Japanese architecture firm Nikken Sekkei has developed the world’s first building to be cooled by a “bioskin” cooling concept.
The Sony City Osaki building in Tokyo uses ceramic-coated aluminum core tubes that act as railings and panels to transport collected rainwater throughout the exterior of the building. When this moisture evaporates off of the tubes, a cooling effect occurs that can lower the temperature 2ºC, acting like a mechanical forest, Materia says.
This project builds off of traditional Japanese cooling techniques that use bamboo and water to cool a space.
One very important aspect of this cooling system is that it also acts as a full-cycle rainwater conservation system. The rainwater is harvested from the roof, collected into an underground tank, filtered and sterilized, and then pumped through the tubes. The excess water from the tubes is replaced into the groundwater system, which replenishes the aquifers around the building.
A similar approach to cooling is used on the interiors of the apartment buildings in the Vancouver Olympic Village. In this project, tubes filled with water run along the ceiling and absorb or give off heat dependent on the temperature of the people in the room at any given moment. The Olympic Village, however, does not put this water back into the environment. It is recycled back into the dwellings of each resident as greywater.
These types of applications that utilize natural water sources for multipurpose use are incredibly valuable in today’s water-conscious world. There are endless possibilities of ways we can use, conserve, and re-use water that have positive effects on building health, energy ratings, and the environment. The tragedy here is that these systems are not common knowledge.
I believe that these technologies and appliances should be at the top of the list of strategies to educate people on and implement in the homes of people today. They are a valuable investment and the multifaceted payoff they offer is unmatchable by other material and ecological innovations around today.
//Lauren Angus // Post week 13
Source (images & info): https://materia.nl/article/worlds-first-cooling-bioskin-facade/