Real-Time Adaptive Systems for Building Envelopes
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The thesis attempts to investigate the issues pertaining to design, fabrication and application of real-time adaptive systems for building envelopes, and to answer questions raised by the idea of motion in architecture. The thesis uses the Solar Decathlon Competition as a platform to base all the research and consequently to verify their applications. Photo-voltaic (PV) panels and shading devices are two different components of Georgia Institute of Technology s the Solar Decathlon House, located above the roof, that are based on the concept of Homeostasis or self-regulated optimization. For the PV panels, the objective is to optimize energy production, by controlling their movement to track the changing position of Sun, whereas, the objective for the shading devices is to reduce heating or cooling loads by controlling the position of shading devices, thus controlling direct and diffused heat gains through the roof. To achieve this adaptive feature, it required three layers of operations. First was the design of the mechanics of movement, which tried to achieve the required motion for the PV panels and shading devices by using minimum components and parameters. Second was the design of the individual parts that are consistent with the overall concept of the House. And finally, the third layer is the design of controls that automates the motion of the PV panels and Shading Devices, using a set of sensors that actuate the attached motors. As a final product, there is an attempt to integrate the precision and material efficiency of digital fabrication with the self-regulated optimization of the roof components.