The Secret Solution To Urban Heat As Taught By Termites

How do you cool a building without air conditioning?

In nature, termites build skyscraper-like mounds that are ventilated by a complex system of tunnels. By emulating the ingenuity of termites, Zimbabwean architect Mick Pearce used an approach called biomimicry to design a natural cooling system that harnessed nature. The result is an architectural marvel that achieves 90 percent passive climate control by taking cool air into the building at night and expelling heat throughout the day.

In this first installation of the Decoder series, see how the Eastgate Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe utilizes a termite-inspired climate control system.

 

This feature originally appeared in National Geographic.

 

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