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id ijac201210302
authors Rossi, Dino; Zoltán Nagy, Arno Schlueter
year 2012
title Adaptive Distributed Robotics for Environmental Performance, Occupant Comfort and Architectural Expression
source International Journal of Architectural Computing vol. 10 - no. 3, 341-359
summary The integration of adaptive distributed robotics in architectural design has the potential to improve building energy performance while simultaneously increasing occupant comfort. In addition, conceiving buildings as dynamic systems with the ability to adapt to the changing environments in which they exist, opens new aesthetic possibilities for designers. As the façade of a building is a common place to address issues of energy performance and occupant comfort, this paper presents a first prototype of an adaptive solar envelope (ASE). Its functions are to provide distributed shading, solar power generation through integrated photovoltaics, and daylight distribution. We describe the interdisciplinary design process, and illustrate the architectural possibilities that arise from a distributed systems approach. The ASE is expanded to work in parallel with an adaptive artificial lighting element. Rather than being preprogrammed, the systems adapt their behavior through interaction with the environment and building occupants. This adaptation to the user's wishes is demonstrated successfully for the artificial light controller. We argue that with presently available technology and an increased exposure of architecture students and practitioners to adaptive design techniques, adaptive architectures will soon become a regular element of the built environment.
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