Airflow Barrier

Mark Mitchell partnered with SANDHELDEN to produce an architectural airflow barrier to restrict and direct airflow through buildings.

The barrier allows 50% more air to flow through in one direction than the other.

It does this by taking advantage of the differences in boundary layer formation. The result is an innovative structure that functions as a fixed geometry passive partial check valve.

Airflow partitions & walls can be utilised in buildings to:

  • Control the spread of airborne pathogens

  • Reduce energy losses

  • Limit spread of odours

  • Ensure occupant comfort and health

  • Prevent condensation and moisture damage

  • Ensure outflow of off-gassing materials (VOC)

The barrier is intended for use in residential properties, hospitality venues, offices, hospitals, retail spaces and storage warehouses. Constructed from interlocking bricks, the barrier can easily be scaled to fit any architectural project.

Mitchell developed the bricks using CFD technology to simulate various airflow conditions. The performance of the barrier increases with wind speed making it ideal for draft prone areas such as entrances, lobbies and corridors. The design is also weatherproof meaning the bricks can also be used externally as windbreaks for patios, verandas or facades.

The complex design of the bricks means they are produced using Sandhelden’s innovative sand 3D printing and post processing techniques. The result is a precisely engineered dark grey/black brick that sparkles in the light creating a premium high end feeling while in context.

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Location: London, UK
Size: Concept design
Scale model: 60 x 7 x 40 cm