ASP projects


Climate change is one of the most significant challenges of our time. Due to the increasing energy consumption of a steadily growing world population, CO2 emissions and greenhouse effect are continuously increasing. The building sector provides great potential to reduce CO2 emissions, since 30% of the total energy consumption is to maintain thermal comfort in buildings. The lack of water is another major concern that troubles different regions of the world and is amplified by social inequality. This issue and similar ones are not limited only to rural areas, as even the current urban settings do not sometimes provide an adequate standard of living to their citizens. The lack of housing within cities has stimulated the growth of slums with limited or no access to basic commodities like potable water. A smart design of building envelopes can help tackling the previously described issues, since the impact of these elements, in spite of their limited cost (20% of the building), is multifaceted. The present work aims to design an adaptable, modular and multifunctional façade system to retrofit building envelopes in diverse geographical and social contexts. Nowadays, kinetic or smart façades are inclined towards sophisticated mechanisms and materiality. This comes at an economic expense that limits the usage to a privileged class and leaves a major social segment behind. Since the existing informal building stocks inhabited by the economically weaker sections of the society cannot afford this luxury, the environmental and social impact of such design solutions is limited. The goal of this project has been maximizing the affordability of the technology through informed design choices along with minimizing the energy required for achieving thermal comfort conditions. The design solution exploits the potential of dynamic building envelopes, broadening its application to existing informal communities, thus promising a greater positive environmental and social impact. In addition to the reduction of energy demand by exploiting a variable shading mechanism, the design provides an advanced water harvesting system based on fog collection, which would further improve the standard of living of the users. Innovation is achieved by scaling down technology, to enlarge the applicability field of an elite installation, thus fully exploiting its potential to solve worldwide spread social and environmental issues. Moreover, the application of a bottom-up approach innovates the method of kinetic façades design, which is usually design driven. The expected result of the project is the design of a morphable façade system, able to interact with the users to mediate the external environment conditions. Such a novel creation moves away from the paradigm of dynamic building skins and aims both to improve the life quality and to reduce the environmental footprint of disadvantaged communities.

Stefano Mariani, Departement of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano

Stefano Invernizzi, Departement of Structural, Geotechnical and Building Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Francesco Braghin, Departement of Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Emiliano Descrovi, Departement of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino

Andrea Andorno, Architecture, Construction City, Politecnico di Torino
Stefano De Santi, Space Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Ali Reza Hakim, Sustainable Architecture and Landascape Design, Politecnico di Milano
Babak Mohammadi, Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Chiara Tassinari, Architecture Built Environment, Interiors, Politecnico di Milano
Erick Katsumi Setoguchi, Interior and Spatial Design, Politecnico di Milano
Matteo Ornato, Architecture, Built Environment, Ineriors, Politecnico di Milano