Architecture, Culture and Tectonics Research Group



Adaptive envelopes for energy-efficient retrofitting of high-rise dwellings in hot climates.

the significant growth in the construction of highly glass facades for high-rise apartments in Saudi Arabia in the last decade has resulted in a magnificent increase in cooling energy demand due to overheating. In the hot climate of Saudi Arabia, Massive quantities of glazing will allow more solar heat to be transmitted into the building.

This study aims to investigate the impact of the adaptive envelope-switching mechanism on the solar gain, indoor temperature, and energy consumption of a high-rise residential building in hot weather. The primary cause of overheating and increasing cooling energy demand is solar radiation intensity falling on unsuitable facades for hot climates. Instead, the SMP material-based adaptive envelope system controls solar radiation and temperature fluctuations. Moreover, experiments were conducted on samples of shape memory polymer (SMP) to validate the material's actuator abilities and response to thermal stimulation.

The thermal performance of the adaptive envelope solution was validated by comparing it to the existing Glazed facade apartment in a high-rise building. Using the Integrated Environmental Simulation Virtual (IES-VE) method, the performance of the adaptive envelope was evaluated. The results indicate that the adaptive envelope solution improved the energy efficiency of the existing high-rise dwelling by reducing solar gain by 72%, indoor temperatures by 6°C, and cooling requirements by 38%, thus preventing overheating and saving energy.

Architecture, Culture and Tectonics

The University of Nottingham
Faculty of Engineering
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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