Energetic Potentials of Adaptive Facade Systems

adaptive facade © IGE 2015

The building skin as a system boundary between the internal and external space is highly responsible for the gain or reduction of loads and hence for a comfortable indoor climate, which shall be maintained in the most energy efficient way as possible. Therefore, a building envelope that is adaptive towards its environment, the internal conditions as well as the occupants behavior is desirable. So far, almost all building facades consist of fix properties which usually are only changeable in a simple manner and in few levels only which is not sufficient to fulfill the complex demands. It is important to optimize the exact reaction of temporally variable influences. This research aims to determine, which properties an ideal building envelope should adopt depending on the conditions and time of the day/year etc. The energetic potentials of so-called smart facades or adaptive facades are being analyzed, which shall achieve the maximum possible energy efficiency providing the maximum comfort through the possibility of variable physical properties. The concept of the smart facade is using weather forecasts, predicted prospective occupant behavior (based on past experiences and by means of an integrated approach of artificial intelligence) and current requirements and boundary conditions to adopt physical properties that lead to an energetically optimized performance as well as comfort for the user. A novel and innovative dynamic simulation model is being developed specifically for this project. This study shall be the base for future developments and the implementation of new building envelopes and their control in different climate regions with scientific and industrial collaborators.


Cody, B.: „Adaptive building skins in real life“, European Smart Windows Conference, Wels, Austria, 2015

Project management:
Institute of buildings and energy, TU Graz

Project duration:
2015 – 2016

Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG

Thirdparty-founded project assistences:
Sebastian Sautter, Daniel Podmirseg

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