SABER. A smart biomaterial

Current buildings waste a lot of energy. We are used to using air conditioning, furnaces, etc. to have a comfortable atmosphere at home. Nevertheless, the great energy consumption isn’t taken into account many times. New and future buildings are expected to waste much less energy than previous one. New materials, facades and more efficient building services should get it. SABER is a kind of facade that could help to achieve this objective.

SABER biomaterial

SABER biomaterial

Developed at the University of Berkeley,SABER aims to produce a natural ventilation. But the difference with other existing materials is that it is self-regulating. The main researcher of the study, María-Paz Gutierrez, explains the main objectives and novelty of the proposal as following:

It began with the aim of being a skin that can breathe, similar to our skin, that can open and close its pores, to regulate the temperature, humidity, and light conditions. In some ways the reach of this, beyond the specific material itself, is also creating awareness of the critical opportunities that exist to develop self-regulating systems. That’s the fundamental difference between, for example, photovoltaics that follow the sun path or other types of systems that depend on mechanized activation—as efficient as they may be, they still require input. The idea here is to develop materials that are fully self-regulating.


The material is suitable for developing countries. Although we could think that developing countries consume less energy than developed ones, the reality is quite different. Developing countries waste twice the energy of developed ones and they expect to increase this amount up to five times by 2050.

We focus more on technologies that are applicable for developing nations because that’s where the big thrust of innovation in construction takes place. We’re looking at tropical regions, since that’s where you have the largest population that requires strategies that are low cost.

SABER doesn’t provide a perfect temperature and humidity at your home. But thanks to the natural ventilation produced, the comfort is increased. Moreover, if evaporation is enabled, the comfort will be higher.

We encourage you to visit BIOMS website to know more about this project.


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