An Adaptive Building Skin Concept Resulting from a New Bioinspiration Process: Design, Prototyping, and Characterization
2. Adaptive Concept Derived from a Bioinspired Framework
2.1. Biological Envelopes as the Starting Point of the Framework
- 1: The description of biological models;
- 2: The understanding of their principles;
- 3: Their abstraction into a concept;
- 4: The validation of its technical feasibility, i.e., the transferability to technology or solution and its implementation and assessment.
- Biological envelopes that are the interface of living organisms between their internal environment and external conditions (for instance, animal envelopes such as skin, feather, and shells, or vegetal envelopes such as bark);
- Structures built by animals for shelter, rest, storing, or communication  (bird nests, colonies, mounds).
2.2. Morpho-Butterfly-Inspired Design
2.3. Parametric Design of the Concept
- Form of the mesh elements: size, shape, orientation, and the axis of rotation;
- The total scale of the design: minimum size for representative results in terms of the physical phenomena.
3. Experimentation on a Prototype: Stegos Design
- ‘Opaque’ configuration, as part of an opaque wall;
- ‘Glazing’ configuration, as a smart protection envelope put in front of windows;
- ‘Envelope’ configuration, as an openable envelope, equivalent to a window. Although complex to implement, it would offer multiple regulation assets for warm climates.
3.2. Thermochromic Coating
3.3. Integration in Test Box Protocol Experimentation
3.3.1. Test Box Design
3.3.2. Experimental Protocol
3.4.1. ‘Opaque’ Configuration
- Position as a solar cap, i.e., the rotation axis is horizontal and on top of the base. Vertical position, i.e., the rotation axis is vertical. This configuration results in larger shadows at the beginning and end of the day when the test box is oriented south, whereas the solar cap position will have larger shadows during mid-day;
- Angle of rotation of claps of 0°, 45°, and 90°.
3.4.2. ‘Glazing’ Configuration
- Addition of insulation on the tested façade for more impact on the whole test box behavior;
- Coating of the aluminum plate with a black matte paint to reduce reflection induced by the high reflectivity of aluminum and thus increase incoming heat flows. This should help to compare different sets;
- Switch flaps coated with the blue, thermochromic paint for white- and black-painted flaps to compare the results with extreme colors and determine the contribution of the adaptive paint on the Stegos performance.
4. Towards Characterization through the Calibration of Grey Box Models
4.1. Geometric Parametric Design
4.2. Heat-Transfer Models: Grey-Box Approach Proposal
- The tested façade, including Stegos, is considered as a semi-infinite environment, meaning that it is extending to infinity in all three directions, but only on one side of a plane, here, the external environment.
- Only one layer of aluminum is included in the model; the 4 mm support frame is perforated with hexagonal holes and can thus be neglected.
- The heat transfers are considered in one dimension, with internal boundary conditions based on the internal air temperature and a fixed convective coefficient. Additionally, the external boundary condition is given by the weather measurement.
- The proposed model includes conductive, convective, and longwave radiative heat transfers between the outside surface of Stegos (the aluminum plate) and the external environment in a single thermal resistance.
- The incident solar radiation is taken into account in two ways. The first contribution is expressed as direct and diffuse radiation on the external surface of the aluminum plate using the projected shadow ratio calculated with geometrical models (see Part 3.1). A second contribution is provided through a factor fStegos, which represents a solar intake in the Stegos through the flaps.
5. Conclusions and Prospects
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
|T||Temperature (°C) or (K)|
|HF||Heat flux (W/m2)|
|A||Absorption coefficient (-)|
|τ||Solar transmission coefficient (-)|
|λ||Thermal conductivity (W/m·K)|
|R||Thermal resistance (K/W)|
|h||Transmitted heat coefficient (W/K)|
|C||Heat capacity (J/K)|
|G||Normal direct and diffuse solar radiation (W/m²)|
|ABS||Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene|
|OSB||Oriented strand board|
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|Regulation Factor||Disruptive Elements||Description (Physical Factor/Features of Wing)||Possible Abstractions|
|Light||Butterfly behavior and light from environment||Iridescence phenomenon from structural blue color  (reflection/surface texture)||Orienting surface elements towards environment for optimized heat radiation|
|Heat||Behavior and radiation from surrounding environment||Difference in surface properties between upside and downside surfaces of wings  (radiation/matter arrangement)|
|Behavior and air||Forced convection by shuffling wings  (convection/movement)||Enhancing convection with moving surfaces or change in configuration|
|Air temperature||Increase in emission in near IR above 50 °C  (radiation/matter arrangement and composition)||Intrinsic emissive properties adapting to a given temperature range owing to structuration surface|
|Flat||Deployed||Adaptive coating less absorbing with threshold temperature|
+ decrease in temperature with shadows
|Shadows generated by rotated flaps||Air passing through if bases are hollowed|
|Not deployed||Adaptive coating||-||-|
|Deformed||Deployed||Adaptive coating + decrease in temperature with shadows||Shadows generated by rotated flaps||Air passing through the gaps created the deformation between elements|
|Not deployed||-||Shadows generated by rotated flaps|
|Scale of deformation||1 cm/10 cm/100 cm|
|Type of tension force||Point/surface area/linear|
|Number of tension forces||Single/multiple|
|Tilt of tension||Centimeters/decimeters/meters|
|Base and flaps||Material||Alloy/metal/wood/clay-based material/polymers|
|Size scales||1 cm/10 cm|
|Flaps||Axis of rotation||Lateral/central|
|Size||Smaller than base/larger than base|
|Shape||Round/polygonal (triangular, rectangular, hexagonal)|
|Piloting setting||Manual/automatic/coupled with deformation/decoupled|
|Distance between each other||None/smaller than size of flaps/larger|
|Parameter||Type of Sensor||Location||Uncertainty|
|Solar irradiance on planar surfaces||SMP3 pyranometer|
|1 on plane of tested façade|
1 on plane of the flaps
|Wind speed||Cup wind sensor|
|1 outside (plane of tested façade, 1.8 m high)||0.2 m/s|
|Ambient temperature||Resistance temperature detector PT100||1 outside (0.2 m away from box, 0.7 m high)|
1 inside (center of box, 0.5 m high)
|Heat flow||Copper heat flux sensor (with tangential gradients)||11 in layers of the tested façade (Figure 7)||3%|
|Surface temperature||Thermocouple Type K||16 in layers of the tested façade (Figure 7)||0.5 °C|
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Hubert, T.; Dugué, A.; Vogt Wu, T.; Aujard, F.; Bruneau, D. An Adaptive Building Skin Concept Resulting from a New Bioinspiration Process: Design, Prototyping, and Characterization. Energies 2022, 15, 891. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030891
Hubert T, Dugué A, Vogt Wu T, Aujard F, Bruneau D. An Adaptive Building Skin Concept Resulting from a New Bioinspiration Process: Design, Prototyping, and Characterization. Energies. 2022; 15(3):891. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030891Chicago/Turabian Style
Hubert, Tessa, Antoine Dugué, Tingting Vogt Wu, Fabienne Aujard, and Denis Bruneau. 2022. "An Adaptive Building Skin Concept Resulting from a New Bioinspiration Process: Design, Prototyping, and Characterization" Energies 15, no. 3: 891. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030891