Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sustainable Building Products Exhibition in Sydney

Along with the architecture conference at Darling Harbour in Sydney last week, there were the exhibitions: DesignEx, Form and Function, D4S: Design for Sustainability.

One notable products were Smart Glass from iGlass Australia: this is glass which is translucent until a current is applied when it become clear. The glass can be used as a projection screen. The obvious application I can see for it is in a learning center, where smaller rooms can be made private at the flick of a switch. This is much easier than moving hinged or sliding walls, or lowering blinds.

A slightly older products is marble from Ionia Stone of Turkey.

Ecoglo showed glow in the dark safety products, including non slip edges for stairs. Unfortunately the standards for illumination of exits administered by Standards Australia assume that lighting will be provided by battery powered lights and therefore does not allow for luminous material (New Zealand standards are more advanced). I asked about luminous tactile paving, Ecoglo have designed these but are awaiting standards approval. The idea is that the same floor marking which are used to guide the blind by touch (through a cane) can be used in the dark by sighted people.

Exeloo showed their computer controlled self cleaning public toilets. These report back to a central monitoring facility, not only any faults, but on the consumption of power and water.

Computronics showed their RGB Screens, these are daylight readable large LED screens for outdoor use. They are capable of displaying video as well as diagrams and text. This could be useful for an outdoor classroom.

Safety Floorings were showing recycled non-slip floor coverings. I asked about running cables under the coverings and Luke Doran recommended EcoTile's Cable Access Flooring. This consists of recycled polypropylene tiles which have feet molded on the underside. These are laid directly over the existing floor, leaving enough space to run cables. Carpet or other tiles can then be laid over the top.

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