Waterloo Architecture undergraduate students Alexa Sharp, Georgina Blay and Janna Kholodova, with David Correa, recently published a peer-reviewed paper and presented at the 39th eCAADe Conference at the University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia, 8-10 September 2021.
An Autonomous Bio-Inspired Shading Façade System based on Plant Movement Principles
Alexa Sharp, Georgina Blay, Janna Kholodova, David Correa
Utilizing existing principles of plant movement, we can design climatic-responsive facades made of hygroscopic materials. This paper investigates the use of a double actuating system to create an architectural façade. Several adaptive façade strategies have been previously developed using wood bilayers, but there has not been significant investigation into the application of multiple actuation points in a single unit. The paper presents a façade that is responsive to the surrounding environment via the kinematic amplification of hygroscopic wood expansion. The kinematic amplification uses the biomechanical principles from both the Water Lily (Nymphaea) and the Purple Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis). Acting as an adaptive shading mechanism, the façade system - arranged using Lindenmayer system principles - can improve occupant comfort by controlling solar radiation . The developed prototypes use climate-responsive wood bilayer actuators. The aesthetic and functional features of the bio-inspired mechanism promote a visual awareness between our built environment and environmental conditions.