Functional renaissance of paper
The change to an information society has been completed, which has also changed the world of work: geographic immobilisation, concentration in megacities, newly designed large buildings that combine workplaces, places to eat, healthcare, sports, culture and communication facilities are typical trends. Paper plays an important role in these new developments – thanks to its controllable homogeneity, chemical-physical advantages and versatile functionality. “Sustainability” has become a reality. Sharing models and common sense (what do we really need?) make sure that resources are efficiently conserved. Paper has enjoyed a functional renaissance in many areas – for example as eco-friendly building material for external cladding or interior finishing, for wallpapers with lifestyle functions such as screen display, solar energy storage, odour and humidity optimisation or sound protection. The rapid consumption and availability of goods requires more frequent transports of the materials involved – which can only be realized ecologically with renewable resources like wood and paper.
Premises for 2050
- Megacities are most efficient living spaces – thanks to their modern mobility concepts, high energy efficiency and degree of land utilisation.
- Life in densely populated areas is governed by the principle “use rather than own“. Many business models have been changed from sale to rental/sharing schemes, e.g. for cars, e-bikes, DIY equipment.
- Buildings and infrastructure are important elements of local energy generation from renewable resources – e.g. photovoltaic arrays, wind power and algae production on or in facades.
- Sustainability considerations have led to increased rainwater use, separate supply systems for drinking and process waters, geothermal power generation in buildings.
- Tailor-made materials are used instead of steel; high-performance materials enable optimum insulation, building materials are based on synthetics and composites; many biological production processes have become state of the art. Optoelectronics, miniaturisation, energy storage, biofuels, process/building management/network optimisation, photovoltaics, IT-enhanced transport infrastructure, carbon dioxide capture and storage have become major trends.
Ideas directly related to paper until 2030
- Functionalized partitions made of fibre-based materials absorb odours and sound and have antibacterial effects.
- Facades made from weather-resistant paper serve as carrier structures for photovoltaic modules.
- Thermo-plaster made from heat-insulating paper spheres for facades, flooring or wall insulation.
- Fire-resistant paper shreds for electric or thermal insulation or as/in fire walls for buildings.
- Gas storage e. g. by means of porous substances like metallic organic frameworks used as fillers in paper.
- Paper-fibre reinforced concrete for extended service life and less weight
- Advantages: tailor-made, demand-driven functionalisation leads to novel insulating materials, heat-insulating facades with integrated power generation, energy-saving air conditioning solutions for construction.
Ideas indirectly related to paper
- Biologically-physically active architecture creates convenient, healthy living and recreation environments without wasting resources.
- Self-sufficient buildings: secure adequate energy, heat, water and food supply.
- Radiation protection: active surfaces combat noise, smog, UV, fine particle and ozone pollution by converting pollutants into harmless substances.
- Seasonally active buildings: air-permeable, insulating windows and external walls.
- Active noise protection: interference phenomena are used for indoor noise control.
- Climate protection: new types of facade greening, vegetal arches over roads.