Journal of Technology in Architecture, Design and Planning
The Use of Smart Materials in Architecture: Nitinol-based Foldable Façade SystemsAlim Battal, Sevil Yazıcı
The built environment accounts for a significant portion of global energy consumption and carbon emissions. The generation of kinetic facade systems that can adapt to the changing environmental conditions has gained even more importance for this reason. This study focused on the use of shape memory alloys (SMA) and folding techniques to create heat-active systems and explores the potential of using smart materials in architectural design. The methodology of this research consists of two main stages as undertaking physical experiments and generating a computational design model of the system. Physical experiments involved shaping and programming Nitinol wire as a type of SMA, and creating foldable units based on flat and curved folding techniques. The computational design process includes transferring the physical behavior of Nitinol wire and foldable units by the use of design and simulation tools in an algorithmic modeling environment, in order to create a kinetic building envelope model. The study discusses the potential use of responsive folding techniques to create facade elements that can change shape through the use of SMA actuators without additional mechanical devices and energy use.