BioSkin 'vertical sprinkler' named top technical innovation in high-rise design

The design approach is based on the traditional Japanese practice of uchimizu, the sprinkling of water to lower ambient temperatures, clean the streets, and keep dust at bay.

All photos: © Harunori Noda / courtesy CTBUH
BioSkin is a system of water-filled ceramic pipes that cools the exterior surface of buildings and their surrounding micro-climates. All photos: © Harunori Noda / courtesy CTBUH
July 10, 2014

BioSkin, a system of water-filled ceramic pipes that cools the exterior surface of buildings and their surrounding micro-climates, has won the 2014 Tall Building Innovation Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

The initial use of BioSkin was at the NBF Osaki Building in Tokyo, Japan. Based on the traditional Japanese practice of uchimizu, the sprinkling of water to lower ambient temperatures, clean the streets, and keep dust at bay, BioSkin absorbs heat through rainwater evaporation, mitigating the urban heat island effect by cooling the building, as well as its immediate surroundings.

Through this process, the surface temperature of the building enclosure can be reduced by as much as 12°C and its micro-climate by about 2°C. The potential implications of this are substantial: If a large number of buildings in a city used such a system, ambient air temperature could be reduced to the point that cooling loads for many buildings, even those without the system installed, could be reduced.

 


The initial use of BioSkin was at the NBF Osaki Building in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: © Harunori Noda / courtesy CTBUH

 

“This is a remarkable façade solution, both in its concept and how it has been beautifully detailed,” said David Scott, Technical Awards Jury Chair and lead structural director of the Engineering Excellence Group at Laing O’Rourke, London, UK. “I look forward to seeing this being proven by measurement. It is elegantly and delicately detailed, and it is quite outstanding, as it is combined with many other innovations in this remarkable building.” 

The CTBUH Innovation Award recognizes a specific area of recent innovation in a tall building project that has been incorporated into the design, or implemented during construction, operation, or refurbishment. The areas of innovation can embrace any discipline, including but not limited to:

  • Technical breakthroughs
  • Construction methods
  • Design approaches
  • Urban planning
  • Building systems
  • Façades
  • Interior environment

The Awards Jury also recognizes several Finalists in the Tall Buildings Innovation category.

  • Living Walls – as used at One Central Park, Sydney, Australia, also the recipient of the 2014 Best Tall Building Asia & Australia award.
  • Active Alignment – as used at the Leadenhall Building, London, UK.

All award winners will be recognized at the CTBUH 13th Annual Awards Symposium, which will take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, on November 6. The symposium will be followed by the awards ceremony and dinner in the iconic Crown Hall, designed by Mies van der Rohe. The 10-Year, Lifetime Achievement, and Building Performance awards will be announced in the coming weeks, and will also feature at November’s awards events.

For more on the 2014 Tall Building Innovation Award, visit: http://www.ctbuh.org/Awards/AllPastWinners/2014Awards/PR_InnovationAward/tabid/6474/language/en-US/Default.aspx.

         
 

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