Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Build Solar

A glass brick that collects solar energy

Property & Construction

The material improves building insulation and reduces electricity bills

Spotted: In the UK, Solar PV capacity reached 12 gigawatts of energy in 2021. Yet, the MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) estimates that only around 900,000 of the 24 million homes in the country currently rely on solar power. There is much room for improvement, and one of the easiest ways to incorporate renewable energy generation into a home or building is by embedding the technology into construction materials.  

Professor Tapas Mallick and Dr. Hasan Baig, two University of Exeter researchers, have created Build Solar in order to do just that. Built with patent-pending technology, the Solar Squared glass brick is a direct replacement for traditional glass building materials. Solar Squared bricks let light through, just like current glass building materials do. The difference is that Build Solar’s new blocks generate sustainable energy as well. The bricks are available in several patterns and colours, in addition to the typical clear glass.  

Usable in a variety of structures, including commercial spaces, public transport hubs, and housing, the Solar Squared blocks improve a building’s thermal insulation efficiency while providing daylight and renewable energy. The company’s goal is to contribute to carbon-neutral construction and building management and is currently seeking sites in which to test and showcase the technology. 

Springwise has spotted other innovations seeking to make renewable energy more accessible, including nailable and wearable solar panels.

Written By: Keely Khoury



Download PDF