The objective of this work is to establish self-active building envelope regulation systems (SABERS) by integrating optical and hygrothermal sensor and actuator networks on a thin membrane. The system is specifically designed for lightweight membrane applications such as deployable emergency housing in tropical climates with the aim to supplant the use of traditional air conditioning systems responsible for the most significant energy expenditure in built environments in these regions. The expected outcome of this research is the development of a membrane prototype that consists of a self-activated opto-mechanical sensor/actuator polymeric network that controls airflow due to the temperature, light and humidity changes. It is composed by activating air mechanics (ventilation and dehumidification) though microvalves controlled by integrated optomechanical and hygrothermal sensors and actuators associated to an internal desiccant membrane to block moisture. SABERs will provide a basis for the future development of newly integrated environmental sensor technologies for thin film building membranes applicable to building climatic regulation (light and hygrothermal).
Project end date: 02/05/14