Nikola Znaor, winner of a Next Generation prize in 2015, is the James Dyson Award 2016 winner for Austria. His project named Air-Shade is a responsive sustainable shading system powered by air that is sensitive to solar exposure with no need for any external energy source or sensors. The James Dyson Award recognizes the work of university students and recent graduates in the fields of product design, industrial design and engineering who respond to the challenge of “designing something that solves a problem”.
The LafargeHolcim Awards jury praised the Air-Shade for the simple transfer of a low-technology artifact (an umbrella) to create a high-technology apparatus to shade buildings. Sophisticated and innovative, the prototype of the Air-Shade was produced in Germany in 2014, and is a functioning shading unit of the system with a core of aluminum and fire protection fiber textile for the shading surface. An ongoing development and production of prototypes is planned and European patents have been secured.
The national winners and runners up in the James Dyson Award will now be judged by Dyson engineers, who will shortlist the top 20 international projects. This shortlist will be announced on 29 September 2016. The international winner, selected by James Dyson, will be revealed on 27 October.See more
Cooling as a process is one of the biggest energy consumers in the building sector around the globe. The project Air-shade from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, addresses this problem by proposing a shading system that is sensitive to solar exposure and powered by air – with no need of any external energy source. Insofar as that it can vary in scale, size, material, and form, the proposed device is applicable to a broad variety of buildings, constructions, façades, roofs, windows, etc.
Exposed to solar radiation, the air inside the umbrella-like units heats up and expands, allowing the armature to open. Conversely, when solar radiation diminishes the air cools down and the shutters close.
Nikola Znaor believes that sustainable construction needs to consider ecological, economic and social aspects and also keep in mind user comfort, aesthetics, and adaptability for future use. “Air-Shade: Responsive sustainable shading system, Vienna, Austria” is considered an ingenious approach to problem solving by the Holcim Awards jury.
The winning projects of the Holcim Awards 2014 for Europe illustrate how sustainable construction continues to evolve – developing more sophisticated and multi-disciplinary responses to the challenges facing the building and construction industry. The “Next Generation” 6th prize was awarded to Nikola Znaor for a responsive sustainable shading system in Austria.Read full media release – Holcim Awards 2014 for Europe » pour en savoir plus (French) » lesen Sie mehr (German) » más información (Spanish) » per saperne di piú (Italian) » подробнее (Russian) »
The jury commends the exploratory nature of the project and its ingenious approach to problem solving. Particularly appreciated is the simple transfer of a low-technology artifact – in this case, an umbrella – to create a high-technology apparatus to shade buildings. Architectural design is here deployed as a method to investigate new sustainable construction techniques. Most successful in this exercise are the doubly-curved façades that constantly transform according to the intensity of solar exposure.
Patent pending: EP14165178 – Cooling as a process is one of the biggest energy consumers in the building sector around the globe. The project Air-shade from Vienna, Austria, addresses this problem by proposing a shading system that is sensitive to solar exposure and powered by air – with no need of any external energy source. Insofar as that it can vary in scale, size, material, and form, the proposed device is applicable to a broad variety of buildings, constructions, façades, roofs, windows, etc. Exposed to solar radiation, the air inside the umbrella-like units heats up and expands, allowing the armature to open. Conversely, when solar radiation diminishes the air cools down and the shutters close.
More energy-efficient solutions for cooling buildings have the capacity to significantly reduce the whole-of-life energy consumption of structures. Sustainability should not only be considered as something that saves the earth and helps nature, it should simply raise the question of whether an approach is senseless or not. Air-shade is a continuation of the award-winning “Woolshade” concept that was selected out of 532 projects from 28 countries, and prototyped in 2014.
Air-shade tends to make responsive shading self-sustaining, replacing complex systems with simple natural processes being a high performance and intelligent shading system that works on physical principles. Air-shade consists of multiple shutter units. The main umbrella like construction of each unit is made out of rods around a metal core with an air container with filtered air. When exposed to solar radiation the air expands its volume and actuates a pneumatic cylinder that opens the shutters. Once opened, the shutters prevent the sun from coming inside of a building. As time passes and the solar radiation reduces, the air cools down, creating under-pressure and the shutters close.
The size, scale and materials of the shutters can vary, and can therefore be applied on a broad variety of buildings, not constrained by the design or aesthetics of the object they are connected to (which is often the case in sustainable architecture). Mostly all parts are made of inexpensive and accessible materials that do not require complex assembly or production processes and are easily recyclable and pre-fabricated. It is a low-tech solution, yet an extremely advanced one with a potential for global application and rapid implementation. Furthermore, it does not need any maintenance, as it is entirely self-sustaining.
Because of its ability to interact with the sun, it responds locally to objects such as buildings, vegetation and clouds. This makes it possible for the shading system to remain open in some places on the building where there is no direct sunlight. The comfort of the user is improved in comparison to conventional shading as well as the thermal regulation of a building. The shutters are slightly offset from the façade to act as a rear-ventilated façade, eliminating heat behind the shutters.
Air-shade could be self-funded in the long term via energy savings, with sustainable banking, governmental/crowd-funding as financing in the initial stage of its application.Download project overview (PDF, 1.73 MB) »See more
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Nikola Znaor believes that sustainable construction needs to consider ecological, economic and social aspects and also keep in …