The Hydro Wall

1/3 scale fiberglass prototype

1/3 scale fiberglass prototype

The Hydro Wall is an advanced thermal mass. Thermal mass is simply a solid or liquid material that will absorb and store warmth and coolness until it is needed. Through direct gain design, sunlight is admitted to the wall and virtually all of it is converted to thermal energy. The Hydro Wall is used for solar collection and thermal storage by intercepting radiation directly, and by absorbing reflected or reradiated energy.

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A. Roof runoff is stored in Hydro Wall. B. Water absorbs solar radiation. C. Excess water spills into surface planters. D. Water is guided by surface topology. E. Water is used for heating, cooling and irrigation

As long as the room temperature remains high in the interior space storage mass (walls, floors) will conduct heat to their cores. At night, when outside temperatures drop and the interior space cools, the heat flow into the storage masses is reversed and heat is given up to the interior space in order to reach equilibrium. This re-radiation of collected daytime heat can maintain a comfortable¬†temperature during cool/cold nights and can extend through several cloudy days without “recharging”.

1. The Hydro Wall is a modular panel system. 2. Waterproof joint. 3. Panel collects rainwater from roof. 4. Undulating surface accommodates planters and cisterns. 5. Spigots on exterior allow for drainages.

1. The Hydro Wall is a modular panel system. 2. Waterproof joint. 3. Panel collects rainwater from roof. 4. Undulating surface accommodates planters and cisterns. 5. Spigots on exterior allow for drainages.

Tilt-up construction

Tilt-up construction

The Hydro Wall as a cladding for big-box retail outlets

The Hydro Wall as a cladding for big-box retail outlets

A water storage wall system

A water storage wall system

Project Date: 2006
Project Team: Virginia San Fratello, Ronald Rael, Isaiah Dunlap, Janice Fowler, Daniel Herrera
Additional Information: The Hydro Wall was the 2006 winner in Metropolis Magazine’s Next Generation competition.

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