Climate adaptive building shells (CABS) have the ability to repeatedly and reversibly change their functions, features or behavior over time in response to changes in performance requirements and variable boundary conditions. Therefore, these façade can seize the opportunity to save energy by adapting to prevailing weather conditions, and support comfort levels by immediately responding to occupants’ wishes.
Both CABS and passive buildings are designed with the same goals in mind; reducing energy demand while maintaining good comfort levels. Passive houses are sometimes accused of providing poor indoor air quality and the sealed building envelopes have been linked to negative health issues. In addition, there is the risk of not always meeting performance requirements, often expressed in terms of overheating. Because the passive approach heavily relies on the concept of robustness, passive designs typically have difficulties to cope with unexpected conditions. Eventually, this has been the motive underlying the search for means of making buildings responsive and dynamic. In Overview of 100 Climate Adaptive Building Shells, R. Loonen gives 100 examples of CABS in different stages of development. Example of CABS in the Netherlands: The Smart Façade, and (jn Dutch) the Amstelkwartier hotel (construction starts in 2011), the glass façade of this hotel reacts automatically when the guest is absent or sleeping, by closing the windows with external shutters. This way, an additional layer of insulation is created which is expected to reduce the energy consumption drastically.
For more information: ’Climate Adaptive Building Shells, what can we simulate’.
The Dutch Facet project:
"In winter, we sleep under thick blankets, but in summer we only need a thin sheet. However, the building envelope provides the same level of insulation throughout the year. The project team of Facet is exploring the possibilities of developing a dynamic building envelope: “It is possible to reduce the demand for energy for heating and cooling by a factor of 10 whilst maintaining the same level of comfort."