Breathing Facade: A Sustainable and Affordable Cooling and Dehumidification Solution for Public Schools in the Tropics

In May 2020, Medium, an online publishing platform with over 60 million monthly active users, highlighted the UC Berkeley MEng Class of 2020 Capstone Award Winners for their annual accomplishments and research inventions. The 2020 awards include the Fung Institute Mission Award, the Alumni Award, and the Leadership Capstone Award.

Satomi Angelika Murayama (Fritsch,) Hazelynn Khoo, and Meijun Liu, supervised by Professor Hayden Taylor at UC Berkeley, a SinBerBEST Principal Investigator, collaborated on the Breathing Facade as their capstone project and received an honorable mention for the Fung Institute Mission Award. Furthering SinBerBEST’s ongoing research efforts, the team explored novel solutions to lowering the temperature of public school classrooms in tropical countries such as Singapore without using the typical cooling and dehumidification systems, like AC.

The Berkeley Breathing Facade team devised a new way to cool down the space with minimal energy cost by calculating the levelized cost of comfort using a Matlab model for making implementation decisions, and the team’s expertise in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and materials science.

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