“Termite Inspired Airconditioning”

Topics: HVAC, Termite, Heat Pages: 2 (619 words) Published: November 23, 2009
*The Eastgate Complex*:
The Eastgate Complex located in Harare, Zimbabwe was designed by the Engineers of Arup led by Mick Pearce. This complex is designed with the inspiration from the ventilation design from termite mounds. Termites require their home to remain at an exact temperature of 30.5°C throughout the day even when the temperature ranges from 1°C (during the night) to 40°C (during the day). This complex has natural cooling ventilation process with specially designed hooded windows, variable thickness wall and light coloured paints to reduce heat absorption. The Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe may look just like any other tall buildings around the world, but it is quite different: it was modeled after termite mound! Biomimicry’s Cool Alternative

The Eastgate Centre typifies the best of green architecture and ecologically sensitive adaptation. The country’s largest office and shopping complex is an architectural marvel in its use of biomimicry principles. The mid-rise building, designed by architect Mick Pearce in conjunction with engineers at Arup Associates, has no conventional air-conditioning or heating, yet stays regulated year round with dramatically less energy consumption using design methods inspired by indigenous Zimbabwean masonry and the self-cooling mounds of African termites! 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. 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. With a system of carefully adjusted convection currents, air is sucked in at the lower part of the mound, down into enclosures with muddy walls, and up through a channel to the peak of the termite mound. The industrious termites constantly...
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