Aerogel blanket was originally developed by NASA. It is the lightest and most efficient insulation material commercially available. It is also white, translucent and flexible.In the following scheme Aerogel has been sandwiched between two PTFE sheets creating a translucent, waterproof and highly insulating membrane. This has then been wrapped around a reinforced concrete structure. The proposal provides a translucent lightweight building system with thermal performance exceeding current opaque facade systems. The lightweight building system reduces the need for artificial lighting by maximising natural day lighting. The membrane is pushed and pulled at points by the concrete structure. This creates inconceivable warped space, which can also provide control of solar exposure. The membrane provides large amounts of space for vegetation and photovoltaics, further increasing its sustainable qualities.
Using an aerogel membrane to wrap a reinforced concrete structure provides a lightweight, rapid construction building system. The membrane is translucent reducing artificial lighting, reducing drain on electricity supplies and CO2 emissions. Thermal performance is not reduced when comparing an aerogel membrane to conventional facade materials. The thickness of aerogel within the membrane can be increased to the North increasing insulation values and decreased to the South, reducing thermal insulation values but increasing solar gain. The vast, smooth surfaces of the buildings membrane could possibly house PVs or pockets of greenery, shading internal areas whilst benefiting the environment.
Triple layer membrane:
• U-value: 0.077
• Membrane thickness: < 50mm