The new Tesla HQ2 building draws its inspiration from the local and common Pillbug aka Roly Poly. The thermal reactive skin on the Tesla HQ2 is inspired by the Pillbugs ability to regulate heat through evaporative cooling while recycling its water in the same process. The Pillbug is one of the few animals that does not excrete its own urine; instead its urine is pumped to the top of its exocuticle layer in its exoskeleton where it slowly filters down its side. Through that filtration process, the ammonia from its urine evaporates through its pores, leaving it with drinkable water while keeping its skin cool.
In a similar process, the thermal reactive skin for the Tesla HQ2 building, which is lined with the new Tesla Solar Roof panels, pumps the building’s greywater to a filtered membrane under the solar panels. The membrane, fitted with natural rubber hoses, uses the greywater as the source that allows for evaporative cooling to cool the black solar roof. As the greywater filters down, it is emptied into small ponds on the lower floor. These ponds keep the interior volume of the building cool through the same evaporative process as the operable thermal reactive shells open up and allow the interior heat to exit the building.