Learn from termites, how to make buildings that breathe |

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[사진=클립아트코리아] The image above is not directly linked to the article or report

Termites are considered pests by humans. The two scientists offer a new perspective. Researchers David Andreang Lund University and Rupert Soar, University of Nottingham Trend, point to termites as great architects. An example of this is an ant’s nest which has evolved and developed over tens of millions of years. It means you can learn environmentally friendly and efficient building techniques from insects. The research team recently published a paper in Frontiers in Materials.

Termites are the creators of the tallest biological structures in the world. They even built ants higher than 12 meters. Termites make the most of their surroundings in the building process. An ant nest found in Namibia has a complex, complex structure of passageways. According to the paper, termite mounds grow in the north where sunlight is abundant during the rainy season, which runs from November to April. However, during the rest of the year, the outlets are adequately sealed for ventilation and humidity control.

Andreen and Sohr tested how carefully the ant nest could control gas. First, the escape route was reproduced as a model with a 3D printer. The movement of the internal materials was then observed by flowing the gas mixture through the model with speaker sound waves. The strength of the gas flow within the structure varied with the frequency of oscillation of the loudspeaker. Depending on the air wave, moisture and gas moved in and out of the model.

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3D computed tomography (CT) image of the anthill exit [자료=Termite-inspired metamaterials for flow-active building envelopes]

The researchers built passages in ants with tubes. A hydraulic pump powered by an electric motor pumped the water through it, causing the water to spread. It didn’t take much pumping to spread the water through the anthill. Termite holes were able to ventilate passages with only a small amount of wind energy.

If the ant structure design is applied to the building, it may be possible to ventilate it with a small air passage. It is an easy way to control the air in a building with only low energy sensors and hydraulic motors.

“To ventilate a building, you have to maintain a delicate balance of temperature and humidity inside, while not allowing stale air to move out and fresh air to move in,” says Soar. It was seen that the new gas circulation system could perform various functions without the aid of an air conditioner. He added, “It is a structure that deals with multiple issues at the same time, such as controlling air flow and humidity in the building and releasing gases while maintaining the comfort of the house.”

The research team predicted that if technology is realized, sooner or later our society will encounter living and breathing architecture.


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