Numerical Investigation of Capabilities for Dynamic Self-Shading through Shape Changing Building Surface Tiles

Robert Zupan, Dale Clifford, Richard Beblo, John Brigham
A concept for a smart material morphing building surface tile that would utilise adaptive surface wrinkle patterns to improve solar interaction is explored. The effect of the wrinkle patterns is numerically investigated in the context of an objective to reduce solar irradiance entering buildings by changing the shape of the surface (i.e. surface topography) so that the façade is self-shading, thereby reducing energy costs of the building for temperature control. A generally applicable algorithm
more » ... was utilised, and is presented to quantify the area of an arbitrarily shaped/oriented surface that is in shade for any given date/time and geographic location. Numerical case studies are shown that utilise the self-shading algorithm to evaluate the capabilities of various wrinkle patterns, both static and dynamically changing, to self-shade a building surface over the course of a day. The results indicate that a morphing wrinkle pattern can substantially increase the amount and duration of surface area in shade over time in comparison to any static (non-morphing) patterns, although it is noted that changing the surface pattern results in a trade-off in the energy cost. Furthermore, it is shown that as the location of the proposed tile on the building changes, the optimal wrinkle pattern changes as well.