Quantifying the potential of automated dynamic solar shading in office buildings through integrated simulations of energy and daylight

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The façade design is and should be considered a central issue in the design of energy-efficient buildings. That is why dynamic façade components are increasingly used to adapt to both internal and external impacts, and to cope with a reduction in energy consumption and an increase in occupant comfort. To gain a complete picture of any façade’s performance and subsequently carry out a reasonable benchmarking of various façade alternatives, the total energy consumption and indoor environment need to be considered simultaneously. We quantified the potential of dynamic solar shading façade components by using integrated simulations that took energy demand, the indoor air quality, the amount of daylight available, and visual comfort into consideration. Three types of façades were investigated (without solar shading, with fixed solar shading, and with dynamic solar shading), and we simulated them with various window heights and orientations. Their performance was evaluated on the basis of the building’s total energy demand, its energy demand for heating, cooling and lighting, and also its daylight factors. Simulation results comparing the three façade alternatives show potential for significant energy reduction, but greater differences and conflicting tendencies were revealed when the energy needed for heating, cooling and artificial lighting were considered separately. Moreover, the use of dynamic solar shading dramatically improved the amount of daylight available compared to fixed solar shading, which emphasises the need for dynamic and integrated simulations early in the design process to facilitate informed design decisions about the façade.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSolar Energy
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)757-768
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Energy demand
  • Integrated simulation
  • Dynamic solar shading
  • Office buildings
  • Indoor environment


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