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On a short term period, buildings will be asked to completely reduced their CO2 emission and to reach the zero energy level. After years of progressive reduction of energy consumption, architects will soon be able to transform their building in actors of the energy production market. The integration of energy harvesting device in the building design process opens an important market for new devices solutions. “Smart-grids” and the ”Internet of energy” are setting up the first roots of a distributed network to share production and consumption of energy, and trigger a paradigmatic shift from traditional centralized energy production.

SERERO Architecture office has been for years investigating smart building envelopes that can control the ambiances of interior spaces. The façade of building acquires therefore a certain type of autonomy, releasing the attention of building users. Like living-structures, the façade designed by SERERO Architects develops adaptable devices for ventilation, light control and sun protection. How could those innovative building envelops integrate energy production systems? How will our cities look like in 2026?

Our current research aims to give simple and straightforward design methodology to architects to integrate wind harvesting energy devices to their project. As the building technology progresses, we are able to achieve more efficient resource utilization by better integration of devices to buildings and by repartition of cluster of devices over large surfaces. Building envelopes are becoming smarter; Building’s façade or rooftops are available for new function of building-integrated device (BID), such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines to produce clean energy.

Following an in-depth analysis of existing BID projects, we further studied the relationship between building design and BID. We developed strategies to compensate the unstable performance of BID caused by turbulence and to optimize the wind amplification effect of buildings. We utilized an open circuit wind tunnel to simulate the reactions between wind and diverse building types as well as computational fluid dynamic (CFD) software ANSYS Fluent to predict potential extracted energy by measuring wind speed enhancement (the extracted energy depends on the cube of the wind speed). The geometry of buildings makes contributions to wind speed enhancement.


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