Roof Mat, Thing of the Future? Chemical engineers in Zurich have done research into a roof mat that could possibly replace air conditioning units in the future. This is because the mats essentially make the building sweat causing the temperature to be lowered, the same as humans. The study was conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and they believe they have found simple solution to lowering room temperatures. It works because the mat is made from special polymer PNIMAP. This means when it is exposed to heat above 32 degrees the mat shrinks releasing the water absorbed from rainfall. This has been proven to reduce the surface temperature of a building by 15 degrees. This seems like a great idea but so far this has only been tested on a very small scale but according to their statistics the mat could save you up to 60 per cent in energy. In theory this could work but in practice, what if the temperature inside your house was 31 degrees and you had replaced your air conditioning unit with one of these mats? Nothing, there would be no way of cooling your house down in this stifling temperature because the mat only works at 32 degrees and above.