The new generation of scalable urban HEat isLand mitigatIOn by means of adaptive photoluminescent radiative cooling Skins

Solutions developed

HELIOS aims at holistically developing the resilient urban skin of the future. This skin will take advantage of the combination of successful radiative cooling in the atmospheric window(8-13μm) and high solar reflectance integrated for the first time to photoluminescence in the short wave(0.25-2.8μm) thanks to the breakthrough lead-free halide perovskites. HELIOS will develop novel radiative cooling structures into temperature responsive carriers (eg phase change-oxides, thermonastic shape-memory alloys) and albedo adaptive photoluminescent finishing, with the twofold purpose to tailor radiative supercooling performance enough to minimize winter penalties and to give the desired colour finishing, finally allowing the sustainable upscaling of this research frontier. This approach would radically change the building physics paradigm, with the ambition of rethinking built environment into a fully-dynamic resilience, as only Nature can do. HELIOS will indeed analytically and experimentally identify the thermal-radiative physics of such skin, assessing its performance for indoor-outdoor human comfort and energy-efficiency. HELIOS bio-inspired radiative and photoluminescent skin will be indeed tailored and optimized for each dynamic boundary, as demonstrated through a disruptive building physics experimentally-validated balance and urban canopy model worldwide.

Main results

Urban heat islands are areas that display increased warmth due to anthropogenic activity. Such areas significantly impact well-being, increasing the need for solutions. Passive cooling methods use design choices to maximise the comfort and health of building users while minimising energy use. These methods have been shown to slowly mitigate urban heat islands. HELIOS project aims to develop novel solutions capable of producing passive cooling without the use of energy while exploiting characteristics of urbanised surfaces, from buildings to outdoor spaces. The project’s goal is to create innovative materials that will act as a ‘skin,’ capable of constituting a sort of surface film that reduces the effects of urban heat islands.