Beyond Shading: radiant evaporative cooling

Beyond Shading: New materials, technologies, and forms for cool spaces

The research investigates three novel techniques of reducing the surface temperatures to achieve additional comfort:

1) Development of a new direct evaporation membrane on the facade,
2) Activation of the structure by combining technologies of integrated radiant piping with an evaporative cooling tower, and
3) Generating an intelligent form that reflects the radiant temperature of a single pipe throughout the space.

These methods utilize evaporative cooling methods that only require a small amount of pumping energy to achieve cooler temperatures. Through radiative heat exchange, the mean radiant temperature shifts the perceived comfort of users while air temperature may remain out of typical comfort range. By engaging with architecture and engineering students, adapting structure and form, and imbedding new materials and technologies we will demonstrate a new type of cool space with broad implications for the system design conventions and resulting energy demand of buildings.

Prof. George Scherer
Prof. Sigrid Adriaenssens
Prof. Elie Bou-Zeid
Prof. Claire Gmachl


Radiant Umbrella

The initial prototype system consisting of a mylar shell reflecting from small capillary-type tubing.

The system was built in two-weeks using simple material and outfitted with basic Arduino style control

Radiant cooling umbrella


ECCENTRIC Buildings 

Evaporative Cooling in Constructed ENvelopes by Transmission and Retention Inside Casings of Buildings

A project looking into the direct evaporation through porous material to allow a dry facade to sweat and cool the underlying material.

More info on the ECCENTRIC page



The final pavilion designed and constructed in the summer for 2014 for the Beyond Shading project

The name is in reference to the Thermoheliodon built by Professors Victor and Aladar Olgyay in the Princeton Architectural Laboratory in the 1950’s

More info on the Thermoheliodome page



Research team led by Prof Forrest Meggers, faculty jointly appointed in the School of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.