Automated Glazed Facades: Occupant responses and architects rationales

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The form of intelligent facade in most frequent use at present, automated glazed facades, are the focus of the thesis. The thesis defines them as highly glazed facades, cabal of independent physical reaction to either external or internal conditions, or to presets. Buildings with these facades are therefore capable of being less dependent on conventional mechanical services than conventional buildings, and are often associated with the design aim of energy efficiency and low energy use.

The apparent contradiction of the use of extensive galling ad the achievement of low energy aims was investigated through both an analysis of the literature and interviews with architects involved in such designs. The research found that extensive use of glazing compromised pursual of Lowe energy aims and also that the ai of displaying extensive glazing had often been placed above energy aims.

An apparent conflict between occupant satisfaction and achievement of low energy aims in such buildings was indicated by anecdotal evidence of occupant dissatisfaction. A relatively small sample of buildings with automated glazed facades was studied to identify occupants’ actual reactions, and the impact of architects’ rationales on occupant reactions was also explored.

Lack of access to control, daylight and contact with the outside world, were found to be occupants’ main dislikes abut these facades. The automated closure of opaque shading was reacted to particularly negatively for these reasons. Automation of ventilation appeared to have little impact on occupant reactions, however. The building used as a research control with a manual facade, was closest to meeting occupants’ required environmental conditions. The findings from this study suggest that occupant control is the best means of achieving satisfaction.

The priorities with which architects held different rationales appeared to influence occupant reactions considerably. Occupant satisfaction was only apparent in those buildings where occupant control had been placed as the main or equal main aim for the design. The research findings suggest that the values on which a design was baed were the main root of occupant reactions postoccupation.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Ogden, Raymond, Supervisor, External person
  • Sakula, Jonathan , Supervisor, External person
  • Groak, Steven , Supervisor, External person
  • Luebkeman, Chris , Supervisor, External person
Thesis sponsors
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • architecture
  • facade


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