2012 R+D Awards Honorable Mention: Thermometric Facade

The wax-based phase change materials (PCM) inside the glass blocks provide thermal storage capacity and can provide different levels of visibility depending on the PCM state.

Phase change materials in liquid form fill the the glass block.

As the ambient temperature rises, the phase change materials changes to liquid and expands to fill the glass block volume.

The block structure and shape was derived from experimentation and design iterations. The interior geometry of this version has air pockets, an overflow space, and a structural exterior.

Excerpts from time-lapse photography of the phase-change material as the ambient temperature rose from 18.5 C to 23 C.

Exploded axonometric diagrams showing the glass layers of the block.

The block geometry allows individual blocks to interlock and transfer loads to a structural support.

Small-scale prototype of the blocks comprising the thermometric façade.

Phase-change materials with different melting points have the potential to create dynamic or responsive façades.

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