This year's event, themed “Adaptive Building Envelopes” is dedicated to a still relatively new technology.
On the path toward more energy efficient buildings, multifunctional, adaptive and dynamic facades can be considered the next big milestone in facade technology. Adaptive building envelopes are able to interact with the environment and the user by reacting to external influ-ences and adapting their behaviour and functionality ac-cordingly: the building envelope insulates only when nec-essary, it produces energy when possible, it shades or ven-tilates when the indoor comfort so demands.
In spite of numerous already realised projects the development and realisation of adaptive building envelopes is still in the initial stage. In addition to new technologies that enable adaptive behaviour, simulation tools and suitable testing methods must be developed, and existing norms and regulations must be adapted. Another step is to integrate such facades in the overall building system which requires a holistic view due to the many interfaces with other subcontracts such as building services, for example.
Currently, European research in the field of adaptive building envelopes is coined by numerous nationally funded projects and a lack of knowledge transfer between the individual research institutes amongst each other and the industry. To counteract this situation, the European Fa-cade Network (EFN) with its partner universities TU Delft, University Ostwestfalen-Lippe (Detmold), University of Bath, University of the Basque Country and the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture has initiated COST Action TU1403M – Adaptive Facades Network.
The main aim of the Action with more than 22 participating European countries is to harmonise, share and disseminate technological knowledge on adaptive facades at a European level and to generate ideas for new innovative technologies and solutions.