Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4391; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114391 (registering DOI)
Smart materials with changeable properties responding to environmental changes are studied in architecture. Shape Memory Polymer (SMP) is preferred among available thermo-responsive smart materials for architectural applications because of its advantages of reaction temperatures, deformation patterns, shape-changing behaviors, opportunity for various forms and manufacturing processing, in addition to the shape memory effect. Of various façade elements, this study focuses on designing and validating the SMP components as prototypes for shading devices for the Climate Adaptive Building Skin (CABS), to approach design decisions of optimal activation temperature, size, arrangements, and operating scenarios using digital models and simulation tools following the presented research framework in conjunction with design-to-fabrication studies in parallel. Prior to performance evaluations, the operating principles of SMP shading devices and interpretation of temperature data in relation to the urban conditions are prescribed. This research is based on a sustainability assessment of state-of-the-art responsive façade design integrating SMP elements combining active and passive measures to support a sustainable architectural design that provides less heat gain and better daylight comfort while demonstrating the simplified performance analysis method of SMP prototype designs. Following the simulation and comparative analysis of the results, drawbacks, and cautions inherent in the simulation methods, the potential meaning is briefly discussed.