The energy consumption of a building is directly related to its façade. Multi-functional and adaptive building envelopes can provide step-change improvements in the energy efficiency of new and refurbished buildings while improving the wellbeing of building occupants.
The review of existing façade systems and ongoing research show that transparent and opaque façades are generally considered separately. This is why a new hybrid façade system, a transparent–opaque solar façade which incorporates seasonal adaptive daily solar-gain management to achieve an improved energy balance – is proposed: the solar-energy balanced façade (SEBF) system.
The idea is to improve the thermal performance of the transparent part by utilizing the opaque thermal mass with a minimum amount of technical installation. While the basic structure of the facade meets the current static requirements, the additional adaptive features provide a much better adaptive energy performance. The SEBF supports HVAC systems rather than hindering or restricting their function, which satisfies the basic requirement of system separation.