Energy Efficient Fan – Biomimicry

Fans are inherently energy efficient since they reduce your need for an energy hog air conditioner. But for those of us constantly pushing the envelope we want to know what the most energy efficient fan is.

Right now my favorite is the Sycamore Fan.

The main reason I love it is that it is a classic example of  Biomimicry, the act of copying nature’s design to solve human needs.

How would nature heat and cool a home? Look at a termite nest.
How would nature create natural colors? Look at butterfly wings.
How does nature move air efficiently? Look at the sycamore seed!

And then build the fan!

Check it out. It’s cool and beautiful (pun intended).


The sycamore seed is designed by nature to fly great distances using air


The Sycamore Fan uses the sycamore seed in reverse: to move wind great distances

As Brooklyn green contractors we love biomimicry. We use gadgets like the fan above but we also use materials for what they are good at instead of forcing them out of their natural element. Clay is good at absorbing humidity so we put it on the walls to help regulate the humidity of a room. Gray water is full of nutrients from soap and our body’s dead skin cells so we use it to feed the plants on the green roof, living wall and garden.

This understanding and emulation of nature’s chemistry and physics is both an act of respect to Mother Earth and a very smart thing to do for our own survival. The more we copy nature (as if we were somehow removed from it) the more we are nature, which is a good thing despite what our ignorant intellectual conceits sometimes lead us to believe.

Basically, spread some mud on your face. It will do you some good.

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2 comments on “Energy Efficient Fan – Biomimicry
  1. Heather Y. says:

    Graceful indeed – I don’t suppose it would work in a low ceiling room?

    By “work” I mean stir and cool the air without people in the room being decapitated?

  2. Dwayne says:

    Great post, I’ve read about this design before.

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