On a Greek mountainside, sensors in the walls of a high-tech villa will record stresses and vibrations, temperature and humidity levels. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But it will also have special walls made from nano-polymer particles that will turn into a liquid under pressure, flow into the cracks, and harden again.
German building manufacturer Knauf is the lead contractor behind the project and the interesting use of nano-polymer particles by the University of Leeds School of Mechanical Engineering.
Professor Anne Neville said about the future implications of this technology, "Once we have the optimum design, we could quickly start producing thousands of litres of nanoparticle fluid, adding just a tiny percentage to the gypsum mix."
University of Leeds' NanoManufacturing Institute (NMI)chief executive Professor Terry Wilkins said: "What we’re trying to achieve here is very exciting; we’re looking to use polymers in much tougher situations than ever before on a larger scale."
The house will costs around $18 million and is due to be completed in December, 2010.