Zero energy adaptive facade for energy efficeint buildings

 Sponsor: UB-SMART

PIs: H. Lin, J. Song, J. Shim


The overarching goal of this proposed project is to develop a Zero Energy Adaptive Facade (ZEAF) integrating a photochemical responsive polymer sheet into building facades through an origami inspired folding pattern to efficiently control the heat gain, and thus enhance the building energy efficiency. The facades emulate the diffuse, dappled light quality created by deciduous trees in the summertime by smoothly responding to daylighting conditions. The basic principle is that stress is developed during the light irradiation of a smart polymer sheet, which is bonded to thin, stiff polymer layers. This allows the formation of hinges that can reversibly fold with control of mountain and valley assignments. Specifically, the PIs will design and optimize the light responsive polymers based on Crosslinked Liquid-Crystalline Polymers (CLCPs) and the folding patterns with artistry to allow diffused shading with millimeter scale panel folds, just like sunshine through leaves. The PIs expect that this transformative approach will be applied to the mass production of dynamic facade systems with relatively inexpensive material cost and a high degree of design flexibility for green buildings with high energy-efficiency. 

Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
240 Ketter Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260