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.
Unlike the CTBUH Best Tall Building awards, which consider each project holistically, this award is focused on one special area of innovation within the design, construction, or operation of the project. Award winners will be recognized at the CTBUH 13th Annual Awards Symposium, which will take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago in November.