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Nanotechnology in Eco-Efficient Construction - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780857095442, 9780857098832

Nanotechnology in Eco-Efficient Construction

1st Edition

Materials, Processes and Applications

Editors: Fernando Pacheco-Torgal Maria Vittoria Diamanti Ali Nazari Claes Goran-Granqvist
Hardcover ISBN: 9780857095442
eBook ISBN: 9780857098832
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 4th April 2013
Page Count: 458
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Table of Contents

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Chapter 1: Introduction to nanotechnology in eco-efficient construction


1.1 Introduction

1.2 The need for nanotechnology in the construction sector

1.3 Outline of the book

Part I: Infrastructural applications

Chapter 2: Nanoscience and nanoengineering of cement-based materials


2.1 Introduction

2.2 Nanoscience of cement-based materials

2.3 Nanoengineering of cement-based materials

2.4 Conclusion

Chapter 3: Nanoparticles for high performance concrete (HPC)


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Concrete with nanoparticles

3.3 The problem of efficient nanoparticle dispersion

3.4 Conclusions

Chapter 4: Self-sensing concrete with nanomaterials


4.1 Introduction

4.2 Studying conductive admixtures in concrete

4.3 Influence of conductive admixtures on the mechanical properties of concrete

4.4 Influence of conductive admixtures on the electrical properties of concrete beams

4.5 Strain and damage in concrete beams (self-diagnosing of damage)

4.6 Diphasic electrical conductive materials

4.7 Conclusions

Chapter 5: The use of nanotechnology to improve the bulk and surface properties of steel for structural applications


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Research relating to nanocomposite steel

5.3 Properties of nanocomposite steel

5.4 Future trends

Chapter 6: Nanoclay-modified asphalt mixtures for eco-efficient construction


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Research on nanoclay-modified asphalt mixtures

6.3 Material and methods

6.4 Rheological tests and results

6.5 Mechanical testing of asphalt mixtures

6.6 Conclusion

6.7 Future trends

Chapter 7: Safety issues relating to nanomaterials for construction applications


7.1 Introduction to nanotoxicity

7.2 Potential nano-hazards of manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs) utilized in construction

7.3 Lifecycle of nano-enabled structures

7.4 Toxicity profiling for nanomaterials

7.5 Future trends and conclusions

Part II: Applications for building energy efficiency

Chapter 8: Thin films and nanostructured coatings for eco-efficient buildings


8.1 Introduction

8.2 Major thin film technologies and some illustrative examples

8.3 Large-scale manufacturing

8.4 Conclusion and future trends

Chapter 9: High performance thermal insulation materials for buildings


9.1 Introduction

9.2 Heat transfer in thermal insulators

9.3 State-of-the-art insulators

9.4 Applications

9.5 Future trends

Chapter 10: Silica nanogel for energy-efficient windows


10.1 Introduction

10.2 Aerogels for windows

10.3 Current applications of aerogels in buildings

10.4 Performance of nanogel windows

10.5 Future trends

Chapter 11: Switchable glazing technology for eco-efficient construction


11.1 Introduction

11.2 Electrochromics: materials and devices

11.3 Thermochromics: materials and devices

11.4 Future trends in electrochromic and thermochromic glazing

Chapter 12: Third generation photovoltaic (PV) cells for eco-efficient buildings and other applications


12.1 Introduction

12.2 History of photovoltaic (PV) cells

12.3 Functions of a photovoltaic (PV) cell

12.4 Overview of photovoltaic (PV) technology: first, second and third generation cells

12.5 The use of nanotechnology in photovoltaic (PV) technology

12.6 Future trends

Part III: Photocatalytic applications

Chapter 13: Concrete, mortar and plaster using titanium dioxide nanoparticles: applications in pollution control, self-cleaning and photo sterilization


13.1 Introduction

13.2 Principles of heterogeneous photocatalysis

13.3 Applications of semiconductor photocatalysis

13.4 TiO2 in cement-based materials

13.5 Efficiency of TiO2 in the built environment

13.6 Pilot projects and field tests

13.7 Existing patents and standards relating to photocatalytic cementitious materials

Chapter 14: Self-cleaning tiles and glasses for eco-efficient buildings


14.1 Introduction

14.2 Important production parameters

14.3 Mechanism of self-cleaning glasses and tiles

14.4 Future trends

Chapter 15: Nanotechnology in manufacturing paints for eco-efficient buildings


15.1 Introduction

15.2 Application of photocatalytic paints in an outdoor environment

15.3 Application of photocatalytic paints in an indoor environment

15.4 Potential formation of by-products

15.5 Future trends

Chapter 16: Nanotechnology for domestic water purification


16.1 Introduction

16.2 Nanomaterials and water purification

16.3 The need for nanomaterials in water purification

16.4 Types, properties and uses of nanomaterials in water purification

16.5 Synthesis of nanomaterials

16.6 Nanotechnology: health, safety and environment

16.7 Domestic water purification: challenges to bring about an integrated system

16.7.2 Challenges with development of integrated nano-based systems for water purification



As the environmental impact of existing construction and building materials comes under increasing scrutiny, the search for more eco-efficient solutions has intensified. Nanotechnology offers great potential in this area and is already being widely used to great success. Nanotechnology in eco-efficient construction is an authoritative guide to the role of nanotechnology in the development of eco-efficient construction materials and sustainable construction.

Following an introduction to the use of nanotechnology in eco-efficient construction materials, part one considers such infrastructural applications as nanoengineered cement-based materials, nanoparticles for high-performance and self-sensing concrete, and the use of nanotechnology to improve the bulk and surface properties of steel for structural applications. Nanoclay-modified asphalt mixtures and safety issues relating to nanomaterials for construction applications are also reviewed before part two goes on to discuss applications for building energy efficiency. Topics explored include thin films and nanostructured coatings, switchable glazing technology and third generation photovoltaic (PV) cells, high-performance thermal insulation materials, and silica nanogel for energy-efficient windows. Finally, photocatalytic applications are the focus of part three, which investigates nanoparticles for pollution control, self-cleaning and photosterilisation, and the role of nanotechnology in manufacturing paints and purifying water for eco-efficient buildings.

Nanotechnology in eco-efficient construction is a technical guide for all those involved in the design, production and application of eco-efficient construction materials, including civil engineers, materials scientists, researchers and architects within any field of nanotechnology, eco-efficient materials or the construction industry.

Key Features

  • Provides an authoritative guide to the role of nanotechnology in the development of eco-efficient construction materials and sustainable construction
  • Examines the use of nanotechnology in eco-efficient construction materials
  • Considers a range of important infrastructural applications, before discussing applications for building energy efficiency


Civil engineers requiring an understanding of eco-efficient construction materials; Researchers and architects within any field of nanotechnology, eco-efficient materials or the construction industry.


No. of pages:
© Woodhead Publishing 2013
4th April 2013
Woodhead Publishing
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:


"The book’s focus on eco-construction, its depth of coverage, and style of writing by various contributing authors makes it understandable by readers at various levels. Researchers, educators, captains of industry, and policy makers would find the book interesting and useful.", April 8, 2014

Ratings and Reviews

About the Editors

Fernando Pacheco-Torgal

Fernando Pacheco-Torgal

F.Pacheco Torgal is a Principal Investigator at C-TAC Research Centre, University of Minho. He holds the Counsellor title of the Portuguese Engineers Association. Authored almost 350 publications some that were cited by Highly Cited authors (SCI h-index>60) and in high impact factor journals like Nature Reviews Mat. (IF=52), Nature Energy (IF=47), Progress in Mater. Science (I.F=24), Physics Reports (IF=20) and Nature Climate Change (I.F=19). Citations received in ISI WoS journals-2819 (h-index=29), citations received in Scopus journals- 3580 (h-index=31). Citations prediction for the year 2029 (around 5.500 citations on WoS, 7.500 on Scopus (already has 7000 MR, h=45) and 16.000 citations on scholar google). Member of the editorial board of 9 international journals, 4 referenced on the Web of Science and three referenced on Scopus. Grant assessor for several scientific institutions in 14 countries, UK, US, Netherlands, China, France, Australia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, UA.Emirates, Poland and also the EU Commission. Invited reviewer for 133 international journals for which he reviewed so far almost 900 papers. Lead Editor of 19 international books (9 being on the Master Book List of Web of Science).

Affiliations and Expertise

Principal Investigator, C-TAC Research Centre, University of Minho, Portugal

Maria Vittoria Diamanti

Maria Vittoria Diamanti is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan, Italy. Her current research interests are: titanium oxides, nanostructured surfaces, photocatalysis, self-cleaning surfaces, spectrophotometry and reflectometry, corrosion, and durability of reinforced concrete.

Affiliations and Expertise

Polytechnic of Milan, Italy

Ali Nazari

Ali Nazari is a Postdoctoral research Fellow at Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, 3122, Australia

Affiliations and Expertise

Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, Australia

Claes Goran-Granqvist

Claes Goran-Granqvist is Professor in the Department of Engineering Science at Uppsala University, Sweden. Professor Granqvist's research is focused on optical and electrical properties of materials, especially thin films for energy efficiency and solar energy utilization. He has published around 730 research papers in mostly refereed journals, over 30 books, had invited conference presentations at about 250 international conferences and chaired about 30 international meetings.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Department of Engineering Science, Uppsala University, Sweden