In the department of intelligent constructions of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) is coming for years developing a very remarkable work, about the application of the technology to construction. These include Hydrocerámic, an experimentation about a new material that improves regarding thermal perception of space and energy consumption.
“The buildings begin to work as based on biological systems and interact with the environment and users agencies,” explains Areti Markopoulou, academic director of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and head of a project carried out with three of his students, Akanksha Rathee, Elena Mitrofanova and Pong Santayanon. Between them, they have developed a system that cools the walls alone, helping to reduce the heat on days of high temperatures and thus helping to reduce air conditioning costs. What they have done is basically make them sweat.
They called hydroceramic, and is a combination of a hydrogel with support materials such as ceramic material, which responds to moisture and heat. “It works as an evaporative cooling device that reduces the temperature 5 or 6 degrees and increases the humidity Passive intelligence makes its performance is proportional to the heat in the outside environment. Colder when it’s hot outside,” says Markopoulou to Teknautas.”
“The structure of the final prototype is like a sandwich. Begins an outer layer of clay, the surface is filled with cone-shaped holes that allow access of water and air into the hydrogel. Follow with another layer of cloth, absrobe water that works as a transmitter and liquid, to be elastic and allows volume changes in the hydrogel while holding it in position. The final layer is also made of clay, but is thinner and is perforated, increases so that the cooling.”
“The final prototype is similar to a brick or tile, which could be used to create walls or facades of passive cooling. The use of clay has been key to optimize the evaporation process;. Certainly everyone knows the passive mechanism of earthenware pitcher” Areti points. Would only have to provide water in the interlayer of that brick, which in its proposal could be done with a tank that collects the rainwater, for example, so savings is greater. The hydrogel absorbs water and holds it until hot. When the temperature rises, the water evaporates, reducing temperature and increasing humidity. Naturally, the effect is greater with higher heat.”