Self-shading system for buildings

Architectural material technologists firm Decker Yeadon designed a double-skin glass facade system for large buildings that opens and closes itself in response to the internal temperature of the building. Called the Homeostatic Façade System, smart materials regulate the building's climate, just as many organisms maintain their own temperatures through homeostasis. The facade looks like a window with swirling lines. Those are ribbons of an elastomer wrapped over a flexible polymer core. A silver coating on the elastomer distributes an electrical charge across its surface causing it to deform. When sunlight warms the interior of a building during part of the day, the elastomer expands, creating shade inside the building. When the interior cools, contraction occurs allowing more light to penetrate the building's interior.Watch Video

Key Differentiators

Current double-skin facades consist interior and exterior glass walls with a simple air cavity embedded with louvers. The homeostatic facade system  includes mechanisms modeled after muscles enabling the system to automatically regulate heat loss and heat gain. Its advantage over conventional systems lies in its low power consumption and superior precision. Because the surface material is also the motor, it essentially offers localized control along any segment of the facade. This high degree of control can only benefit contemporary architecture, which has become increasingly transparent. It provides thermoregulation while reducing energy consumption and its associated emissions.

Biomimicry Story

Decker Yeadon's facade system was inspired by muscles, and by homeostasis in biological systems. The actuator that runs the system is similar to muscles. Homeostasis in organisms allows them to regulate their internal conditions such as temperature. Decker Yeadon's facade regulates a building’s climate by automatically responding to environmental conditions. This makes them attuned to local conditions and they use locally available materials and energy.