- Architecture - Apr 26 3-D printing offers new approach to making buildings
- Architecture - Apr 20 Toward greener construction: UW professor leads group setting benchmarks for carbon across life of buildings
- Architecture - Apr 18 School of Architecture Senior Exhibition, "What Do We Know?” Opens April 27
- Architecture - Apr 18 "Buildings should be individualists"
- Architecture - Apr 6 Art and architecture faculty awarded fellowships
- Architecture - Apr 5 From a border wall to a big, beautiful bridge
- Architecture - Mar 29 Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted- open windows
- Architecture - Mar 28 Illinois architecture professor’s book examines the biases in design of products and places
- History - Mar 16 Readers can virtually explore Italian archeology dig in new U-M publication
- Architecture - Mar 15 Why apartments fail the heat stress test
- Environment - Mar 10 Nominations of EPFL professors
- Architecture - Mar 7 Building a nomadic pavilion out of old skis
- Architecture - Mar 7 Building a nomad pavilion out of old skis
- Architecture - Mar 1 Back to the future of skyscraper design
- Architecture - Feb 8 Team create giant installation out of 25,000 pencils
- Architecture - Feb 7 Good Vibrations: CMU Professor’s Work Could Help Improve Elder Care
Smart building exteriors for reduced energy costs and a cleaner environment
A team of U-M architects, civil engineers and materials and environmental scientists will embark this fall on a two-year collaborative project they call Integrated Responsive Building Envelopes (IRBE). Together they will explore the potential of intelligent building exteriors, or envelopes, that are capable of monitoring weather, daylight and occupant use to manage heating, cooling and lighting in dynamic ways that protect the environment and promote energy efficiency.
"We’re exploring the interface between a building’s external environment and the shelter it provides, and exploring the adaptation of that interface to better control the flow of energy," said Jerome Lynch, a principal investigator on the project and an associate professor in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
"We are working to mitigate the total energy consumption of buildings and their environmental impact, while enhancing their comfort and aesthetic appeal."
Buildings’ energy and environmental footprints are huge, said Lynch, noting that in urban centers like New York City, they account for 75 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Nationwide, buildings account for an estimated 72 percent of the electricity consumed each year.
While greener, more efficient buildings have typically been associated with roof-top photovoltaic panels or wind turbines, the IRBE vision focuses on advanced building materials with embedded sensing and control devices that respond to shifting exterior conditions and occupants’ preferences. These include windows that automatically balance the availability of natural light with artificial light to meet occupants’ needs and walls that can store, heat, cool and transmit a comfortable supply of air as temperatures fluctuate throughout the day.
"We’re looking to provide hybrid building systems that are intelligent and responsive, by taking advantage of multi-functional materials that change their performance characteristics in response to various climatic conditions," said Geoffrey Thün, also a principal investigator on the project and an associate professor of architecture at the Taubman College.
"The goal here is to make building envelopes with the dexterity to be more energy efficient and provide more user satisfaction while responding to seasonal and diurnal variations."
The IRBE team will examine a range of materials and assemblies that can be utilized for the envelope. These could include transparent and opaque materials, glazing and pressurized film systems as well as new types of green, ductile concrete. The team will also explore the creation, placement and use of sensing and actuation devices within these envelope systems to enable them to instantly respond to shifting conditions inside and out.
In addition to Lynch, a specialist in sensor technologies, and Thün, an expert in dynamic building envelope component design, the IRBE team includes seven other researchers who will create discreet responsive components, including sensors that will be tested in their labs to examine their inter-relationships as an aggregate system.
"A significant goal of the project is to conduct physical prototyping to not only validate our work, but to assess the plethora of operational logistics that would arise when developing such dynamic structures." Thün said.
The project has received $535,000 in seed funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), the College of Engineering, the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the Rackham Graduate School.
The IRBE team sees the OVPR grant as an opportunity to develop their concepts to the point where the can pursue additional external funding to refine their concepts. The timing, said Lynch, couldn’t be better.
"This project’s scope is very bold and has the potential to break a lot of old paradigms," he said. "People have talked about these ideas as if they are 20 years away from becoming reality. We think the time is now and that’s what this project aims to prove."
Last job offers
- Life Sciences - 25.4
Research scientist in avian ecology
- Business/Economics - 5.4
Professorin / Professor für Landschaftsökologie
- Architecture - 3.4
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin / Wissenschaftlichen Mitarbeiter für künstliche Intelligenz und Big Data...
- Environment - 21.3
Leiter/in der Forschungsgruppe Vegetationsökologie
- Environment - 27.4
Associate professorship in real estate and finance
- Life Sciences - 24.4
Associate Professor of Macroecology of Species Interaction Network (211-0500)
- Environment - 11.4
Postdoctoral or Postgraduate Research Associate (40 hours per week)
- Environment - 23.2
Ausschreibung der Stelle für eine_n Universitätsprofessor_in für ’Klima- und Umweltfernerkundung’...