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Urban Cooling Device

Outdoor life in the Arab Emirates suffers a dramatic slowdown during the hottest months. The extreme climate conditions affect resident’s everyday life and tourist’s experience. We found inspiration in the desert ecosystem to ideate a cooling device that resembles a natural fossil concretion. The intention is to generate an attractive urban landmark materialized into a porous structure that uses the cycle of water to create a cooling effect for outdoor urban areas.

The Urban Fossil

The “fossil columns” are manufactured using binder jetting sand 3d printing. The geometry is the result of the algorithmically controlled distribution of a regular module, a truncated octahedron. The algorithm creates different distributions of the module so to generate different forms. The structure, as a result, is a porous sculpture. The parameters to define the form variations are the base shape, the height, and a deformation factor. The most relevant characteristic to be monitored is the density of the distribution since it determines the porosity of the structure, crucial for the cooling effect.

The water cycles

From the basin below the columns, an electric pump draws water up through a central duct. Once at the top, the water is distributed on the area and falls into the porous structure, generating cascades of water. As the wind blows through the columns, it is cooled by the falling water. The electricity can be provided by solar energy to isolate the system from the grid. Being the water underground, it is naturally cooler than the outside temperature. This recirculation lowers the perceived temperature in the area. The process is known as evaporative cooling, whereby water vapor is added to the air, causing the temperature to drop around 6-10 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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