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POWERSKIN 2019

Nearly 300 participants shared knowledge on latest scientific findings about the building skin.
29 presentations on envelope, energy and environment were given by architects, engineers, and scientists and up for discussion for the participants.

Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Auer, TUM, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jens Schneider, TU Darmstadt, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Knaack, TU Delft, and the PowerSkin Organization Team thank you for the great experience and look forward to welcoming you again in 2021.

Addressing the Future of Buildings

The building skin has evolved enormously over the past decades. Energy performance and environmental quality of buildings are significantly determined by the building envelope. The façade has experienced a change in its role as an adaptive climate control system that leverages the synergies between form, material, mechanical and energy systems in an integrated design.

The Technical University of Munich, Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Auer, TU Darmstadt, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jens Schneider and TU Delft, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Knaack launched the PowerSkin Conference in collaboration with BAU 2017 two years ago. It was the first event of a biennial series: For next year's BAU 2019 architects, engineers and scientists are going to present their latest developments and research projects for public discussion.

The presentations will showcase recent scientific research and developments as well as projects related to building skins from the perspectives of material, technological and design.

The PowerSkin Conference aims to address the role of building skins to accomplish a carbon neutral building stock. Topics such as building operation, embodied energy, energy generation and storage in context of evelope, energy and environment are considered.

Digital Processes in Façade Design and Construction

The title above is the conference's guiding theme of 2019. To submit a paper, the authors were asked to raise the question:

How can digital tools and methods promote change towards a decarbonization of the built environment and improve wellbeing?

The conference showcases presentations about recent scientific research developments regarding the guiding theme. Three sub topics are provided for authors to choose their field of expertise:

Envelope: The building envelope as an interface for the interaction between indoor and outdoor environment. This topic is focused on functionality, technical development and material properties.

Energy: New concepts, accomplished projects, and visions for the interaction between building structure, envelope and energy technologies.

Environment: Façades or elements of façades which aim for the provision of highly comfortable surroundings where environmental control strategies as well as energy generation and/or storage are an integrated part of an active skin.

Building Skin

The third skin of human beings – the building envelope – had a very long process of development within architecture. The advancement of curtain walls produced a structural independency, but it remained an important yet passive element. In the meantime, the building envelope has experienced a change in its role as an adaptive climate control system that leverages the synergies between form, material, mechanical and energy systems in an integrated design.


@Moritz Mungenast, TUM, 2017

Contemporary façade design aims for an optimized environmental quality while minimizing the use of resources. Further progress requires the development of sustainable, smart materials as well as active and passive systems, which can easily be integrated and maintained. Over the past decades, glass became the dominating building skin due to its improved thermal performance and adaptability with regard to transparency, solar and daylight control. This leads to a flexible interaction between indoor and outdoor environment and provides a dynamic control scheme. Recent developments provide an integration of mechanical systems as well as components for energy generation and storage.

On the one hand, this leads to architectural designs that are fully independent of local climate conditions, building culture, and other constraints, while still providing an optimized environmental quality. On the other hand, it also enables architects and engineers to design buildings that interact with and adapt to climate, user demands and respect local conditions.

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