Long Beach, CA, USA


Eric Askeland, Tim Enslow, Albert Gonzalez, Oscar Guerra, Jesus Mateo

Phalanx Insulation

This team from California State University at Long Beach developed a biomimicry-inspired insulation grid meant to be applied to exterior walls of existing buildings. Intended to be used in urban coastal regions like Southern California, this system is designed to reduce interior temperatures of buildings passively without the need for electricity. The system includes three layers. The shade-grid layer has a wavy patterns and reflective surface inspired by the cactus and Saharan silver ant. The air channel layer, inspired by cathedral termites, directs hot air up and out of the system. The capillary layer was inspired by the Saharan camel and wheat, and can collect the morning dew from the air or pull up gray water from an underlying trough. Phalanx requires no electricity, has no moving parts, can be assembled on existing architecture, makes use of otherwise wasted water, and ultimately saves money while it cools.


Phalanx Insulation addresses Sustainable Development Goals: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (#9), Sustainable Cities and Communities (#11), Responsible Consumption and Production (#12), Climate Action (#13).