Smart Sun-Shading: A Demonstration of Smart Thermobimetals as a Building Skin

Nov 19, 2011

Many newly developed materials are capable of adapting physically to external conditions, allowing the building surface to respond automatically to changes without the need for external energy input. Thermobimetals (TBM), one of these smart materials, are comprised of two metals with different thermal expansion coefficients that are laminated together. This research covers architectural applications of bimetals to the design of building skins or surfaces. This report describes the demonstration of the material at the outdoor gallery space of Materials & Applications (M&A) in Los Angeles, structural testing, and digital trials. Beyond the structural integrity necessary to create the successful surface installation, two performance matrices are produced with this research. The first involves the TBM’s efficacy as a sun-shading device that dynamically increases the amount of shading as the outdoor temperature rises. The second opens up the ability of the TBM to ventilate unwanted hot air.

Doris Kim Sung (University of Southern California)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

Community Reviews

No votes yet