Adaptive Materials Research for Architecture

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Authors: Mariangela Niglio
Abstract: Increasingly today we talk about sustainable architecture or, better yet, about adaptive architecture as something innovative. Looking at the past, however, it is possible to find numerous examples of architecture that adapts to the climatic conditions of the place with special devices or natural materials. Starting from the ancient Romans and the ancient peoples of the Middle East, up to the newer system to create energy by exploiting natural resources, are various the adaptive systems of the past. All have in common the respect for the environment, communicating with it sustainably, and optimizing available resources. This paper focuses on some of these systems highlighting the merits.
Authors: Josep Burch, Marc Prat
Abstract: In this paper we will study the relationship between climate and Roman architecture. Specifically, we will analyse the adaptation of Roman architecture to the climate. There are a lot of studies about Roman architecture but only a few focus on climate during the Roman Period. However, the adaptation of architecture is a question which has not been widely studied. In order to achieve this aim we have used the essays written by ancient authors: Pliny the Younger, Columella, Cato, Palladius, Varro and, above all, Vitruvius. In their writings they didn’t talk much about this question. However, they are not totally silent about it either. In certain paragraphs, they explained how to adapt the architecture, among other things, to the climate, through the position of the building.
Authors: Josep Fuses, Joan Maria Viader
Abstract: This project provides for the restoration of Sant Julià's fortress complex, built at the end of the 19th century . The restoration is planned to create a facility to host a contemporary arts center with complementary services: workshops for artists, an auditorium for 450 people and a hotel-restaurant. The fortress is formed by a complex of independent structures, built with vaults and stone walls of considerable thickness, the majority being semi buried and connected by 1500 m of tunnels and galleries dug into the mountain. The lower part of the complex hosts the museum, while the hotel is located at the higher level, in the former "stronghold", the space where explosives were stored. In front of the main entrance, an oval-shaped auditorium is planned, with a height of 7.5 m and a vault made of concrete.All the new buildings are mostly made of reinforced concrete, with glass and corten steel being prominent, to avoid mimicry of the existing structures and to work with the old and the new as two joined parts of a whole set.The planned dome is an oval space of 34 x 24 m, covering a surface area of 524 m2, built underground to comply with current urban planning legislation. For the construction of the new dome, a formwork system with natural earth from the site has been used. This article analyzes different issues related to the concept of adaptive architecture, taking as an example the construction system used and the different phases of the process, planned and directed by the authors of this article.
Authors: Santina Di Salvo
Abstract: Smart surfaces and materials can play a significant role in intelligent, adaptive and responsive envelopes because of these intrinsic properties. The environmental question and energy efficiency in which the construction sector is involved, is in a process that can not be interrupted and that puts researchers and designers in front of a scientific and design challenge in which it is necessary to contribute to find different ways of study and experimentation on new materials and constructive languages, ranging from the application, to the structural, design and molecular, to mention the main ones. The development of technologies is helping architects of the “biomimetic current” to recreate complex structures that can be found in nature, using innovative construction methods and materials. In this paper, some existing biomimetic design strategies applied for nature emulation are presented with the aim to understand the contribution of biomimetic materials to the design culture. Case studies show the diversity of possible applications of natural phenomena in architecture with the aim to provide user-friendly tools that can facilitate the generation of more in-depth insights, opening new perspectives for new possible technical solutions and showing the potential of nature adaptations to environmental conditions at different climate.
Authors: Silvia Di Caro
Abstract: Thanks to the industrial and technological development, man has managed to travel fast, to take advantage of artificial light in the absence of natural light, to enjoy the air-conditioned rooms in case of discomfort and much more. The engine of these processes is energy, which needs to be considered the production phases. The world's energization began mainly through fossil sources, but due to the thinning of the atmospheric ozone layer and the overall increase in the concentration of CO2over the years, due to anthropogenic and non-human causes, which led to overheating global, global decarbonisation has become necessary. It is essential to encourage the development of low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies. This document shows the current problems, in terms of environmental impact, and the possible solutions applied and applicable in the future to counteract the increase in average temperature of 2 degrees by 2050. The main point is to make buildings less energetic with technological devices, addressing their honors and obligations.
Authors: Roberto Naboni, Stefano Sartori, Lorenzo Mirante
Abstract: Advancements in computational tools are offering designers the possibility to change their relationship with materials and establishing new synergies between matter, form and behaviour. This work explores this paradigm by introducing the use of auxetic metamaterials, specifically engineered to obtain properties beyond those found in nature, to generate structures with adaptive curvature obtained from planar construction elements. It is discussed how through programming an initial geometry with the strategic negotiation of several geometrical parameters it is possible to control finely the structural and morphological features of a structure. The paper presents approach, tools and methods for designing auxetics for large scale applications, and use them to create heterogeneous active-bending structures.
Authors: Annalisa Lanza Volpe
Abstract: The façade design has so far mainly viewed in a static form but besides the architectural criteria many external variable factors influence the resulting building performance. If we refer for instance to the building envelope as a key element to control the exchanges between indoors and outdoors, the amount of energy used will depend on some variables such as climatic factors, orientation, structure, materials and use. In order to accurately evaluate heat and mass transfer over time, sophisticated simulation software exists. They can provide access to an in-depth understanding of the consequences of the design choices and may even inspire new architectural solutions. The step forward in the use of such software is the development of adaptive systems that can react in different situations. This concept can optimize the buildings performances. In the last years, thanks to the advances in technology, adaptive solutions represent a growing field of experimentation. This paper explores the possibilities of adaptive façades with the aim to furnish a framework for their design.
Authors: Irene Marotta
Abstract: This article considers the issues of the re-naturalization of riverbanks and the urban regeneration of historic centres while focussing on the Flussbad Berlin, a project of sustainable redevelopment of the Spree River, around the Museum Island, which today is the focus of major city debate. Spree River is considered as a public space, an important resource that concerns the whole city. For the project, the historic centre is the main place to combine hot topics pertaining to the contemporary society such as ecology, environmental sustainability, concertation, and public-private collaboration. Berlin is conceived as a «dialogic city» where diverse sites and activities can express themselves and interact productively.
Authors: Santina Di Salvo
Abstract: The skin of buildings represents the first level of communication between construction, man and environment. In this relationship, the concept of communication acquires different values, because it can be applied both to the architectural field in relation to the shape, and to the perceptive and communicative sphere, aimed to transmission of messages or even to the interaction of the architectural envelope with the user and the environment. This brings us back to the energy and sustainability aspects, since the primary role as a separation and filter layer of the building façades is that of shielding. The solution with a kinetic façade constitutes not only a possibility of climatic mediation between outside and inside, guaranteeing ventilation and protection from solar radiation, but allows to redesign the aesthetic, communicative and perceptive appearance of a building. The contribution focuses on the communicative and perceptive potential of the façades and the ongoing experimentations of the new smart materials applied to these.

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