The BIOMS research team at the University of California-Berkeley has developed a building skin called SABER, which makes indoor climate more comfortable using the same basic principals guiding the function of our own skin.
The building “skin” uses absolutely no energy and wraps around the exterior of new or existing infrastructure. Micro-scale valves and lenses react by sensing heat, light and humidity like the pores of our skin. While the building envelope does not actually cool the inside of the building, controlling the entrance of light and heat inside makes the indoor environment far more tolerable in even a harsh climate.
The research team aims to apply the building skin to developing countries in tropical regions, where populations can most benefit from the technology at little or cost to them. This is particularly important as those countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change and will need the most significant infrastructural changes to control indoor climate. The SABER building skin is applicable from the small home to the huge stadium and could revolutionize the way builders think about insulation.