IAAC student Luisa Roth has designed a smart system in order to satisfy our basic desire for natural daylight, while managing to avoid the disadvantages of current glazed facades, creating a passive material which can be used in a wide range of utilities.
Although glazed walls are a much appreciated architectural concept, the solar induced warming, sometimes even paired with high humidity levels, have led to high levels of strees for the cooling units, thus creating an un-ecological level of energy use and unfortunate performances. Luisa’s proposal? The hydromembrane, a material which responds with deformation to moisture. This transformability of its structure increases water absorption and evaporation rates, thus resulting in an alternative, smarter cooling system.
The “material” is actually composed of three different materials, organized in six layers – three of them consist 0.5 mm thick silicone coated elastic, while the other three are hydromorphic stacks. The student decided on a layered material in order to achieve the necessary flexibility for expansion and contraction. The material has shape “memory”, allowing it to adapt to specific forms.
Whether Luisa Roth’s material will be used solely as an architectural material or as a textile design one is not even important – the work is highly innovative and efficient, and we can expect to see this solution implemented furthermore.