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In a very modern take on an ancient cooling technique, Cool Bricks are 3D printed porous ceramic bricks that interlock together forming a 3D lattice effect.  The porous material absorbs water, which is released as the warm air from outside passes through the lattice, with the effect of cooling the air through evaporative cooling.

The design has been optimised for both cooling performance and buildability.  When stacked together the bricks interlock to make a screen.  The brick is shaped to maximise the proportion of the surface that is shaded from the sun to maximise the cooling performance

The low cost of the materials and the ease of production and installation of the technology makes it a good solutions to provide comfortable indoor environments in hot, dry climates such as the Middle East and Western Australia.

Cool Bricks are the brainchild of Emerging Objects, a California-based studio focussing on innovation in 3D printing architecture and building components.   Their focus is very much on materials and design for 3d printing.

Their research outputs around materials covers everything from patented cement polymers, printed wood, salt and acrylics.  Their investigations into architectural form include the Involute Wall that combines thermal mass and acoustic dampening prototype for thermal mass and acoustic dampening in a massive 3D printed sand structure.  Much of the innovation is at the prototype stage but it will be interesting to see how these concepts and designs filter through to mainstream application.

Image courtesy Emerging Objects

Ali Nicholl
About the Author
Innovation Network Manager @BRE_Group helping companies to innovate within the built environment. All opinions my own.

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