. Umberto Berardi, Canada Research Chair in Building Science, aims to integrate nanotechnologies to develop and test advanced, responsive building façade systems that are more resilient and demand less energy. (A façade system refers to the exterior of a building that provides a barrier from the elements.)
These new systems will incorporate solar-reflecting coatings, phase-change materials (substances that absorb or release large amounts of latent heat) and aerogel (an ultra-light, low-density structural material). Berardi and his research team are studying how these new systems perform as well as how they weather the elements over time. Ultimately, they aim to see these innovative, responsive building façade systems used in Canadian construction.