The house, seen as “alive”, interacting with the environment and with the people who make use of its benefits. This is the challenge of a group of three researchers in Barcelona, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, coordinated by Areti Markopoulou, project director.
A project that sees the realization of a self cooling wall, capable of reducing the internal temperature even 5 or 6 ° C. To realize this project (which is part of sustainable architecture and green building field) they took inspiration from a natural process that concerns the man: sweating. In fact, in a similar way, this wall hit by high temperature begins to evaporate decreasing the internal temperature; this is possible due the hydrogel that is capable of absorbing water and hold it up to 500 times their weight.
Around the hydrogel, there are other components that complete the prototype of Hydroceramic developed by the researchers. There is a first layer of clay which is provided with holes in a conical shape, to guarantee the access of water and air of the hydrogel; a second layer of fabric, which once impregnated, transmits the liquid to the hydrogel.
Finally there is always a final layer of clay with a width less than the first. Surely this project has also points to the disadvantage; In fact, if on one hand the temperature decreases due to evaporation, the internal humidity greatly increases. Another limitation is the continuous supply and the intense water interlayer where there is the hydrogel; it was decided to overcome this problem with the use of rainwater, previously collected and stored for use.
Despite these small design limits, it is seen that there are many advantages; the reduction of internal temperature, follows an obvious savings in energy costs. Furthermore it is evident that it is a prototype made with cheap materials, easily available, and basing the principle of operation of a simple process and natural, we can say that certainly the cost of this prototype is definitely content.
Header image credits: intelligentconstructions.com
Edited by Luca Quarato, Civil Engineering student at University of Modena