05/03/2018_The exterior wall is the barrier between the outside and inside of a building, which is called a façade. A ”passive façade” deals with the heating or cooling issues naturally. An ”active façade”, actively influences the indoor climate by integrating mechanical or digital devices and systems.
The double-skin façade, or DSF, is an envelope construction composed of two transparent ”skins” that are separated by an air corridor. The DSF is a form of active façade, because it employs equipment, like fans or solar/thermal sensors. It also integrates passive design strategies, such as natural ventilation, daylighting, and solar energy. The DSF is a hybrid of these two as it uses some mechanical energy in addition to the natural and renewable energy resources.
Double-skin facades are appropriate when buildings are subject to great external noise and wind loads. A further area of application is in rehabilitation work, when existing facades cannot be renewed, or where this is not desirable. Double-skin facades have a special aesthetic of their own, and this can be exploited architecturally to great advantage.
However, there are still relatively few buildings in which double-skin facades have actually been realized, and there is still too little experience of their behavior in operation.