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Science
CONNECT - The Glass Ceiling
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Modern architecture that comes at an environmental price.

Wednesday 7 August 2002, 9.00-9.30pm

The role science plays in everyday life often goes unnoticed. A visit to the museum, the dentist or even the fridge exposes us to breakthroughs in the lab that have spilled out into the real world. In Connect Quentin Cooper examines the technologies that make an impact on us all and finds out whether they are helping or hindering.


It's strong, durable, easily cut to size and its clean lines are perfect for the minimalist monuments that define modern urban skylines - glass is adored by architects who are using it in new and unexpected ways. But can glass be green?
The Great Court at the British Museum
The new glass roof of the Great Court at the British Museum.

Once dubbed the concrete jungle, the city is rapidly being glazed over. Architects are able to use ever more of it in buildings thanks to technologies which have revolutionised its properties. Rich nations around the world have turned the hearts of their capitals and financial centres into trophy cabinets of glazed towers. But these high-rise prizes come at a price and Quentin Cooper asks whether technology can solve the heating and cooling problems which make glass buildings a disaster in environmental terms.

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