International Conference on Advanced Building Skins

© 2016 ABS

© 2016 ABS

The 11th edition of the international conference on "Advanced Building Skins" took place on October 10th and 11th at the Kursaal in Bern, Switzerland. This important event, which was attended by 600 participants, constitutes a platform for exchanges on the latest results in research in the field of high-performance façades. On this occasion, a session was specifically dedicated to the ACTIVE INTERFACES interdisciplinary research project, which aims to develop new strategies for the implementation of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) in urban renewal processes. Among the experts invited to the occasion, Prof. Emmanuel Rey of the Laboratory of Architecture and Sustainable Technologies (LAST) gave a lecture on the issues related to the architectural integration of BIPV into retrofitting projects.

As international platform for architects, engineers, scientists and the building industry, the Conference on Advanced Building Skins aims to contribute to a multidisciplinary, integrated planning approach by architects, engineers, scientists and manufacturers to reduce energy consumption of buildings. By fostering lively exchange between these groups, this conference sheds light on the significance of the building skin, with a view to putting scientific know-how into practice.

In a context of energy turnaround, the production of photovoltaic electricity constitutes an increasing issue for the coming decades. The issues, however, are not only quantitative but also qualitative. Currently, only a small potential percentage of building integrated photovoltaic systems (BIPV) is valued in cities and urban areas. Among the issues to deal with, architectural issues are of paramount importance.

The emergence of new technologies and the inclusion of BIPV from the preliminary sketches suggest new paradigms for advanced integrated design. Exploring the challenges inherent in this development is at the heart of the ACTIVE INTERFACES interdisciplinary research project, which focuses on the integration of BIPV in the renovation projects of the existing building stock in urban areas.

Realized with the support of the Swiss National Fund (SNF) in the framework of the National Research Programs "Energy Turnaround" (NRP 70), this research project gets together ten research groups specialized in theses issues.