Essay: Evaluation of Adaptive Facades: The case study of Al Bahr Towers in UAE

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Evaluation of Adaptive Facades: The case study of Al Bahr Towers in UAE
Shady Attia,
Sustainable Buildings Design Lab, ArGEnCo, Applied Sciences, University of Liège, Belgium, [email protected]
The evaluation of adaptive facades presents a challenge because there is no established evaluation strategy to systematically reach this goal. Many of the available façade performance evaluation systems or frameworks have limited applicability for such advanced building facades. The complexity of adaptive or dynamic facades evaluation is related to the performance evaluation of façade elements, systems and overall building performance coupled to occupant behavior and occupant satisfaction. In this context, we present\\s a case study for an adaptive sunscreens façade and evaluate its performance and occupant behavior. The evaluation focuses mainly on pre and post construction phase of adaptive facades: The design assist phase (including the durability test, visual mockup, onsite mashrabiya mounting and weather stripping), the commissioning phase (field verification and performance testing) and the monitoring phase. The selected project is a 150 meters high twin tower that stands with honey-comb inspired structure and automated dynamic solar screen that responds to the sun’s movement. These solar screens respond dynamically and automatically to the angle of the sun which improves the control over energy consumption, solar radiation and glare with the ability to admit natural light into the building. The paper is part of the research activities of working group 3 of the European COST Action 1403 on “Adaptive Facades “. Different methods were used for evaluation, this include: interviews with the architect and façade engineer and technical control specialist, occupants, reviews of standard and codes, review of energy models and a systematic design process mapping. A documentation of the case study describing the post construction occupant comfort, and façade operation was prepared. This paper’s audience is mainly project managers, architects, building façade engineers together with facility managers concerned with the process of design, construction and operation of adaptive sunscreens facades. The outcome of this study identifies quantifiable performance indicators and effective strategies for the design and performance evaluation of optimal adaptive facades.
Keywords: sunscreens, occupant behavior, occupant comfort, solar gain, daylight, operation and control, service life
1. Introduction
In a world confronting environmental challenges, there is an earnest requirement for dynamic building envelopes that reacts to climate in an ideal way giving the best comfort and indoor environmental quality, while keeping up high effectiveness. Adaptive façades can give step-change upgrades in the energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy while improving the comfort of buildings tenants. In this manner, they are vital in accomplishing Europe’s 2020 targets (Annunziata, Frey, and Rizzi, 2013). Adaptive Facades are building envelopes that can adjust to changing climatic conditions on every hour, day, season or yearly basis. By adaptive we mean the capacity to react or profit by outside climatic conditions to meet productively and more essential successfully inhabitant’s comfort and well-being necessities (Luible, 2014). Adaptive facades are multi-parameter high performance envelopes that, inverse to static curtain walls, respond mechanically or chemically to external climate dynamically …

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