Dynamic Facades: Environmental Control Systems for Sustainable Design

Riham Nady


Façades are the most strategic and visible part of the building which leads to an improvement in appearance and environmental performances in buildings. Facades play a significant role in the quality of a building. It forms the barrier between the internal space and the outside climate. This means that the façade is the medium through which the interaction takes place between the activities, inside and outside. The image of a building, and therefore for the users, is reflected through the design of the façade.

In recent practices, architects and engineers are strategically designing and installing dynamic facades not only for their aesthetic values, but also for improving the buildings’ energy performance. The high integration of these strategies for dynamic facades increases their durability and suitability, with current building demands, which targets for energy efficiency and thermal comfort level.  

In the meantime, recent studies show that the majority of people spend up to 90% of their time indoors especially in hot climates. This trend has had a high impact on the requirements of the indoor environment, consequently turning the buildings into complex devices that ensure the wellbeing of the people who use them.  Therefore, users are starting to look for new products for the façade design that comply with the requirements of energy. This poses an important question, is there anything to be done to this specific part of the building in order to positively influence the overall energy need of the building?

The paper will discuss the concept and the importance of dynamic facades according to their design and types, implementations, current challenges and climate impacts. It will highlight the history of these facades and the essential parameters which make the building sustainable through its facades. Moreover, the paper will analyze two examples of buildings with dynamic facades with automated control systems and its effect on the building environment. At the end, the paper tries to demonstrate if these facade systems and strategies could be applicable on the buildings in Egypt.

Finally, the paper aims at integrating the dynamic facades in buildings as an environmental control system to achieve a sustainable design to reach good energy performance in buildings.


dynamic facades; sustainable design; energy efficiency; environmental control

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21622/resd.2017.03.1.118


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development

E-ISSN: 2356-8569

P-ISSN: 2356-8518


Published by:

Academy Publishing Center (APC)

Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT)

Alexandria, Egypt