Facade System allows building to ‘breathe’

Facade System allows building to 'breathe'

how to keep the climate comfortable in buildings, without energy-intensive installations

Do you also have dry eyes and headaches in your office building? This new Facade System allows a building to ‘breathe’. Tobias Becker used biomimicry for a pleasant indoor climate. 

German innovation

The German engineer Ing. Tobias Becker has developed a glass facade system that requires minimal energy to generate a pleasant indoor climate. The system allows air through holes and makes buildings ‘breathe’.

The Breathing Skins Project consists a number of glass walls, which are provided on the surface of air-permeable holes and inflatable members. These organic elements work as pores of the human skin.

The air holes open in order to incorporate the air.

Then, the organic elements are blowing themself

Finally the elements blow the air into the space



The inflatable elements of the facade work as pneumatic muscles, which are operating following the wishes of the user in order to allow through the correct quantity of air, light and visibility. The façade system can also change color, exposing the inside of the transparent glass facade is protected.

In the development of the Breathing Skins, Thomas Becker has applied the principles of biomimicry, in which systems and patterns are applied from nature in order to solve problems. In this case, the question was how to keep the climate comfortable in buildings, without energy-intensive installations.


At this time, a prototype of the breathable outer-wall system is traveling around in Germany. Becker wants to develop the system further with different colors for a better fit in the area. For this innovation, the engineer has been nominated for several German awards, including the German Design Award 2017.

Test it yourself

In the Breathing Skins Showroom in Hamburg, the Breathing Skins Technology can be experienced and tested under realistic conditions. On every square meter, 140 pneumatic muscles are controlled without any visible technical installations.

Around 2800 of these are integrated into the facade, amounting a length of over ten meters and an area of 25 sqm.

Buildings and ecosystems

In an interview with Green Business Media, Geanne van Arkel, explained the importance of buildings and ecosystems.

“On both building and urban level, we can learn a lot from nature in order to facilitate sustainable and healthy life,” she says. In many cases, buildings are constructed with sustainable requirements which are functionally inadequate. They forget taking in account the needs of the users.


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