טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentOchoa Carlos
SubjectDesign of Intelligent Building Skins for Hot Climates
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Professor Isaac Guedi Capeluto
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Facades are the interface between inside and outside environments, accounting for a third of total building energy consumption in hot climates. Ideally, in order to achieve an energy-efficient building, they should adapt to every situation presented by exterior weather conditions and by users themselves. The concept of adaptation is part of what defines intelligence. This introduces the idea of a “conscious” or “intelligent” building skin providing an adequate response, while adapting to different challenges.

This study explores elements for designing intelligent facades in hot climates, using the analogy of building envelope as an intelligent organ. The envelope is understood as a protective, adaptable skin consuming the least energy possible. Design elements presented are: listing of the latest developments, classification system, outlining adequate climatic and design strategies, and a tool for their efficient design from early design stages. Several representative examples are given, detailing how climatic strategies were solved.

A classification system is proposed for intelligent facade components, to organize the large amount of available elements. The system is based on basic processes of intelligent beings (perception, reasoning and action), adapted into robotics and artificial intelligence (sensors, control processors and actuators). Relevant architectural design concepts influencing energy behaviour of facades are explained.

Adequate climatic strategies for intelligent facades in hot climates were determined in accordance with Israel Standard SI 5282 part 2: energy rating of office buildings. They also considered how decisions made during the design process affect performance of a finished building. The best design strategies and their timing within the architectural process are compared through energy and visual comfort evaluations, incorporating different responsive behaviours.

One of the main products of this research is the development of a conceptual model and computerized design assistant tool. It is called NewFacades. Its value resides in suggesting, from early design stages, intelligent facade combinations based on project data as well as architectural ideas and concepts. Combinations proposed by NewFacades are evaluated and compared with EnergyPlus, a late-stage energy simulation tool. Alternatives proposed by NewFacades can be modified further using existing programs, advancing the design process. These features are uncommon in design tools of today, which require exact data and evaluate one finished alternative at a time.

A series of practical guidelines is provided to implement intelligent facades for hot climates in new and existing projects.