This research project is led by PennPraxis Faculty Dr. Dorit Aviv in collaboration with Dr. Aletheia Ida, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona, and Dr. Forrest Meggers, Assistant Professor at Princeton University.
This project proposes an adaptive evaporative roof chimney as a passive cooling prototype for the desert climate. The system acts as a buffer zone between outdoor and indoor spaces, providing downdraft airflow cooled by a hydrogel membrane surface which diffuses humidity into the dry desert air during the day. Several digital simulations and physical experiments have been previously conducted to explore the materials, form, and structural feasibility of the chimney prototype. Through continued research, PennPraxis will study the airflow dynamics inside the chimney using multiple CFD simulation software to inform the structure's design and improve the system's efficiency.