Adaptive Building Technologies have opened up a growing field of architectural research aimed at improving the overall building performance, ensuring comfort while reducing operational energy consumption. Focusing on flexibility over short timeframes, these new technologies are however rarely designed within the broader frame of sustainability over their entire lifecycle. How sustainable these zero energy technologies really are is yet to be established. The purpose of the research is to develop a flexible easy-to-use Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool to support creative innovation and sustainable design choices in the early concept and design stages of Adaptive Building Technologies. This paper reports on the results of the first step of the research, providing a mapping in terms of structure and contents of the parameters involved in the design of these technologies. Addressed from a holistic point of view, the elements of the system were defined though a qualitative approach: relevant parameters were collected through document analysis, reviewing the state-of-the-art technology through online databases as ScienceDirect, Scopus, MDPI, ResearchGate, and organized according to hierarchy and relevance in the different life cycle stages. As a result, the paper identifies (1) relevant parameters defining the design of Adaptive Building Technologies; (2) materials, processes and concepts specific to the design of these technologies, as compared to conventional building technologies; (3) issues and knowledge gaps to enable successive research phases; (4) specific actions in each life cycle stage for designers and producers to optimize the design of the technology. The mapping graphically and hierarchically organizes the elements of the system within a flexible structure to be implemented and integrated over time, as the technology evolves, to support parametric design and enable alternative design concepts to arise within a cradle-to-cradle perspective.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited