BENCH: Biorhythmic Evaporative-cooling Nano-teCH
The BENCH is conceived as a novel building skin for architectural enclosures responsive to hot arid climate conditions. The membrane system concurrently integrates natural ventilation cooling and modulations in daylighting transmission for inhabitant wellbeing and multi-sensory phenomena experience. The first BENCH prototype combines CNC shaped glu-lam plywood with tension cable cross-bracing for the structure of a small covered seating area with human responsive atmospheric effects. The membrane encloses the structure with embedded nano-gels that are actuated with water pumping into the mesh pod modules through clear microbore tubing. Each gel pod module expands during swelling, which induces the lift of an outer flap to allow for airflow through the skin. When air flows through the flaps, it carries humidity off of the gel pods and into the surrounding atmosphere for human thermal comfort cooling effects. There are three small water pumps located under each bench module on the floor. Humidity and temperature sensors are surrounding the BENCH and link to an automated pump actuation through Arduino servo motor control. There is a string of small white LED lighting integrated within the BENCH for nighttime conditions. The BENCH prototype is under construction and being pre-tested with sensing and actuating functionality in an environmental test-chamber at the designer’s lab.
Valeria Norato, Zechariah Feng, Jialiang Ye, Nicholas Giambanco, Zach Peters, Buck Jackson