Ben van Berkel, UNstudio

The Coolest White

Product 2019
nominee

The project

The Coolest White has been developed by UNStudio, in collaboration with Monopol Colors. The Coolest White is an extremely white, very UV-resistant and extremely sustainable coating that reflects sunlight and thus protects urban buildings from excessive solar radiation and warming. The Coolest White helps to slow down the warming of our cities. And this is essential: the use of dark, heat-retaining materials in much of our urban construction is one of the main causes of the so-called Urban Heat Island Effect. Buildings absorb sun rays, which not only means that a lot of energy is used to cool the interiors down again, but they also release the absorbed heat back into the surrounding urban environment. It is a fluoropolymer paint with the highest level of solar reflection in its category. Furthermore, the paint is also 2.5 times stronger than traditional polyester based paints. One layer of paint lasts 40 years and is even suitable for high-quality metals façade elements and aluminium, steel or fibreglass structures.

Committee

There is a lot more to this seemingly simple product. Significant investments have clearly been made in product research, application and affordability. A Dutch design that recognises such a huge global problem deserves all the attention it can get. The Coolest White could even have a major impact combating the warming of our cities. A well-thought-out, unassuming product with a lot of potential. Ingenious in its simplicity. Exactly what product design should be.

— The Coolest White is not only a smart, applicable and affordable product, but could even have a major impact on combatting the warming of our cities. Ingenious in its simplicity. Exactly what product design should be.