Decarbonizing The Built Environment For a Sustainable Future

Decarbonizing The Built Environment For a Sustainable Future

When Dr.Aashay Aurora and Dr. Matthew Aguayo graduated with their PhD’s in 2018 from Arizona State University, they wanted to use their wealth of experience in material science and structural engineering to create something of their own that will make a major impact in the fight against climate change. Together, the duo launched EnKoat, “a clean-tech and advanced materials company developing sustainable material solutions for the built environment.” Using “Adaptive Materials”, they developed a type of paint coating that regulates thermal temperatures and that, in the long run, saves consumers more money in heating and cooling costs. They have already tested their thermal management solution on separate projects and saw promising results. EnKoat is also funded by the National Science Foundation, has been featured in several articles, webinars, and podcasts. 

Now, four years after their founding, Dr. Arora and Dr. Aguayo have led several experiments in their technology with promising results. 

“We spoke with the energy director and facilities manager about potential pilot site to test our technology and they were happy to provide us a building at the [ASU] Polytechnic Campus. We coated the roofs of two classrooms right next to one another with our coating and some commercially available reflective coating from Lowe’s, and saw up to a 30% reduction in the energy consumption,” said Dr. Aguayo. Our technology also has several potential applications in infrastructure, including transportation like roads as well as the roofs and walls of commercial and residential buildings.

 “Our mission is to decarbonize the built environment for a sustainable future. And the problem that we’re working on is heating and cooling. Right now, building owners in the US spend $400 billion annually on space heating and cooling for both residential and commercial buildings. Now, if we can even just reduce that number by a small percentage, that would truly make a significant impact.”

According to Dr. Aguayo, this venture he and his partner began in 2018 was a personal one. As they saw their classmates being recruited by companies like Ford and Intel, they realized that they did not want the research they conducted during their studies to simply be thrown to the wayside. 

“If anyone’s done research, and I mean, like, deep research where you’re studying something that few people have attempted, then you’re in the lab, you’re next having to write a research paper on your findings, get it peer reviewed, and then it gets published. There’s just so much work that goes into that. And we were very fortunate working on the ideal technology at the right time, and told ourselves, You know what, this is a technology that we don’t want to get left in publications that no one’s ever going to read. We really want to make an impact. And that’s what we’re doing at EnKoat.”


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