Grohe, founder sponsor of the World Architecture Festival (WAF), has announced that the winner of the Water Research Prize 2020 is a team of researchers from Greece. The Water Research Prize is funded by Grohe and is part of the World Architecture Festival annual awards programme.
Researchers from the University of Patras have won this year’s £10,000 research prize to investigate how rainwater can be used to help cool facades of buildings in hot cities. The winners were announced as part of the WAF virtual programme, which took place online last week.
The winning project is a suspended modular lightweight front system for evaporative cooling with harvested rainwater. The structure, which can be retrofitted to existing building facades, will now be developed with consultants. Rainwater will be collected in a roof tank and used within the system, which will spray some of it onto the building, while retaining as much water as possible. During the winter season the water is harvested in insulated tanks so that in the summer months the water can be used for multiple cooling purposes. The harvested water is then filtered and distributed to different building facilities including cooling systems, sprinklers, plants or even ponds supplied through a pump that is powered by solar panels.
“What I like most about the winning entry is that it uses a clever blend of environmental and product design, and at its heart it promotes sustainability in dense urban environments”, says Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design, EMENA and who makes up part of the judging panel.
Pictured is a diagram of the winning project, illustrating how the system will work efficiently all year round.