Exploratory Research Space: Speed-Fund Project “Permeable Facades”

Bionic components for buildings: permeable facades

Project duration:

July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013

Project funding:

Exzellenzinitiative des Bundes und der Lšnder

Project partners:

  • Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate (EBC), RWTH Aachen
  • Institute for Building Technology (GBT), RWTH Aachen
  • Institute of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building (E3D), RWTH Aachen


Nowadays, facades separate the outside conditions and the climate inside a building. Due to its insulating properties, a facade reduces heat flow out of the building and seals off rooms to prevent unwanted exchange of air with the environment. The facade is a passive component that can only adapt/react to the sunlight by integrating a sun protection device. The background of this research approach is to apply biological functional principles – in analogy to the human skin – to the facade of a building. Thus, a facade is not only supposed to insulate and seal off, but to actively participate in the regulation of heat and moisture transport by means of building service elements, taking over functions of air conditioning. The implementation of this project requires close interdisciplinary collaboration with the areas of material engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and architecture.