Cooling oculus for desert climate-dynamic structure for evaporative downdraft and night sky cooling

Dorit Aviv, Forrest Meggers

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We develop a model and prototype for a lightweight roof oculus structure, which integrates two complementing cooling strategies. During the day the roof oculus takes the shape of a downdraft evaporative cooling chimney. A water mist sprays inside the chimney crown, cooling and densifying hot dry air and causing it to fall down the chimney into the indoor space by free convection. During the night, the oculus structure is opened by geometric dilation designed with actuation kinetics to expose a maximum surface of the concrete slab below to the night sky above. The slab then acts as thermal mass, "storing" coolness for the following hot day. The results of the analytical model demonstrate the ability to cool a space in 40°C desert climate to comfort conditions. A scaled prototype was built and demonstrates the operation to evaporative cooling and the structural opening for expanded radiant view factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1128
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy Procedia
StatePublished - 2017
EventInternational Conference on Future Buildings and Districts - Energy Efficiency from Nano to Urban Scale, CISBAT 2017 - Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: Sep 6 2017Sep 8 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Energy


  • Evaporative Cooling
  • Kinetic Architecture
  • Radiative Cooling


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