Water Could Be The Next Great Insulator For Your House


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Matyas Gutai, an architect from Hungary is convinced that water is the most ideal material for keeping a building at the perfect temperature.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the entire house would be built out of water, but instead coated in it, with materials such as the basic bricks, cement and plaster coating the water layer (The final idea at least).

At the time, Gutai was studying sustainable architecture at the university of Tokyo, in 2003. Gutai got the idea for using water as an insulator whilst taking a visit to the open air hot baths, he remained warm inside while it was snowing outdoors. And so it hit him.

Permission was granted by the EU to build a prototype of the water insulated home, which he has now completed in his residential town, Kecskemet, with help from his high school friend after years of development. The home showcases concepts of “liquid engineering,” which Gutai has been non-stop writing about.

Gutai has worked with multiple universities and manufacturers to make sure that the buildings are both nice to look at and comfortable to be in.

The house is structured out of both steel and glass panels (Yes, you can see the water), with a sheet of water in-between two layers, supposedly equalizing temperatures throughout the building.

The way that the house works is actually really ingenious. When it is hot the water will attempt to move the excess heat into external storage for warming up the building later. The temperature is also controllable via a monitoring system similar to central heating.

“It saves energy: it’s a very clean and sustainable solution” says Gutai.

Credit to CNN for the image. Credit to CNN for the image.

The house can produce it’s own energy and works almost independently, and cheaper.

It’s not only you that will feel cleaner from using water instead of traditional methods, it is also healthier for the environment.

Gutai announced that “Our panel can heat and cool the building itself — the water inside the panel does the very same job as heating,” continuing that “It saves energy, when you compare it to a similar building with large glass surfaces — it’s a very clean and sustainable solution.”

“As an architect I think it’s really important that this building tries to redefine permanence, which has been a key concept in architecture for thousands of years. Our approach to permanence hasn’t changed much at all, but now instead of making something very strong that tries to resist everything, we are making something that adapts to its environment.”

“Architecture is really changing in our time. We’ve reached our limits when it comes to solid architecture, now it’s reasonable to look for a new system.”

The research is around 8 or 9 years old now, but still seems promising. Gutai even came up with a way to prevent the water from freezing during winter. A form of anti-freeze using natural solvents and crystals is mixed with the water to prevent anything from happening. Small amounts of external insulation is also used as a backup.

What if one of the panels were to break? “We designed special joint units. The joint elements allow slow flow, but block faster flows,” according to Gutai.

If a panel were to break it would be quickly sealed up as a reaction to fluid dynamics, not by computers.

“Our goal should be to use less energy and materials, and take cities off-grid as much as possible. The water house is one way to do that.”

Although the eventual costs of running the house would be cheaper, building the house wouldn’t. Prices would come in slightly more expensive, as can be expected.

What else will this healthy house inspire?


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