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Cutting Edge - Cladding heats up to cool down

MATERIALS

COUNTY Durham building product company CA Group has teamed up with Canadian suppliers to introduce a unique solar heating and cooling system.

Its SolarWall system uses air warmed by the sun to heat buildings du r ing winter and keep them cool during the summer.

The dark-coloured metal cladding is installed on a south-facing wall and heated by the sun. Ventilation fans at the top of the wall system create a negative air pressure between the cladding and the building, sucking outside air through tiny holes into the cladding.

This air is warmed by the solar heated cladding and rises through the cavity to the top of the wall, where it is ducted into the building.

The system will help reduce heat loss from the building by capturing it between the cladding and inner wall panel and returning it through the heating system with the heated fresh air.

In the summer the warm air between the SolarWall system and the building structure rises and is ventilated through holes at the top of the cladding, reducing cooling loads on the building with fresh venti lation air being drawn directly into the building through bypass dampers.

Brian Watson, commercial director at CA Building Products, claimed the system can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

He said: 'We have been developing environmentally benign cladding systems for some time.

'The radical reductions in carbon dioxide that can be achieved with SolarWall fit perfectly into our philosophy.'