NANOTECHNOLOGY-BASED MATERIALS APPLIED IN CURTAIN WALL SYSTEM: A CASE STUDY FROM TURKEY

Osman Zeki Şahin, Yeliz Tülübaş Gökuç

Abstract


Purpose

Application of nanotechnology in construction sector brings innovation to building materials like self-cleaning and antifog. These features make it possible to shorten the maintenance and repair periods of building materials, and thereby reduce maintenance costs. The development of environmentally friendly building materials become very important to reduce air pollution and adverse effects. The competitiveness of companies in the construction sector is based on technological developments. Now, it is possible to reduce costs and respond to various customer demands owing to new technologies. Nanotechnology affects many sectors as a technology that contributes significantly to the development of the properties of materials, and it has also found its place in the construction sector. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of nanomaterials used in the construction sector in the context of glass and curtain wall systems. Also, the aims of this paper are to reveal the advantages of nanomaterials by examining the differences between the traditional and the nanotechnology applications used in glass and curtain wall systems, to remark nanomaterial applications in construction sector, and finally to expand awareness in this regard.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This study consisted in reviewing existing nanomaterials in the curtain wall system applications through projects, and conducting a survey. A preliminary letter and a 14-question survey were prepared. This study covers aluminum composite and glass curtain wall suppliers which were contacted by email. Face to face interviews were made with those who could not be reached by e-mail. The survey that was formed by the authors was sent to 68 participants working in the aluminum composite and glass curtain wall companies operating in the construction sector.

Findings

The findings of the study show that there are a limited number of structures using nanomaterials in Turkey. While these materials are used in many different parts of the structures, the most preferred in the outer shell design of the buildings (curtain wall systems).The construction sector should be considered as one of the critical sectors where nanotechnology can be practiced.

Research Limitations/Implications

The paper contains the normal limitations associated with the survey method including potential non-response bias.

Practical Implications

Potential of nanotechnology applications is growing in the construction field. There are large numbers of nanotechnology applications in the sector. However, construction sector is a traditional and cost oriented industry, rather than a technology focused sector. High cost of nanotechnology-based materials is a major obstacle to applications of nanotechnology in the construction sector. Even though some steps have been taken in the field of nanotechnology, the sector should be supported with incentives by government and research institutions.

Social Implications

The construction sector is the largest sector that causes environmental problems through construction, operation and maintenance of buildings. Due to its potential contribution to sustainability, it makes nanotechnology one of the most promising technologies in the green building area. Nanotechnology has much to offer the construction industry as it moves towards a more sustainable future. The effects of nanotechnological materials on the environment and human health are not clearly defined yet. More studies needed about that.

Originality/Value

Performing such a study is considered to be crucial for construction sector of developed and developing countries, so that the construction sector also avails benefits from this revolutionary technology.


Keywords


Curtain wall system, glass curtain wall, aluminum curtain wall system, nano-products, nanotechnology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15320/ICONARP.2020.118
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