Termites discovered how to keep their internal nest temperature in a range of 1 degree Celsius even though external temperatures can change by as much as 39 degrees Celsius. By looking at how the Termite mounds are created, the design team engineers in Zimbabwe (designed by architect Mick Pearce in conjunction with engineers at Arup Associates) created a building which borrowed the technology of the termites’ nest structure. the result was a building which uses only 10% of the energy of a typical building of its size. Without either air conditioning or heating systems the building maintains a constant temperature, creating savings of ~$3.5 million in energy costs during the first five years. Buildings account for 40% of human energy consumption, so implementing sustainable design into their structure is paramount if we are to win the battle of energy requirements for our ever increasing population.
Original article by Jock Gilchrist at http://livinggreenmag.com/