ClearVue unveils design for “Net Zero” office building

Smart building materials company ClearVue Technologies is turning heads in Canada after unveiling a model for a six storey net zero or near zero energy-use office block. The “ClearZero” Archetype design achieves the highest performance under Toronto Green Standard building standards and scores in the top one per cent of Canadian office buildings for energy performance according to the company.

The ClearZero design came about last year after the company commissioned energy efficiency and sustainability specialists to develop an energy efficient office building. The aim was to demonstrate how ClearVue’s proprietary solar window glass technology can be used to assist in the design of highly energy efficient, energy neutral buildings.

ClearVue said it benchmarked itself against the Toronto Green Standard that it said is one of the toughest building code standards in the world in relation to energy use.

The company said ClearZero Archetype would achieve an Energy Star score of 99 out of 100, putting it in the top one per cent of Canadian office buildings for energy performance if built to the Archetype design.

ClearVue said the use of its integrated photovoltaic solar energy harnessing glazing solution as the primary facade across the total building was integral to the design as was the use of higher glazing to wall ratios on the facades with higher solar exposure.

The company’s patented technology involves a thin see-through film that sits within two or more layers of window glass where it soaks up energy from the sun before delivering that energy to ClearVue’s proprietary panels that border the window glass.

ClearVue believes its technology could transform glass into a renewable energy resource instead of simply being used as a standard building material.

It says windows are historically the weak link in a building’s thermal performance and low carbon building designs often have reduced window to wall ratios however higher ratios could potentially be maintained when using its technology allowing for significantly better natural light ingress.

The Archetype we have developed sets out a very clear and compelling template for how a building can be designed that already meets the most stringent standards for 2030 building energy use targets now, and importantly it shows how 2050 Net Zero energy targets can also very easily be met using ClearVue’s products in conjunction with other readily available construction materials.

According to management, the global market for building integrated photovoltaic technologies is projected to surge from US$2.3b in 2016 to US$4.3 billion this year.

Last month ClearVue bedded down a three-way collaboration aiming to develop “smart greenhouses” for the agriculture industry by combining its patented solar window glass technology used to generate electricity in glass panels with machine learning and artificial intelligence management and control systems.

The collaboration will see ClearVue team up with artificial intelligence analytics outfit, Foresense Technologies and data-powered farming specialist, Produsense.

Should results from the trial bear fruit, the partners will seek to enter a joint venture agreement and combine their knowledge, skills, intellectual property and marketing efforts. The new entity will then aim to create one product offering, a smart greenhouse that can generate power via its windows for the protected cropping agriculture industry in Australia and around the world.

In October, the company appointed Lendlease UK executive John Downes to its board. Lendlease, under the direction of Downes as Global Head of Facade Supply Chain, believes ClearVue’s glazing technology could potentially aid Lendlease in reaching its 2040 goals and energy efficiency targets for its global construction projects.

As the world races towards net zero emissions, ClearVue is looking to play a significant role in the construction sector by riding shotgun with architects and facade engineers as they seek to design net zero and near zero energy buildings of the very near future.

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