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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment


Energy efficiency and management, building simulation and monitoring, smart shading and windows.

Theme 2: Building Physics Research Projects

Project Title

Adaptive Facades:  A new generation of responsive and energy efficient building envelopes

Primary Theme

Building Physics

Secondary Themes

Construction design and technology

Project Summary

Building envelopes have a direct and very significant effect on the performance and cost of the buildings they enclose. For example the (1)  The construction cost of the building envelopes often exceeds 20% of the construction cost of the outrun cost of the building it encloses, (2)  Space heating/cooling and lighting requirements in most buildings are governed by the performance of the building envelope and (3) It is estimated that the energy demand in buildings (can related CO2 Emissions) may be reduced by up to 71% by 2050 by improving existing and future building envelopes.  Façade engineering has therefore emerged as a subject of high-impact research and real-world application, because it is seen as a means to achieve significant performance improvements in existing and future buildings.  The fundamental problem with most existing and contemporary facades is that they are static systems, yet they are expected to provide optimal conditions across a broad range of teensiest external and internal conditions.  Recent developments in smart materials and sensing technologies provide an unprecedented opportunity to develop a radically new generation of facades in the form of engineered smart systems that respond to fluctuating energy demands by selectively transmitting, absorbing and reflecting the energy incident on the facade. The aim of this project is to identify the most promising technologies for adaptive facades and to subsequently develop and test an adaptive façade prototype and an optimal control strategy.