Air Flow(er)

August 26, 2018
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Thermally regulated ventilation system

The Air Flow(er) is an active ventilating surface. The zero-energy apparatus consists of an assemblage of flowerlike modules that open as the ambient air temperature rises. The Air Flow(er) references the principle of thermonasty, a phenomenon that describes the ability of plants such as the yellow crocus flower to move in response to temperature changes.

Designed by Lift Architects, the system employs shape memory alloy (SMA) as its active component. The alloy can be deformed below its trigger temperature of approximately 80°F (27°C), but above this threshold, it rapidly returns to its original shape. In this way, SMA wires have the capacity to open the ventilating modules when heated. Once the air temperature drops below 60°F (16°C), the wires relax and allow the panels to close.

Air Flow(er) has three module types based on typical building aperture applications: a single-layer window, a double-layer envelope, and a roof vent. All of these systems operate without electricity.

Contact: Lift Architects, Cambridge, MA, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future

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