The energy and resources we consume on a daily life basis are precious and very limited. That affects all kinds of industries and their working. With the construction industry being at its highest demand today, there is a need for reducing energy consumption for the operation of a building.
In the near past, the major focus was concentrated towards designing aesthetically-pleasing facades. Today, building smart façade still need to look beautiful, but also help save energy or even generate energy and regulate operations such as ventilation, light etc. to optimize its performance.
“A facade can be described as truly ‘smart’ if it uses natural, renewable energy sources such as solar radiation, airflow and geothermal energy to meet the building’s energy needs concerning heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting”.
: Andrea Compagno , Smart glass façades – Material, Application, Design, Birkhäuser 2002
So, a smart façade or an intelligent façade is truly smart when it adapts to the environmental conditions. There are some of the most interesting building facades that have come across in recent years.
The Energy Generating Smart Façade –
An algae-powered smart façade in Germany is a 2,150-square-foot wall is a result of constant research and testing by a group of designers from Splitterwerk Architects and Arup. Its resemblance to a Chartreuse liqueur is quite uncanny.
This smart façade is covered with millions of microscopic algae plants, being fed regularly with nutrients and O2. With sunlight hitting over the building façade, this system then helps heat the water which is harvested and used by the building!
The Dynamic Moving Smart Façade –
When it comes to dynamic and moving building facades, Sharifa-ha House designed by Nextoffice in Tehran, Iran is one of the best examples. The residence features a system of turning boxes, where each box can be rotated and turned as per the views, and the climatic conditions.
The Dynamic Green Façade –
A new form of smart building facades, is an integration of greeneries and the outer skin. House in Travessa Do Patrocinio in Lisbon, Portugal, shows a building façade can be dynamic despite without needing a high technology system.
The building façade is covered with around 4500 plants creating a thick vegetation cover separating the actual building façade and the outer environment. This thus becomes a form of living and breathing facades.
Although, one posing question with a smart façade is the energy needed to run those systems, and the maintenance costs of the same. As promised by the advancing technologies, are they as sustainable as they seem to be? Nevertheless, with climate change and different aspects coming in, architects and designers should keep innovating and experimenting with different façade systems.