Integrated facade technolgy
Singapore, 20th June 2010
During Light & Building I met with a Zumtobel representative who gave me a run down on the company’s latest thinking in regards to integrated façade technology. Tucked away in a little corner of the huge Zumtobel stand a small area was dedicated to showing the technologies that could be integrated in a building façade…to be more precise the integration of light, power generation and climatisation, with the key being the synergy between the various technologies and the general aim to create sustainable living environments. Today I received a more in-depth report on this subject.
In analyzing the façade there are a number of tasks that we are looking for. The first task is basic illumination…if we can use a window to capture daylight for the inside, can we harvest the same for lighting at night? During the day integrated “light shelves” could maximise daylight penetration into the buildings. At night integrated lighting could provide an artificial lighting replacement. Light shelves that redirect the light during the day could be made of integrated linear LED’s that reproduce similar lighting effects at night. A combination of say OLED’s and Photo-Voltaics (PV) could also offer some interesting opportunities.
A second task is probably lighting control, whether it is the control of direct glare or pronounced shadows. The relation with the outside world (incoming daylight or reversely the control of outgoing light pollution from inside) seems to be controllable through the control and extend of façade “transparency”. A louver system could be adjusted to the position of the sun and its direct radiation. It is easy to see that this louver system can function as a light shelf at the same time…sensors could be employed to regulate the lighting according to need and daylight situation. In the same breath it is easy to see how climatisation (temperature control) can be incorporated.
Finally there is the integration of renewable energy systems in the facade, in this case PV, but if wind turbines can be minimized effectively and economically then these could possibly be integrated as well in the future. The integrated renewable energy systems are potentially capable of becoming a little local power network that can provide all the power needs for the area behind its façade…
Together with the lighting options an exciting thought and not that far away!