Movable Thin Glass Elements in Façades
Façades play an important role in the control of energy flow and energy consumption in buildings as they represent the interface between the outdoor environment and the indoor occupied space. The option of regulating internal and external conditions acquires great relevance in new approaches to sustainable building solutions. Studies on climate adaptive façades show a very high potential for improved indoor environmental quality conditions and energy savings by moveable façades. A number of movable façades were realized in the past, but the use of thin glass with a thickness of 0.5 mm to 3 mm opens a brand-new field, that allows for playing with the geometry of the outer skin and the opportunity to make it adaptive by movement. Thin glass requires for curved surfaces in order to gain structural stiffness in static use. In kinetic façades the high flexibility of thin glass allows for new options for changes in size and position by bending of elements rather than implementing hinges in a system of foldable rigid panels. The geometry is based on the known theory of developable surfaces for keeping a low stress-level during movement. This allows for façades created from cold bent thin glass or curved laminated safety glasses produced by laminating of thin glass plies which provide better sealing, greater simplicity in construction and robustness and durability of moveable components which may be actuated autonomously. Some concepts based on the before mentioned theories were created to explain some principles and discuss their principles and applicability.