Advanced multi-layer system based on surfaces and innovative nanostructured materials for a sustainable and energy-efficient construction

In the last years, there has been a growing interest in the integrated use of innovative materials and ICT technologies to design a new concept of building, meeting the requirements of environmental compatibility and sustainability in terms of materials and energy.

In the framework of the Tuscany Regional Project SELFIE, new technological components for buildings have been designed and implemented aiming at introducing new prototypical facade elements that can have a great impact on energy efficiency and pollution control.
In particular, 3 different prototypical facade modular panels (having size 90 x 140 cm) have been produced; they can be assembled according to different configurations in order to constitute the prototype of the "SELFIE facade system", providing the following performances:

o Reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions: the components are designed to reduce energy losses during the winter season and to limit overheating phenomena in summer thanks to the adoption of innovative materials in the opaque and transparent part.
o Reduction of internal pollution: introduction of photocatalytic materials and ventilation systems (forced or natural) that guarantee the correct heat exchange and reduce pollutants.
o Energy production: use of photovoltaic panels made with dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCC) integrated into facade components.
o Reduction of outdoor environmental pollution: adoption of external surface treatments able to break down nitrogen oxides.

The SELFIE facade features an integrated thermal-hygrometric performance monitoring system which permits to analyze operational parameters and conditions in real time. A so designed technological solution can be integrated with a Building Management System (BMS) of the entire structure, allowing to rationalize its functionality and reduce energy consumption.

The role of ISTI-CNR has included the definition and development of the system for monitoring and controlling the functioning parameters of the facade system consisting of the three prototypical SELFIE panels. The main aim was to make the building dynamic and energetically active through the integration of information and monitoring systems that allow to control the energy flows (solar radiation, air, heat fluxes, etc.) according to the external climatic conditions and indoor users' requests for comfort. Integration has been the keyword of this operational goal. Indeed, in this context, integration represents the sharing of information by reducing or eliminating the siloed approach of the various subsystems installed in a building, reorganizing their vision through a single multi functional system able to control, coordinate and orchestrate the individual energy / functional management functions of the construction. At the same time, the single multi functional system leaves to the users the competence and responsibility in managing domestic systems according to their needs.