SPECIFIC are developing ground-breaking coatings for building materials that can be manufactured on an industrial scale in the UK. Once developed, these glass and steel-based products will be fitted to the roofs, walls and windows of new and existing buildings to generate, store and release safe, clean renewable energy. SPECIFIC are currently developing and testing a new type of floor tile, which is coated with heated coating technology. SPECIFIC's Active Office test area allows for this to be tested in a controlled environment.
SPECIFIC's Active Office is an environmentally-controlled demonstrator room, specially constructed to test active floor, wall and ceiling components that release energy through heating and lighting. Here, the printed substrate is incorporated into the design of raised access floor panels. The printed coating system ensures that the strength of the 600mm X 600mm tiles are not compromised and can be fabricated on a factory production line quickly. The raised access flooring has a grid matrix template which allows the temperature to be localised to a designated area i.e under a specific individual's desk, or to a number of zones simultaneously. This heated coating function is in line with the long-established principle of resistive electrical heating, in which electrical energy is converted into heat energy. It has been designed for the smart buildings of the future, powered by a direct current supply such as that from photovoltaics, but it can also be powered by a standard alternating current supply. SPECIFIC are currently demonstrating and commercialising a range of products based on this technology, including a heated floor tile, a foot warmer and heated wall components.
This technology allows for rapid, accurate temperature regulator which is low voltage and can easily be scaled to fit either commercial or domestic floors, walls and ceilings. The zoned temperature control feature means it can be utilised for small standalone devices such as coasters and foot warmers. Once tested, this technology will provide an efficient way to heat buildings without wasting heat unnecessarily. By printing sheets to make into tiles will save on otherwise expensive manufacturing costs.
A patent has been filed by Swansea University under WO 2014122419 A2.