Integrated Facade Simulator: Dynamic Tool to Study The Impact of Solar Radiation on Human Facade Interaction
Today, people are spending more than 90% of their time indoors, that has a great influence on their well-being and visual and thermal satisfaction. In addition, the building sector, as a major urban infrastructure, consumes about 40% of global produced energy, which is mostly used for providing comfortable conditions, yet people are still largely dissatisfied with their environmental comfort. Recent studies aim to incorporate occupants' needs into the building control loop, taking into account both the comfort and satisfaction of the occupants as well as energy efficiency and savings. However, current approaches for studying the relationship between facade systems and occupants’ facade control have remained limited since the existing tools do not take into account the simultaneous effect of facade visual and thermal performance on human comfort perception. The absence of empirical data and methods to examine Human Facade Interaction (HFI) has resulted in an uncertain understanding of occupant behavior, affecting the precision of both human comfort predictions and building energy consumption estimates. This dissertation proposes a novel assist tool for a human facade interaction lab consisting of a cost-effective solar simulator in an indoor testbed to provide solar radiation at different intensities and angles in human facade interaction studies. Three studies covering the proposed tool are presented in order to: 1) Provide a review of methods and tools applied in Human facade interaction; 2) Development of a Low-Cost Large-Scale Solar Simulator with Flexible Mounting; and 3) Thermal assessment of a testbed equipped with an indoor solar simulator to be utilized for hybrid reality in an integrated framework with building performance simulation. The first study reviews how different tools, means, and methods are employed to investigate human facade interaction studies and examines recent research applications and findings.Throughout the study, we identify the external and internal factors that affect human behavior and the results pertaining to the implementation of those factors in each method utilized for studying Human Facade Interaction (HFI). This includes Physical Prototyping and acclimatized chambers, Immersive Virtual Reality, Hybrid Reality, and any identified gaps within each method. . This paper also provides insight into current practices, trends in future methodologies, and required tools in the field of HFI. According to this study, the impact of solar radiation energy was one of the significant factors for human facade interaction that has been overshadowed by the daylight and visual qualities in human facade interaction studies. In the second study, we developed a dynamic solar simulator designed to address the aforementioned gap in the human facade interaction and provide standard, accurate solar radiation data for facade studies. To assess the reliability of solar simulators in delivering consistent solar intensity throughout the day and various seasons, experiments were carried out to examine the solar spectrum. Efforts were made to ensure uniformity in various angles for optimized results. The third study examines the adequacy of the novel use of a solar simulator to provide solar radiation for the (multi-sensory) hybrid environment in an integrated framework with Performance Simulations (BPS). To determine the impact of three states of a dynamic facade on the temperature distribution of a seated person, from the ankles to the head, in a real-life setting, we compared physical data collected in the environment and simulated results generated by building performance simulation software. This study confirms the compatibility of the novel indoor solar simulator as a sufficient alternative to provide thermal stimuli for the hybrid multi-sensory environment that could be utilized as a complementary tool with building performance tools. This dissertation represents a pioneering effort to create a cost-efficient solar simulator for indoor, multi-sensory hybrid reality capable of delivering precise and accurate thermal stimuli for human-facade interaction studies. The results of this study highlight the significance of cost-effective and precise tools in advancing a human-centric facade design approach aimed at fostering more sustainable and energy-efficient building facade technologies.