Thinking Skins

Smart Facades for Smart Houses

Posted by René on July 16, 2014

I was one of the supervisors of this interactive sensor network for smart houses.

Besides the constructive, materialistic parts, many tasks in and at a building may or have to be managed by active, intelligent and interactive systems. As there are lighting, shading, temperature and moisture control, ventilation, access and intrusion control, fire alarm, and so on.

In teams of at least one architect and one computer scientist the goal was the design, in both points of view, of an technically intelligent facade element, which can be used in a larger office building as well as a relevant part of the wiki house. One of the most important subtasks is communication, which should be possible among all elements developed.

A facade element is characterised by the interconnection of inside and outside, in many ways. It can sense to in- and outside, and it can transport light or air or heat from one side to the other, or it can do things on one side dependent on things happening on the other.

The element is responsible for the quality of residence in its domain. In first order this is temperature and light, but there are many other aspects, which could be fulfilled. The requirements may be general, or more specific to the Wiki House concept.

From the electronics point of view, we start over with a Arduino-based setup. Almost everything can be connected there. As the WIki House concept is one of the drivers of this project, energy efficiency of the entire system is an important aspect.

Final Projects

For more information, see the official project page: http://hci.rwth-aachen.de/m3_ss14