Adaptive Façades Systems made from Thin Glass

Façades play an important role in the control of energy flow and energy consumption in buildings as they represent the interface between the outdoor environment and the indoor occupied space. The option of regulating internal and external conditions acquires great relevance in new approaches to sustainable building solutions. Studies on climate adaptive façades show a very high potential for improved indoor environmental quality conditions and energy savings by moveable façades. A number of movable façades were realized in the past, but the use of thin glass with a thickness of 0.5 mm to 2 mm opens a brand-new field, that allows for playing with the geometry of the outer skin and the opportunity to make it adaptive by movement. In kinetic façades the high flexibility of thin-glass allows for new options for changes in size and position by bending of elements rather than implementing hinges in a system of foldable rigid panels. By application of the principles of conventional moveable façades to bendable geometries a new toolset for the design process by architects may be provided and will be explained by design examples in this paper.