Nanotechnology has allowed for the manipulation of all matter on a supra-molecular, molecular, and atomic scale, enabling for the fabrication of products on a large scale (Elsamny, 2012: p16). This technology has shown high potential in industrial and architectural design though the development of stronger but lighter systems and products, which are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Nano architecture, therefore, involves the use of nanotechnology to transform traditional architecture through the design of new equipments and materials, as well as the development of new design theories and forms. Some of the new products of nano architecture include carbon tubes that are lighter but stronger than steel, more efficient solar panels to collect more energy, new methods of building material production, and self-cleaning windows (Zhang & Wei, 2014: p30). The new carbon nano-tubes, for example, could be used to create column carriers. As new materials are discovered and put to use, nano architecture will deliver new dimensions in how structures, humans, and the environment interact and relate.
The products used in the nano architecture revolution are mainly focused on protection, and saving energy and these aspects are reflected in Habitat 67, which is a famous example of nano architecture by Moshe Safdie, an Israeli-Canadian architect. Habitat 67’s radical use of nano architecture has made it one Canada’s most significant and recognizable buildings (Fares, 2012: p22). Using materials designed using nanotechnology; Habitat 67 is made up of 354 prefabricated and identical concrete forms that have been arranged in numerous configurations and combinations, giving the structure additional strength and height. By using prefabricated carbon tubes and concrete forms, the structure is able to vary configurations and sizes of the concrete units to create more than 140 units. This would have been impossible using traditional materials, especially in relation to the density and economics in the context of modern apartment buildings in urban areas (Fares, 2012: p22).
Elsamny, M. (2012). Nano-architecture: Nanotechnology and architecture. Saarbrücken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.
Fares, F. F. (2012). Nano-Architecture and Sustainability: The Future of Zero Carbon Nano-Architecture (ZCNA). Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.
Zhang, Q., & Wei, F. (2014). Advanced hierarchical nano-structured materials. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH