A team of University of Colorado Boulder engineers has developed a scalable manufactured "metamaterial" to act as a kind of air conditioning system for buildings.

(Courtesy: University of Colorado Boulder)

What if you could cool a building 24 hours a day, 7 days a week --- with no electricity or water, and without using any energy? That might be possible someday with new technology developed at the University of Colorado Boulder. 

The material is about the thickness of the aluminum foil you find in your kitchen, and consists of two layers - one silver, the other a "glass-polymer metamaterial."

It was designed to help power plants keep their equipment cool. But it could one day be used to cool homes, especially in warmer climates where heating systems aren't needed.

CU Engineers Dr. Ronggui Yang and Dr. Xiaobo Yin spoke to CPR's Nathan Heffel.