Animal thermoregulation: a review of insulation, physiology and behaviour relevant to temperature control in buildings

McCafferty, D.J. , Pandraud, G., Gilles, J., Fabra-Puchol, M. and Henry, P.-Y. (2017) Animal thermoregulation: a review of insulation, physiology and behaviour relevant to temperature control in buildings. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, 13(1), 011001. (doi: 10.1088/1748-3190/aa9a12)

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Abstract

Birds and mammals have evolved many thermal adaptations that are relevant to the bioinspired design of temperature control systems and energy management in buildings. Similar to many buildings, endothermic animals generate internal metabolic heat, are well insulated, regulate their temperature within set limits, modify microclimate and adjust thermal exchange with their environment. We review the major components of animal thermoregulation in endothermic birds and mammals that are pertinent to building engineering, in a world where climate is changing and reduction in energy use is needed. In animals, adjustment of insulation together with physiological and behavioural responses to changing environmental conditions fine-tune spatial and temporal regulation of body temperature, while also minimizing energy expenditure. These biological adaptations are characteristically flexible, allowing animals to alter their body temperatures to hourly, daily, or annual demands for energy. They exemplify how buildings could become more thermally reactive to meteorological fluctuations, capitalising on dynamic thermal materials and system properties. Based on this synthesis, we suggest that heat transfer modelling could be used to simulate these flexible biomimetic features and assess their success in reducing energy costs while maintaining thermal comfort for given building types.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The work was funded by SGI/MNHN research contract #573-15.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McCafferty, Dr Dominic
Authors: McCafferty, D.J., Pandraud, G., Gilles, J., Fabra-Puchol, M., and Henry, P.-Y.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Bioinspiration and Biomimetics
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:1748-3182
ISSN (Online):1748-3190
Published Online:13 November 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 IOP Publishing
First Published:First published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics 13(1):011001
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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