I have been developing a full-scale mock-up of the evaporative roof prototype, installed at the Princeton University School of Architecture in May 2018. The mock-up takes the form of a circular pavilion 23ft in diameter (approx. 7m) and will be exhibited on campus for one month at the end of the academic year.
The intention of the mock-up is, first of all, to further pursue a study of indirect evaporative cooling as a technology that can be enabled through both formal and technical development. To this end, the mock-up will explore the aesthetic implications of the design while at the same time testing the evaporative cooling potential of the prototype with both of these objectives challenged to operate in real-life environmental conditions. Sensors will be installed and thermal comfort surveys are to be undertaken to study the radiative heat transfer of the installation in ambient conditions.
Furthermore the pavilion installation aims to push the notion of how we understand the enclosure as it relates to the thermal performance of a building. The pavilion itself is entirely unclosed, consisting only of an elevated roof – the air underneath the roof will be same temperature as its outdoor surroundings, yet cooling is possible through the principle of radiative heat exchange between the human body and a (cool) surface, demonstrating a new paradigm through which to understand the production of thermal conditioning and proposing a building-without-walls model for generating ‘interior’ climate.