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The Coolest White

Award category
Techniques, materials and processes for construction and design
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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS AWARDS : existing completed examples
Project title
The Coolest White
Full project title
A prospective design solution created by UNStudio with Monopol Colors
We can cool down our cities with a paint that reflects sunlight –The Coolest White, an ultra-durable coating system that protects the built environment from excessive solar radiation, will help us do it. This fluoropolymer-based paint has a high total solar reflectance and is weather- and abrasion-resistant as well as having exceptional colour and gloss retention. The Coolest White is our solution to the Urban Heat Island Effect working to reduce the temperature inside and outside of buildings.
Where was your project implemented in the EU?
Stadhouderskade 113
When was your project implemented?
Has your project benefited from EU programmes or funds?
Which programme(s) or fund(s)? Provide the name of the programme(s)/fund(s), the strand/action line as relevant and the year.
Please provide a summary of your project
The dark-coloured, heat-retaining materials that are used to construct the buildings in our cities are one of the main causes of the Urban Heat Island Effect. Buildings absorb solar radiation and store heat from the sun, which means they not only require large amounts of energy to achieve adequate interior cooling, but that the absorbed heat is also released into the surrounding urban environment. As global warming threatens to exacerbate this problem there is a pressing need for intelligent solar heat management solutions for our cities. By 2050, 68% of the world’s population are projected to live in cities - an increase of 2.5 billion people compared with today. Most of our cities are not prepared for these developments. For UNStudio, our agenda has never been clearer. As cities across the globe face urgent challenges linked to rising temperatures and growing populations, architects, urban planners and designers must act with urgency. Innovative urban initiatives must be sought out and cultivated in order to sustain liveable, future-proof cities across the globe. That’s why we have developed The Coolest White with Monopol Colors. It is an ultra-durable paint that protects buildings and urban structures from excessive solar radiation – thus slowing down the Urban Heat Island Effect. The paint is based on fluoropolymer technology. It has long-lasting and ultra-durable properties that prolong the lifecycle of the coating for up to 30 years. The multilayered coating system was developed for high-quality metallic facade elements and aluminium, steel or fibreglass structures.
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of sustainability and how these have been met
With two goals in mind – reducing the urban heat load and making buildings more resilient – The Coolest White is a fluoropolymer-based coating system that has a high Total Solar Reflectance and is weather and abrasion resistance as well as having exceptional colour and gloss retention. Thanks to a molecular structure similar to Teflon®, The Coolest White not only fights against the Urban Heat Island Effect by reducing the temperature inside and outside of buildings, it is also hyper-durable with a lifecycle of up to 30 years. We developed this multilayered coating system for high-quality metallic facade elements and steel structures made of aluminium, steel, GRP etc. such as industrial and commercial buildings, shopping centres, petrol stations, bridges, overpasses, industrial OEM-coatings and more. The Coolest White also has properties that make cleaning easier, resulting in strong dirt repellence with low maintenance costs and long cleaning intervals.  
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these have been met
At the core, the work of The Coolest White communicates that colour can unite individuals. While white works best in terms of TSR (Total Solar Reflectance), it is also associated with the idea of peace and unity, lending itself to the mission of the project: to invent a product that can create a better future as a whole. The product additionally conveys our goal to promote durable, high-quality, and communicable designs that envision a sustainable future. And, thanks to the easy-to-clean properties of The Coolest White, the result is strong dirt repellence; most marks, such as graffiti, can be removed completely.
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of inclusion and how these have been met
Given its affordability and the simplicity of the design, The Coolest White is a product that is accessible to the understanding of people living in cities and how the product can lead to change. We also created an online platform: to increase bottom-up engagement with individuals to raise consciousness about the sustainable potential of The Coolest White and to inspire consumers to demand businesses to make more durable products that will help reduce the overall heat levels in cities across the globe.
Please give information on the results/impacts achieved by your project in relation to the category you apply for
The paint's colour, white, affords it a high TSR (Total Solar Reflectance) value between 0 and 100: the higher the TSR value, the higher the reflection and the lower the heat absorption. Normally, white falls within the range between 70 and 75 - however, we went through an evaluation process with different labs to find an optimum number that could be achieved. With The Coolest White, our team was able to create a TSR above 80. Through the use of this paint coating technology, it is expected that it could significantly diminish the need for air conditioning. Not only does this positively impact society, as it benefits the environment, but it further allows individuals to save money.  
Please explain the way citizens benefiting from or affected by the project and civil society have been involved in the project and what has been the impact of this involvement on the project
By tackling our aim to reduce the effect of heat absorption in the built environment, the paint not only provides the public with a product that can prevent further increase of heat levels, but it also improves quality of life and the health of individuals who reside in ultra-dense and urbanised environments, which are so deeply affected by high temperatures. While the paint was designed by lead experts in the field of design and paint technologies, at its core, The Coolest White is socially responsible and economically viable. The product is designed with people in mind so that it is also affordable for businesses, corporations, and governments, which allows them to integrate this technology into the existing and future buildings/structures in the city space.
Please highlight the innovative character of the project
For today's urban dwellers, the frustrations surrounding the urban heat island effect are becoming increasingly frustrating and common. The absorption of heat in cities impacts the overall quality of life, and in turn, the wellbeing of inhabitants. As a bridge between form and function, The Coolest White integrates a high-quality product whose function both lessen heat absorption and also improves the standard of living for the public. The idea of such an accessible and affordable product stirs the imagination for an alternate future where our cities will be resilient, cooling, beautiful and overcome the current environmental crisis we face. Innovation is in the very essence of the product: its simplicity as a material, use, and quality.
Please explain how the project led to results or learnings which could be transferred to other interested parties
The Coolest White is, as the principal architect of UNStudio, Ben van Berkel, said: "a technology that could bring a nano-solution; that would be simple yet advanced, social but scientific and that would allow us to contribute in a scalable way to one of today's most pressing issues: climate change." By developing a white colour with such a high TSR (Total Solar Reflectance) value, we found a nano-solution that could be used by businesses across the construction and designing sectors as a tool in their own goal to create a carbon-neutral built environment. In June 2020, Swiss Federal Railways began running a pilot test with The Coolest White to determine if it can keep metal train tracks from buckling in the heat. At UNStudio, we also hope to use The Coolest White on all building in an entire district in South East Asia. Applications such as these show the truly expansive nature of this innovative nano-solution.  
Is an evaluation report or any relevant independent evaluation source available?
By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that the proposed project has not been proposed for the Awards more than once under the same category and that it has not been subject to any type of investigation, which could lead to a financial correction because of irregularities or fraud.


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