Energy Efficient Buildings

Smart Materials

Although windows are important for providing daylight and solar heat gain control, they are 
also a direct cause of about 50% energy loss through convection, conduction and radiation 
through what is typically a heavily insulated envelope within which they sit.

Improving the performance of windows is critical for saving energy consumption of buildings.


Overview and objectives

Modulation of composition and structure in the composites of polymer and ionic liquid can lead to thermochromic behaviour in response to temperature variation.

These novel composites changed colour in the temperature range (e.g. 30 ~ 80oC) that is readily achievable under direct or indirect sunlight, and hence termed as solar-thermochromic composites.

This finding signifies applications in many areas, but particularly the built environment for improved energy efficiency. For example, these materials may be applied in truly smart windows that can, at high summer temperatures, automatically reduce light transmittance through windows and hence the energy consumption for air conditioning and refrigeration.

Thermochromic (TC) smart windows, which change colour and optical properties in response to temperature variations, are one of the most promising technologies for regulating energy consumption in buildings.


The research aims on understanding the relationship between community assets and social cohesion through developing cross-disciplinary tools applied to existing communities and regeneration projects.

Research team


NAGHIYEV, E., GILLOTT, M. and WILSON, R., 2014.  Three unobtrusive domestic occupancy measurement technologies under qualitative review, Energy and Buildings. 69,507-514

CUCE, E, CUCE, P.M, WOOD, C.J and RIFFAT, S.B, 2014.  Toward aerogel based thermal superinsulation in buildings: A comprehensive review Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 34, Pages 273–299

HALL, M. R., CASEY, S. P., LOVEDAY, D. L. and GILLOTT, M., 2013.  Analysis of UK domestic building retrofit scenarios based on the E.ON Retrofit Research House using energetic hygrothermics simulation - Energy efficiency, indoor air quality, occupant comfort, and mould growth potential: Building and Environment Building and Environment. 70, 48-59

GILLOTT, M., RODRIGUES, L., SPATARU, C., 2010.  Low-carbon housing design informed by research. Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineering - Engineering Sustainability 163(2): 77 -87

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