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The facade is the interface between interior and exterior spaces and, as such, a key area for optimizing building energy. The Competence Center Building Envelopes and Engineering actively researches facade solutions for the thermal balance of buildings.
The Solar Energy Balanced Facade (SEBF) is a novel hybrid facade system with opaque parapet and transparent glazing. The facade system is designed as an unventilated double-skin facade, allowing for the opaque parapet to be used for effective solar thermal storage. The aim is to store solar energy primarily during winter days. This energy is then released into the facade’s cavities or into the night air, resulting in a significant reduction of heat loss in the interior spaces. What is more, the storage of heat reduces secondary heat input into interior spaces, minimizing the danger of overheating.
The design is based on the principle of the "Trombe wall", which itself draws on the principle of solar heat storage behind a transparent outer shell. In this project, the passive use of solar energy is to be transferred and evaluated in a hybrid curtain wall system with transparent and opaque components.
The idea is to primarily work with "low-tech" components, which means common, proven and well-established technologies and materials are used whenever possible, to be then combined in a sophisticated way. The idea for this project originates from an exchange at the COST Action TU-1403 Adaptive Facades conference. The basic idea of the SEBF using low-tech approaches is also rooted in the field of adaptive facades. After all, the management of thermal storage also requires daily or seasonal adaptivity.
Smart sun protection solutions are based on the intention to actively and dynamically control light and heat input, be it through geometry and design or through smart material and system properties. This topic was investigated in the pre-study “Functional Sun and Anti-dazzle Textiles” in the framework of the “Adaptive Facades” specialization, and launched the exploration of this new topic in the Competence Center.
It forms the basis of current projects, creates intersections to the topic of daylight and acts as a launchpad for transdisciplinary co-operations such as a recent study on electrochromic glazing. The aim is to support developments in the field of functional and material-based optimization and to incept and support novel concepts for smart sun protection.