In future, a desk could serve double duty as a thermal exchange unit that helps save energy and enhance indoor environmental quality. French designers have combined heat absorbing and releasing materials with an aluminum conductor to create the first piece of an envisioned product line they’ve dubbed ZeroEnergyFurniture.
Phase change materials, which absorb heat as room temperature rises and later release it as the temperature drops, are the hidden ingredient of the so-called climatic table. These materials, in the form of micro-beads, are literally sandwiched between the table’s plain oak surface and a folded sheet of anodized aluminum on the underside, which also provides structural support.
Design partners, Raphael Ménard and Jean-Sébastien Lagrange, call the table a thermal sponge, claiming it could contribute up to 60 per cent of heating needs and 30 per cent of cooling in an office building.
Via 2015 © photo Colombe Clier