Adaptive Building Envelopes.

2014_12_03 immagine 02For the third time, the international conference “Fassade 2014” took place in Switzerland this year, organised by the Competence Center Facade and Metal Engineering of the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture and the University Ostwestfalen-Lippe in  Detmold (D) in cooperation with the Schweizerische Zentrale für Fenster und Fassade (SZFF). Internationally renowned engineers and architects introduced newest trends, developments and technologies related to the building envelope.

This year’s event, themed “Adaptive Building Envelopes” was dedicated to a still relatively  new technology.

On the path toward more energy efficient buildings, multifunctional, adaptive and dynamic facades can be considered the next big milestone in facade technology. Adaptive building envelopes are able to interact with the environment and the user by reacting to external influences and adapting their behaviour and functionality accordingly: the building envelope insulates only when necessary, it produces energy when possible, it shades or ven-tilates when the indoor comfort so demands.

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KKL Luzern

In spite of numerous already realised projects the development and realisation of adaptive building envelopes is still in the initial stage. In addition to new technologies that enable adaptive behaviour, simulation tools and suitable testing methods must be developed, and existing norms and regulations must be adapted. Another step is to integrate such facades in the overall building system which requires a holistic view due to the many interfaces with other subcontracts such as building services, for example.

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Andreas Luible, Head of Competence Center Facade and Metal Engineering, Lucerne

Currently, European research in the field of adaptive building envelopes is coined by numerous nationally funded projects and a lack of knowledge transfer between the individual research institutes amongst each other and the industry. To counteract this situation, the European Facade Network (EFN) with its partner universities TU Delft, University Ostwestfalen-Lippe (Detmold), University of Bath, University of the Basque Country and the Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture has initiated COST Action TU1403M – Adaptive Facades Network.

The main aim of the Action with more than 22 participating European countries is to harmonise, share and disseminate technological knowledge on adaptive facades at a European level and to generate ideas for new innovative technologies and solutions.


In parallel with this conference, a one-week workshop was held together with master and bachelor students from our partner universities of the EFN (TU Delft (NL), University Ost-Westfalen-Lippe in Detmold (D), Universidad del Pais Vasco (E), University of Bath (UK). This year’s challenge was to build a small prototype of an adaptive façade including an intelligent control system.

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Fassade2014, 28. November 2014 – Luzern (CH)

An der internationalen Konferenz «Fassade2014» stellen international renommierte Ingenieurinnen und Architekten neueste Trends, Entwicklungen und Technologien in der Gebäudehülle vor. Die diesjährige Veranstaltung unter dem Motto «Adaptive Gebäudehüllen» widmet sich einer noch neuen Technologie in der Fassaden-Entwicklung.

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