Architect Doris Sung (we previously covered her here) invented InVert, a brilliant self-shading window system. Over a decade ago, Sung began experimenting with thermobimetals, which are made up of two different metal composites that have been layered into a sheet. Because the selected composites have different rates of thermal expansion, when they are exposed to heat, the sheets will curl:
Sung's insight was to create a grid of thermobimetal pieces, then sandwich them inside ordinary double-glazed windows.
The result of the arrangement is that when sunlight hits this window, it automatically shades itself, reducing cooling needs by up to 25%:
"What makes thermobimetals smart is that it requires no energy, and no controls," says Sung, a National Design Award winner. "And that's a very big deal for architecture."
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Sung has formed a company, TBM Designs, to commercialize the technology.