Smart glazing and adaptive facades: what can we simulate?

The integration of smart glazing and adaptive façade in buildings can lead to large performance improvements and added functionality compared to conventional static building envelope systems. This is achieved not only by embedding automatic/controllable (smart/active) switchable materials into the building envelope, but also including intelligence into the way the whole building is operated.

During the design process, a vast amount of time is spent on understanding the performance achievable with these novel technologies. Desk studies and Building Performance Simulation can be used to support the design process or these technologies and of the building integrating them. Although BPS tools traditionally lag behind the development of novel technologies and adaptive building envelope systems.

In this work we outline the main requirements for BPS of adaptive facades and of smart glazing. These include user interface, models available, integration of physical domains, integration and customisation of control strategies, interaction with building services, interoperability with CAD and generative tools. We analyse possible BPS tools that could be used and their main advantages and drawbacks, and describe the latest advances for more integrated simulation methodologies and tools.