The problem: There is significant potential for responsive sun screening systems to improve the energy performance of large scale public and commercial buildings. However there has been minimal uptake, primarily due to the capital and maintenance costs.
Our solution: We propose that costs can be offset by providing added value in two ways.
(1) With a high granularity of panels the system can be re-purposed as a low-resolution media screen that can be used for marketing and promotion. (2) Development of a finer grained control interface for occupants to enhance individual comfort, which has been shown to improve worker productivity.
Current state of research: A prototype consisting of physical mock-ups and software has been developed and calibrated with simulations to provide an interactive proof of concept.
Next stage that requires funding: The research will shift to the design and fabrication of a solar powered autonomous panel, and research and testing of low maintenance actuators. The goal is to demonstrate the potential for a zero-energy commercial building that also has the added value of generating income through advertising and improving individual comfort levels.
Potential industry partners: Property developers, end users such as large corporations and public buildings (museums, libraries etc., and potential manufacturers of the system).