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Drought Tolerant Architecture: Learning from Nature to Design Water Smart Buildings

Updated: Apr 15, 2021


Master of Architecture Senior Thesis

NewSchool of Architecture & Design

Drought Tolerant Architecture

2017 AIA Student Design Award

"The World Globes itself in a drop of dew."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

With the increase in atmospheric temperature and decrease in rain and snow fall, desert climates are faced with extreme drought conditions, making alternative water harvesting techniques crucial. In order to develop a sustainable water harvesting technique in areas with minimal rainfall, looking to nature native to the area can provide insight into what methods to take. By analyzing three items from nature and their interactions with water, a panel system was developed to harvest dew, fog, and rain. The panels are implemented onto a building designed to capitalize on maximum water harvesting. They can also be implemented in any building typology, making them accessible for new and existing buildings.

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