DAYLIGHT TRANSMISSION ANALYSIS IN EXPERIMENTAL BUILDING ENVELOPE ASSEMBLIES
Free (open access)
Volume 7 (2012), Issue 4
339 - 353
In light of the fact that building envelope design and construction are critical for building performance as well as the fact that architects and engineers rarely collaborate in the early phases of design processes, the Facade Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin was established. The laboratory exists as a physical chamber to allow testing in the areas of daylighting, thermal exchange, ventilation, and the use of direct and indirect solar energy. The full-scale size of the Facade Laboratory helps provide particularly accurate data, as the prediction of a structure’s lighting and thermal behavior is inherently dependent on the use of real-scale testing facilities. Simultaneously, the data collected through experimentation with the Facade Laboratory is used in the calibration of energy simulation software. Physical facade mock-up tests inspire new speculative simulated tests and vice versa. An initial shading structure, Prototype 1, was designed, built, and tested virtually and physically. A second scheme, Prototype 2, tested only virtually thus far, expands upon the first scheme by proposing speculative hybrid light/ventilation filters which incorporate passive daylight to optimize building energy consumption, thus allowing for improved interior lighting conditions while simultaneously creating improved indoor air quality. The Facade Laboratory offers the opportunity to develop an integrated approach to problem solving by an interdisciplinary team of architectural and engineering students as well as professionals. Initial facade construction design and mock-up experiments as well as corollary virtual experiments have yielded interesting qualitative and quantitative results, warranting a larger discussion regarding their implications.
Daylighting, interdisciplinary collaboration, shading device