Termites and Climate Control - Pacific Standard

Termites and Climate Control

An African skyscraper built in 2007 features a unique climate-control system inspired by the gigantic termite mounds found in the Zimbabwean bush.
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

Those who believe termites' only function is to keep pest control companies in business may want to visit Eastgate Center in Harare, Zimbabwe. Besides being the country's largest office building and shopping center, the mostly concrete skyscraper built in 2007 features a unique climate-control system inspired by the gigantic termite mounds found in the Zimbabwean bush. The termites feed on a fungus that must be kept at a constant 87 degrees; thus, Isoptera have designed their living spaces with a carefully orchestrated system of vents that the insects are constantly opening or closing to accommodate daily temperature swings of up to 70 degrees. Like these mounds, Eastgate utilizes a similar type of ventilation system to pump either cooler or warmer air upward from the ground floor. Beyond eliminating the need for a $3.5 million air-conditioning plant, the structure uses 10 percent less energy than a conventional building of comparable size.

mmw_EastGate_inset_080609
TERMITE_REFER_REV

Related