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The Material Has Become the System

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2010

By Harold Hower


So says Maria Paz-Guttierez of the Architecture Department at UC Berkeley, in a proposal to the National Science Foundation to create a thin-film building membrane that will essentially eliminate the energy needed for climate control systems in buildings.

This is another collaborative study between bioengineers and architects, similar to the one described in my previous blog entry, to create a “skin” for buildings, working like human skin to control humidity, light, and heat without the aid of electricity or mechanical systems. This is why Paz-Guttierez says that “the material has become the system.”

A prototype lens in their biomimetic Self-Activated Building Envelope Regulation (SABER) reacts to changes in a building’s atmosphere by triggering microscopic openings in the membrane. Other components of the membrane respond to heat, sunlight, and interior and exterior moisture.

Basic details are found in an article in cleantechnica.com: http://cleantechnica.com/2010/05/14/clever-photosynthetic-breathing-building-skin-to-cut-need-for-energy/

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Harold Hower

Harold Hower, CEO and founder of Technology Publishing Company, likes to think about ways of improving conditions in the architectural coatings industry.

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Tagged categories: Building Envelope

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