Solar shading devices integrating smart materials: an overview of projects, prototypes and products for advanced façade design

Author: Alessandro Premier


Architectural Science Review | Volume 62, Issue 6 | 16 August 2019

A smart material is able to provide a unique response when a particular change occurs in its surrounding environment. In the last years, several experiments and prototypes of shading devices exploiting the potentialities of smart materials have been developed. For certain reasons, only a few materials and technologies appear to have been introduced in the building and construction market in the form of products. The aim of this research was to give an overview of projects, prototypes and products of solar shading devices integrating smart materials for advanced façade design. The article provides an overview of the topic through a literature review and a sample of 51 case studies. Such knowledge is valuable for researchers to better understand what the materials are that need further research. The results showed that colour-changing materials and photovoltaic technologies have been implemented in products while shape-memory materials are still at the testing stage.