IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
 

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture

 

the institute for advanced architecture of catalonia (IAAC) is a center for research, education, production and outreach, with the mission of envisioning the future habitat of our society and building it in the present. the aim of the institution is to expand the boundaries of architecture. in their latest project, water driven-breathing skin, students and faculty members develop a semi-passive material system for outdoor spaces in hot climates, where public space is less welcomed due to the summer heat.

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
breathing cell

 

sodium polyacrylate, one of the superabsorbent polymers in the hydromorph family, is the major material for the skin system in the wake of the preliminary study for its high capacity of volume change when absorbing water up to 300 times of its volume in a short time span. the IAAC‘s study furthered into the tests of compositing and encapsulating with facilitating materials in understanding material behavior, which has concluded on the encapsulation of sodium polyacrylate with elastic fabrics, followed by a library of experiments in shapes, patterns and size in an attempt to optimize open/close mechanism to capacitate passive ventilation and cooling in hot and dry summer climates.

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture

the experiment aims to seek for the optimal way of creating cells in which sodium polyacrylate are encapsulated into fabric with variations in pocket

 

 

additionally, taking into account the lack of water in targeted climates, the system design contemplated on the supply of water. fog/dew collection is adopted as an established local intelligence and is a natural cyclical system requiring no further consumption, and is 15 times more water-efficient than that of a misting system commonly used. with the material system, ventilation and evaporative cooling are made possible semi-passively in a tensile-structured form where the breathing skin could take in multiple uses and forms. not only is it cost-effective in construction and maintenance, energy-efficient for areas in water shortage but also tensile and pliable for urban spaces.

 

water driven-breathing skin
video © montakan manosong 

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
sodium polyacrylate, also known as waterlock, is a sodium salt of polyacrylic acid with the chemical formula [-ch2-ch(co2na)-]n and broad application in consumer products

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
pattern exploration: number of spacing this test explores the relationship between the number of spacings with the firmness and effectiveness of closing behavior

[sodium polyacrylate 8g +100 + 100 ml: swelling test]
video © montakan manosong 

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture

the material system is operating on the basis the above cycle where sodium polyacrylate starts from dry state, swollen state by absorbing water, evaporation state that performs cooling

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
the experiment seeks to answer the following questions: can spa cells create significant temperature reduction/humidity increase for a space than when without?

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
form finding design parameter

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
CFD wind flow simulation

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
skin system

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
prevailing winds breathing cells location and density.

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
water supply system

IAAC's water-driven breathing skin material further advances technology in architecture
skin system 1-1 scale

 

 

project info:

 

senior faculty: areti markopoulou
fabrication expert: alexandre dubor
computational expert: angelos chronis
student: irene ayala castro, montakan manosong , ya chieh chang, zina alkani

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

×
keep up with our daily and weekly stories
507,240 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine