Insulation Inspired by Polar Bears
- Lindey Cafsia
This submission is the result of a research, which aim was to come up with a concept for an alternative product for building insulation. This concept is a combination of architecture product design and building technology
According to different sources, where this research was based on, building insulation can be hazardous for the health of human. The materials used can cause health problems, which eventually could results in sickness and also death. The most common health issues are respiratory problems, irritations to skin and eyes and fertility problems. Some chemicals also used in the production of insulation materials are also environmentally unfriendly.
A method to find a solution for this problem was by designing a new product which would not be harmful to health or environment.
A way to give direction to the research was to start by defining the word insulation. This is a material with specific properties that is used as thermal barrier. On this way I could aim the research on two major issues, materials and applications. This method lead me to the choice of using bio based materials, which have an organic origin and should not be hazardous to human health. On the course of the research also recyclable materials were added to the list. The decision was based on the observation after several tests, that it was impossible to achieve certain aspects of the design, such as transparency, using only bio based materials.
For the shape and the application of the product I aimed on the Biomimicry of the fur and skin of the polar bear. The thermal system of fur and skin of the polar bear is the most efficient and effective method of thermal protection on the planet.
The three layers as shown on the poster can protect the animal from losing heat to the environment while harvesting energy from the sunlight. The concept also works the same. Three layers which are combined into one panel prevent the building to lose heat from inside to outside in winter and catch heat from the sun from outside. In the summer the extra heat which is harvested can be stored for use. This needs the application of a heat pump. The outside layer is built from a recyclable material. For the rest of the materials a bio based material is used, a variant in a recyclable material is also possible.
The concept functions as insulation and the façade of the building. Applying this product in a project would result a building that would look and feel like a furry animal. The panel is designed to fit in a metal frame which is normally used for building facades.
Because of the materials used for this concept it would not be a burden for the environment after its use.