Launch Slideshow

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2012 R+D Awards Honorable Mention: Thermometric Facade

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.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp3632%2Etmp_tcm20-1399725.jpg

    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.

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    Clint Ford

    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.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp3633%2Etmp_tcm20-1399729.jpg

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

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    Clint Ford

    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.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp3634%2Etmp_tcm20-1399744.jpg

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

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    Clint Ford

    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 and a structural exterior.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp3635%2Etmp_tcm20-1399753.jpg

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

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    Davidson Rafailidis

    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.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp3636%2Etmp_tcm20-1399765.jpg

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

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    Davidson Rafailidis

    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.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp3637%2Etmp_tcm20-1399771.jpg

    Exploded axonometric diagrams showing the glass layers of the block.

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    Davidson Rafailidis

    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.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp3638%2Etmp_tcm20-1399785.jpg

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

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    Davidson Rafailidis

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

  • Small-scale prototype of the blocks comprising the thermometric facade.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp3639%2Etmp_tcm20-1399793.jpg

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

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    Davidson Rafailidis

    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 facades.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp363A%2Etmp_tcm20-1399807.jpg

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

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    Davidson Rafailidis

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

Following a material investigation that juror Gordon Gill called “valuable and interesting,” the concept for Thermometric Façade then took shape—literally. The project uses the thermal and volume-expansion behavior of wax-based phase-change materials to create a modular, structural glass block that becomes clear or opaque depending on the ambient temperature. Stacked together, the blocks can create dynamic walls that react to programmatic or environmental conditions. “It turns something discreet and hidden into an element of design,” juror Martina Decker said.


Project Credits

Project Thermometric Façade
Architect Davidson Rafailidis
Primary Investigator Georg Rafailidis (Davidson Rafailidis; assistant professor, Buffalo School of Achitecture+Planning (B/a+p), University at Buffalo, the State University of New York)
Co-Investigator Stephanie Davidson (Davidson Rafailidis; clinical assistant professor, B/a+p, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York)
Structural Consultant Arne Künstler, Imagine Structure
Climate Consultant Roman Jakobiak