Innovation That Matters

The cooling paper | Photo source Ruby Wallau / Northeastern University

Plain white paper remixed for use as AC replacement


The paper roof covering reflects sunlight and pulls heat out of a building for additional cooling

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Spotted: Office paper suddenly got a lot more interesting! Yi Zheng, an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University in Massachusetts, created a cooling paper that reduces temperatures inside buildings. Made from a mix of paper and the ingredients used to make Teflon, the cooling paper reflects sunlight while also pulling indoor heat out of the building. The two actions together make up the process called passive daytime radiative cooling (PDRC). 

Able to cool a room by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, the cooling paper is strong enough for outdoor use and specifically on roofs. Despite the addition of the Teflon ingredients, the paper is recyclable, making it likely that much of the cooling paper could be reused multiple times.  

Designers and architects are also looking at ways to reduce reliance on air conditioning that is too expensive for the planet. Often using traditional styles and shapes of construction, many new buildings are able to stay cool for longer. Recent examples spotted by Springwise include a ceramic and glass home/work space in Hanoi and a school in India made with latticed brickwork and double-height ceilings. 

Written by: Keely Khoury

Explore more: Property & Construction Innovations | Sustainability Innovations



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