Cool Story, Bro.

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):



About laurenangus

My name is Lauren. I am passionate about Jesus, design, films, and books. I can't say consistency is my strong suit with this blog, but I can say that I promise to be truthful, and I promise to tell you the whole truth. This blog is about anything and everything I choose to write about, anything I find relevant. Enjoy, and feel free to contact me with any questions.

One comment

  1. Dennis Garvey

    Dennis Garvey comment wk13

    Reducing and regenerating are the main these the author accurately depicts from these buildings that solve the problem of high energy usage to cool a building and resolving it by using other natural cooling techniques. The most interesting area that this author commented on was how this cooling method of water evaporation used in bamboo forests is a natural process to solve a human problem. It may be even more useful if we start looking to natures magical ability to heal itself in order to apply these processes to solve contemporary building efficiency and regenerative problems.
    The author starts to compare the Song City Osaki building to theOlympic Village building. She states that though they use the same method of cooling, one is more effective in that the Osaki building recycles and makes available the water that is catches and uses. One factor that might be overlooked here is the pressing environmental concerns that face the two respective landscapes and biosystems. If there is not a lack of water, there is not a readiness to recycles as much as possible and let the water take its natural route in the water cycle.
    The overarching theme that I’m speaking to is a heavy consideration of surrounding environment. This means both in the problems that we are trying to solve, and also in the methods we search for. Yes we should be striving to solve the larger problems of rising temperatures and dangerous green house gasses, but buildings also should look to aid in their local environmental situations. And the solutions can be found as close as the bamboo example above. China and Japan having a similar latitudes are great places to search for natural cooling, heating, recycling processes to solve some of our growing climate issues.

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