Trends in Green Facades

NTU School of Art, Design and Media, Singapore NTU School of Art, Design and Media, Singapore

More recently, advances have been made in the development of intelligent (read “active”) façades. This includes the development of responsive external shading systems, glazing with built-in blinds and other powered solutions. The next challenge in designing green façades will be to address the above concerns in a passive way, without the need for electricity.  Research on photochromic and thermochromic glass has been on-going for many years.  Commercially viable solutions are finally now starting to appear on the market, with the exciting prospect of façades that naturally adapt to their environment.

A lot of effort also has been dedicated to alternatives to traditional silica-based photo-voltaic, solutions that require much less energy to produce but with a similar efficiency.  These are now starting to be integrated into façade systems in the form of coatings on metal and glass.  We will undoubtedly see increased presence and improved performance from this type of products in coming years.

Designing a green façade has become increasingly synonymous with covering substantial areas of the building envelope with vegetation.  Green roofs have largely been adopted for several years, and this is now extending to the vertical sides of buildings.  This is opening a brand new field with its own unique challenges.  It brings modern building back down to the human scale as it takes us closer to nature that is too often shunned in large cities.


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