Influence of Automated Façades on Occupants

A Review





Automated control, automated facades, occupant-façade interaction, occupant acceptance, occupant comfort, dynamic facades


Several studies performing building simulations showed that the automated control of façades can provide higher levels of indoor environmental quality and lower energy demand in buildings, in comparison to manually controlled scenarios. However, in several case studies with human volunteers, automated  controls were found to be disruptive or unsatisfactory for occupants. For instance, automated façades became a source of dissatisfaction for occupants when they did not fulfil individual environmental requirements, did not provide personal control options, or did not correctly integrate occupant preferences with façade operation in energy-efficient controls. This article reviews current evidence from empirical studies with human volunteers to identify the key factors that affect occupant response to automated façades. Only twenty-six studies were found to empirically investigate occupant response to automated façades from 1998 onwards. Among the reviewed studies, five groups of factors were found to influence occupant interaction with automated façades and namely: (1) personal factors, (2) environmental conditions, (3) type and mode of operation, (4) type of façade technology, and (5) contextual factors.. Overall, occupant response to automated façades is often poorly considered in research studies reviewed because of the following three reasons: (i) the lack of established methods or procedures for assessing occupant response to automated façade controls,  (ii) poor understanding of occupant multi-domain comfort preferences in terms of façade operation, (iii) fragmented research landscape, on one hand results are mainly related to similar contextual or climatic conditions, which undermines their applicability to other climates, while on the other hand the lack of replication within the same conditions, which also undermines replicability within the same condition.  Lastly, this paper suggests future research directions to achieve a holistic and more comprehensive understanding of occupant response to automated façades, aiming to achieve more user-centric automated façade solutions and advanced control algorithms. In particular, research on the impact of personal factors on occupant satisfaction with automated controls is deemed paramount.

How to Cite

de la Barra, P., Luna-Navarro, A., Prieto, A., Vásquez, C., & Knaack, U. (2022). Influence of Automated Façades on Occupants: A Review. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 10(2), 19–38.




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