Soon to be tested are also 3D-printed components for façades that, thanks to an ingenious macrostructure, can passively conduct solar heat from the façade to the building interior or act as insulators if required.
In addition, the lab is further developing the adaptive solar façade created by Schülter’s group. Its movable solar panels track the position of the sun, maximising energy gain. They can also provide shade or allow the sun’s rays to pass through, so less heating or cooling energy is needed.
In the Zero Carbon Building Systems Lab, the intelligent system will look at user interactions to learn how to align the panels so it can maximise energy harvesting and comfort. And because it’s possible to enter, live and work in the research rooms, the scientists can include and evaluate occupant behaviour.
On the way to climate-neutral buildings
The lab aims to help make the construction and operation of buildings climate neutral. Schlüter explains: “If you want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, then you have to take materials, building technology and occupant behaviour into consideration. In the Zero Carbon Building Systems Lab, we can explore how these factors interact.”
Different disciplines will conduct research together in the lab: architects and civil engineers alongside computer scientists and materials scientists. It will also play an important role in teaching; doctoral and Master’s students, for example, will find space for experiments there and learn by example and hands-on how climate-friendly buildings can be developed. In addition, the lab will be open to external researchers and for industry partnerships.