In our tropical climate, the need for passive cooling in building design, predominantly housing is paramount. Mechanical cooling systems, though popular are far from sustainable.
While design methodologies (passive solar design) can help to deliver thermally comfortable buildings, imagine if the walls of any given structure could allow air pass freely through them. I suspect this was the thinking of design firm/make-tank Emerging Objects, when they set out to create a mansory material called ‘Cool Bricks’.
Inspired by the Muscatese Evaporative cooling window, which combines a wood screen, or mashrabiya, and a ceramic vessel filled with water, the “cool brick” masonry system is used to build walls that passively cool interiors in desert environments.
Cool Bricks are basically 3D printed bricks that work on the principle of evaporative cooling, and as such can be filled with water to reduce the temperature in a building, more likely than not, a home. The idea of evaporative cooling works by adding water vapour to air in order to lower the temperature in any given room.
Heres how it works”
Comprised of 3D printed porous ceramic bricks set in mortar, each brick absorbs water like a sponge and is designed as a three dimensional lattice that allows air to pass through the wall. As air moves through the 3D printed brick, the water that is held in the micro-pores of the ceramic evaporates, bringing cool air into an interior environment, lowering the temperature using the principle of evaporative cooling.
The bricks are modular and interlocking, and can be stacked together to make a screen. The 3D lattice creates a strong bond when set in mortar. The shape of the brick also creates a shaded surface on the wall to keep a large percentage of the wall’s surface cool and protected from the sun to improve the wall’s performance.
Though still in the testing phase, the designers are fairly confident that their creative will effective in cooling large rooms and may be most suitable for hot and humid climes such as ours.