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waxing scientific

To substantiate my claims I looked into the effect known as Plant Thermal Effect, or PTE, and found that we have a few examples existing already. We know through research and trials that rooftop gardens cool the immediate area that they are planted on. Additionally they have an effect on the floors below as they act as a barrier to the sun.

Passive Cooling of Buildings

The link above is to a book called “Passive Cooling of Buildings” and talks about the benefits of surrounding trees and rooftop gardens. Over page 109-114 it discusses the various benefits of surrounding houses with plant life and bodies of water. The effect from the trees alone it claims will allow for a temperature drop of up to 8.5o C. Granted this is only in situations where dense vegetation can be grown hence not available to the masses. Luckily this is just a side benefit of the system I propose.

Tree building link 1

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Tree building link 2

A lesser discussed one is the cooling effect of oxygen to its environment. This proposed structure in Spain works on the idea that “The trees will produce oxygen and provide a cooling environment to offset radiated heat in cities”

Either way, on to the main idea, using water that moves through the house or a room as a continuously flowing thermal mass. In “Passive Cooling of Buildings” the use of a body of water as a thermal mass was discussed, as were the downfalls such as, needing to replenish the water that gets evaporated, care for growth of bacteria and so on.

So we need to find a way to get a body of water in the house that requires as little maintenance as possible, non of this filtering and topping up stuff anyway. Trees take moisture out of the ground and send it up to their leaves for processing. When the water evaporates from the leaves, it pulls up more water. This is known as transpiration. Also there are certain species of trees known as vascular trees. Vascular trees have two “arteries” called Xylem and Phloem. In essence Xylem transport water through the plant and Phloem transports organic material throughout the plants. I plan to find a way to separate the plant from any direct water source. So the plant will be in soil, sure but I wont allow it to come in contact with moisture. Instead I will extend the Xylem through artificial means so it flows through the house and to the tree.

Now for more science. I think, based on initial research, that I will do this by creating a semi-permeable membrane that is surgically attached to the aspects of the roots I require and this will flow through the house. The semi-permeable membrane is important as it will still allow the temperature exchange to occur and also will make it easier to get water through osmosis.

Now for a quick explanation about semi-permeables and osmosis. A semi permeable membrane is a surface which lets molecules of a certain size through it by diffusion. Osmosis is in essence the movement of water from a high concentration of water to a low concentration through a semi-permeable membrane.

Oh, nearly forgot, water is currently being used as a means to reduce electricity bills in the quest for control over ambient temperature. As show here with the groundhog. Water is said to have “double the R value of concrete“. R value being a measure of insulation.

The only issue right now is, no one seems to have research and published much about artificially feeding tree roots from another source. I will try some experiments now and see how we go.

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