ABOUT PowerSkin

PowerSkin Conference

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 on January 19, 2017. It was the first event of a biennial series: On January 17, 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.

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.