Homeostatic Facade

Developed by a New York based research firm, Decker Yeadon architects developed a Homeostatic façade system. The system regulates a building’s climate by auto responding to environmental conditions. When excessive loads of sunlight land on it during part of the day, it expands, creating shade inside the building. When bright light is no longer present, contraction occurs allowing more light to penetrate the building‘s interior. The system was inspired by muscles and homeostasis in biological systems. Homeostasis in organisms allows them to regulate their internal conditions such as temperature. In this case, the unique facade consists of a material that flexes to change shape automatically. An actuator acts as an artificial muscle consisting of dielectric elastomer wrapped over a flexible polymer core. The dielectric elastomer has silver electrodes on both faces that reflects and diffuses light while distributing an electric charge across the face causing it to deform. Because of its ability to automatically change shape, it doesn’t require computer programing or physical adjustments. This makes it much more efficient than the usual window shades that are controlled by computers or occupants.

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