What is it about?

Buildings, in particular residential buildings, use a lot of energy. As the world population keeps growing, the energy use of buildings is growing with it. As a result, it is important to make future buildings more energy efficient. For this, a sustainable thermal management is necessary. To ensure the comfort of its occupants, a variety of methods are used to maintain ideal room temperature in buildings. This includes the use of insulation and materials that store thermal energy. The purpose of this review is to present thermal management solutions that can be used to make buildings more energy efficient. It begins by discussing the need for more sustainable thermal management of buildings. To this end, the cost, lifetime, and efficiency of thermal building materials are discussed. The paper then outlines the advantages, uses, and drawbacks of insulation and heat storage materials on the market. Next, emerging materials and methods that are aimed to improve thermal management in buildings are introduced. These include aerogels and air filled porous materials that are good insulators. The review also covers dynamic materials. These are materials that can adjust the amount of heat that flows through them. As a result, they can be switched between an insulating and a conducting state as and when desired. Finally, computer based methods to discover new thermal management materials are discussed.

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Why is it important?

Heating and cooling in buildings need a lot of energy. In 2019, about 35% of the world's total energy was used by buildings. As the energy demand is likely to go up, it is important to design buildings that are more sustainable. KEY TAKEAWAY: There is a need to design sustainable buildings in the future. The choice of materials depends on many factors. Along with good thermal properties, they should be low cost, simple to make, and last long.

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This page is a summary of: Thermal management materials for energy-efficient and sustainable future buildings, Chemical Communications, January 2021, Royal Society of Chemistry,
DOI: 10.1039/d1cc05486d.
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