Home TECHNOLOGY A Building That Can Cool Itself Without Air Conditioning Inspirded By Termites

A Building That Can Cool Itself Without Air Conditioning Inspirded By Termites

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How do you cool a building without air conditioning? Using an approach called biomimicry, see how architect Mick Pearce harnessed the ingenuity of termites to design a natural cooling system for the largest commercial building in Zimbabwe.

source/image: National Geographic

Termites in Zimbabwe build gigantic mounds inside of which they farm a fungus that is their primary food source. The fungus must be kept at exactly 87 degrees F, while the temperatures outside range from 35 degrees F at night to 104 degrees F during the day.

source/image: National Geographic

The termites achieve this remarkable feat by constantly opening and closing a series of heating and cooling vents throughout the mound over the course of the day.

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Termites apparently actually built walls that were porous and also “breathed” nicely like “lungs” to make the termite mounds cooler,inhaling and exhaling once a day as they are heated and cooled.

The research, which was conducted under the supervision of Applied Mathematics professor Lakshminarayan Mahadevan, revealed that the termites mounds drive a convection current, which helps the release of stale air from the underground nest to the surface of the mound.