You may now get a breather from your hiked energy bills, thanks to 'transparent' cement, which has been developed by an Italian company and allows light inside the walls.
The cement created by Italcementi made its debut at the Italian Pavilion during the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
The technology is based on a matrix of cement embedded with resins that are designed to allow a certain amount of light through without compromising the material's integrity, reports Discovery News.
Trademarked as i.light, the substance contains multicolored resins that fill 2 to 3 millimeter holes that look like rectangular slats.
These resins react allow soft light to fill the building's interior-a potential cost savings on energy bills, since the need for artificial lighting is reduced. The result is about 20 percent transparency for the building.
The i.light material is cheaper than using optical wires embedded in the cement, which is what other builders of "transparent cement" have used.
During the day and when viewed, the Italian pavilion appeared similar a normal cement building. But from the inside, at night or when viewed at an angle, the building takes on an ethereal quality not characteristic of concrete.
Though i.light has so far only been demonstrated in this building, its relatively low cost and potential for energy saving points towards a promising commercial future.