Award for building that dribbles on itself

BioSkin, a system of perforated water-filled ceramic pipes that cools the exterior of buildings and their surrounding micro-climates, has won the 2014 Tall Building Innovation Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

The initial use of BioSkin was at the NBF Osaki Building in Tokyo, completed in 2011.

Based on the traditional Japanese practice of sprinkling water to lower ambient temperatures and keep dust at bay, BioSkin absorbs heat through rainwater evaporation through a fine filigree of porous tubes, mitigating the urban heat island effect by cooling the building and its surroundings.

Through this process, the surface temperature of the building enclosure can be reduced by as much as 12°C, and its micro-climate by about 2°C.

The NBF Osaki Building in Tokyo

If many buildings in a city used such a system, ambient air temperature could be reduced to the point that even buildings without the system would benefit, CTBUH says.

"This is a remarkable façade solution, both in its concept and how it has been beautifully detailed," said David Scott, Technical Awards Jury Chair and lead structural director of the Engineering Excellence Group at Laing O’Rourke, London, UK. 

The CTBUH Innovation Award recognises a specific area of recent innovation in a tall building project that has been incorporated into the design, or implemented during construction, operation, or refurbishment. 

Other finalists in the awards were One Central Park, Sydney, and Leadenhall Building, London.

For more details, click here.

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]


  1. Comment
    Sounds like a legionealla nightmare !!!

  2. It would be interesting to know how they are combating potential precipitation of particulates in the pipelines, build up of other detritus and deposits and , of course, the growth of bacteria such as legionella. Constant water treatment may be a consideration but then that will probably vaporise into the local atmosphere.

    I also wonder what the Ph of the water is at the outlet compared to the inlet or does it not change – and the potential impact on the service pipework etc and if so what treatment is used and the impact of that treatment on the overall process.

    Overall it is a great innovation and seems environmentally good if the above is suitably under control.

  3. How does one justify the massive water use required for this system on tall buildings while much of the world desperately needs potable water? Perhaps using ’tis system adjacent to oceans and pumping saltwater directly from the sea might be plausible, but a plumbing nightmare.

Comments are closed.

Latest articles in News