|Abstract: ||Architecture and Construction are always reluctant to use innovative materials, althou gh characterized by promising performance levels, but with initial costs significantly higher than conventional
materials. This inertia is partly contrasted by the requirement for sustainable design that leads to organize construction processes ever more appropriate, through a careful analysis and selection of building materials and their performance related to system functions that the building must fulfill.
Currently the Architecture Department of Cagliari University is carring out a research that has as
principal objective the study on the possibility of ever more efficient use of materials, traditional -
used in innovative ways too - but also innovative and composites.
One of the first materials taken into account is the electrochromic glass, a special type of chromogenic
glass, a variable transparency glazing. EC windows are able to vary their characteristics of
transparency to solar radiation following application of a very small electric field. Are therefore
particularly suited to energy savings in summer for air conditioning of buildings, especially buildings
with large windows in Mediterranean climate. However, Ec materials are little known and little used.
This article therefore seeks to retrace the history of these materials, analyzing their characteristics,
their use in some case studies and methods of installation. Analyzed the state of the art, we will
explain briefly the ongoing research at the Cagliari University, which aims to test the actual
performance of electrochromic glazing, using them in a test room in a office building, and especially
with the comparison of data collected in a adjacent test room which has the same characteristics and
equipped with traditional glazing. A further aim of the next phase of experimentation is to evaluate the
durability of the materials and the possibility of glazing regulation, through the current possibilities
provided by home and building automation. In hot areas, such as in Mediterranean regions, where the
energy requirements of buildings is binding for most of the summer conditioning due to intense solar
inputs, electrochromic glazing represent, in the near future, a reasonable response in terms of Energy
savings. Currently they are among the more interesting components for achieving transparency,
sustainability and linguistic evolution of architectural envelope.|