In this article, we want to present you Airlite, the best solution to achieve carbon neutrality and healthy buildings, both in small and big scale. Data shows in fact that Airlite is the best solution to both address embodied carbon in the building and construction sector, and indoor air quality – providing a practical and cost effective solution to developers around the world. Thanks to its great achievement, Airlite has officially become part of the Words for the Future – to know more about this, keep reading!
In our last article we already addressed the topic of NZEBs or Net Zero Energy Buildings, and how they can contribute to the fight against climate change and energy consumption, providing high levels of both energy efficiency and buildings’ sustainability.
Today more then ever, humans have become indoor species. Therefore, it is clear that people who design, build and maintain our buildings can have a major impact on our health, and on the financial returns from construction and development projects. The building industry has to focus on two aspects: the reduction of global warming emissions and the design of healthier living environments, and Airlite can help achieving both these goals.
But first, what is embodied carbon?
According to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction’s Global Status Report 2019, the building and construction sector accounted for 39% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018.
Of this, 28% comes from Operational Carbon, and 11% comes from the energy used to produce building and construction materials, usually referred to as Embodied Carbon.
Embodied carbon is the carbon emissions associated with materials and construction processes throughout the lifecycle of a building or infrastructure.
Building materials also impact on health, especially indoor air quality, which the Covid-19 pandemic shows as very important for human health.
As operational carbon is reduced, embodied carbon will continue to grow in importance as a proportion of total emissions. While it is important to address operational carbon, the industry must now rapidly increase efforts to tackle embodied carbon emissions on a global scale. NZEB is in fact mandatory in the EU from January 2021, and to achieve it, embodied carbon must be addressed at each stage of the life cycle.
Moreover, improving the living/working conditions and ensuring good social impact is appealing to both owners and users of a property. Real estate value and occupancy rate can increase thanks to NZEBs directives. The increased comfort and health benefits for the user of a well-built NZEB may further elevate real estate value and occupancy rates. A healthy building goes beyond energy efficiency to ensure the health, confidence and productivity of the people who use it.
From fighting Covid-19 to boosting cognitive performance, Healthy Buildings and superior air quality are increasingly important as people spend 90% of their lives indoors. Sustainability and health can no longer exist in separate domains. Healthy buildings bridges the divide, linking health science and business science for a new way to think about buildings.
Therefore we present Airlite, a new revolutionary technology, which allows you to improve the quality of the air in a 100% natural way and to drastically reduce embodied carbon, and which is applied like a normal paint on any type of surface.
A revolution called Airlite
Airlite is a technology in the form of a paint that can improve your building’s health – in an extremely cost-effective way, reducing embodied carbon by 60-70%.
Traditional paints have a high embodied carbon rate due to:
1. Energy intensive extraction of raw materials
2. High thermal energy requirement of manufacture
3. End-of-life disposal of chemical based paints
As you can imagine, the impact is especially high, as paint is applied multiple times over a building’s lifetime.
Developed by an Italian team and now available across the entire world, Airlite addresses all these three issues, leading to a significant reduction in embodied carbon:
1. Airlite uses 40% recycled materials reducing the need to mine virgin materials
2. Airlite is powder based and manufactured through a cold-mix process, using no thermal energy
3. Airlite’s manufacturing facilities are powered entirely by renewable energy
4. Airlite contains no VOCs or hazardous chemicals, thus end-of-life disposal is simple.
Airlite is unique because it is the first technology designed and built exclusively to take care of people and other living beings inside and outside their homes, their places of work and leisure.
Once applied on any surface, thanks to the energy of light, it eliminates the main pollutants present in the air (including the very dangerous nitrogen oxides), prevents the growth of bacteria, molds and spores (responsible for the most serious respiratory diseases), eliminates bad smells and prevents dirt from settling on the walls.
This technology reduces both the pollutants derived from combustion and those of a biological nature when they are already present in the atmosphere. It is therefore the ideal companion to accompany the emission reduction policies, as it intervenes when the emissions have already occurred and the pollutants are already emitted into the air.
Behind the magic
Airlite’s mechanism is based on the natural production of negative ions. Airlite uses the energy of light to generate a small concentration of electrons on the surface on which it is applied. These electrons interact with water and oxygen present in the air to generate negative ions. The mechanism with which they are produced by Airlite is the same as that occurs during a storm, when the presence of electrical charges in the air cleans it, making it fresher.
The action of Airlite manifests itself near the surface of the walls and thanks to the effect of air circulation, however, its effect extends to the entire surrounding environment. When the air comes into contact with the wall on which Airlite is applied, the ions present near the surface interact with the polluting molecules and transform them into water-soluble mineral salts.
Airlite affects both pollutants that are bad for health and those that cause the greenhouse effect. As regards chemical pollutants, Airlite has an effect on nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, as regards organic pollutants on viruses, bacteria, molds and spores, and as regards physical pollutants on fine and extra-fine particles. Airlite also contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide, the cause of the greenhouse effect, both directly and indirectly.
Airlite is therefore the simplest solution to reduce environmental impact and significantly decreases a building’s embodied carbon, aligning with NZEB requirements. Airlite goes beyond reducing environmental impact, to being part of the solution. It is designed according to the principles of the circular economy, and is able to minimize the level of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. Airlite contributes to LEED, WELL and BREEAM certification credits.
Airlite’s active properties transform painted surfaces into active air purifiers, neutralizing air pollution and killing bacteria and viruses. Airlite is laboratory certified to fight viruses, bacteria and mould, to eliminate unpleasant odours, to repel airborne dust and dirt and to reduce cooling costs and air pollution.
Airlite has been listed by KPMG as one of the most promising companies in the world in the field of residential wellness. The United Nations has named it one of the four most effective technologies for reducing air pollution.
Airlite in fact reduces the air pollution that we breathe continuously. Airlite improves the air quality by reducing VOCs (e.g. Formaldehyde), Nitrogen Dioxide and other dangerous gases. Real case studies showed that Airlite can reduce up to 95% of the NO2 present in a room (test carried out in a school in the UK).
Thanks to its technology, Airlite is the best choice to keep your surface free from bacteria and mould (+99%). Tests based on the industry standard JIS Z 2801:2000 and conducted on a wide range of bacteria, proved that Airlite is effective against different bacteria, including among others Staphylococcus Aureus ATCC 25923, Klebsiella Pneumoniae ATCC 13883 and Salmonella Tiphymurium ATCC 29630.
Airlite has also strong anti-viral properties, that has been certified during the Covid-19 pandemic. Tests based on the industry standard ISO 21702:2019 on different viruses, such as Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, Enterovirus EN71 and even Human Coronavirus NL63.
Air is Art and the Words for the Future
The company appears to be active on many fronts in the fight against energy consumption and air pollution. The most important activity is its commitment towards spreading good practices while supporting several street art projects whose goal is to bring fresh air and beauty around the world. The art section of Airlite, called Air is Art, has provided full or partial sponsorships/partnerships to several murals made with Airlite around the world and have collaborated with many other associations. Here some articles (in Italian) and in the gallery some of their most famous works.
Finally, we must point out that, in 2021, Airlite has become a recognised word in the italian dictionary Treccani. During a cycle of web seminars called Worlds for the future (“Parole per il futuro”) related to the new edition of the Appendix to the Italian Encyclopedia, Airlite was brought to the attention of the public as one of the most important word that can bring hope and can promote good practices for both the planet and ourselves.
Then, let the motto be: clean air, healthy buildings, happy lives.