Saturday, April 08, 2006

Building With Light Materials

A building under construction in Japan will use natural light to illuminate its rooms, even during the night.

Japanese construction company Shimizu and electronics giant Sharp have jointly developed a transparent building material that absorbs light during the day and uses it to light up rooms when the Sun goes down. The material is being used to construct a new office complex in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, on the south eastern edge of Japan.

Sections of the office's walls look transparent, but actually contain incredibly thin solar panels and as many as 320 light-emitting diodes that release whitish-blue light at night. According to NikkeiNet Interactive (paid subscription required), the walls can convert 7% of solar energy into electricity and illuminate the building for an average of 4.6 hours every night.

The image here shows another of Shimizu's office buildings, named Izumi Garden, in Tokyo.


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