This research aims at developing an innovative methodology and the related computational workflow to design energy efficient buildings equipped with climate responsive building skins able to respond dynamically to environmental conditions changing over the time. This methodology, called Adaptive Building and Skin (AB&S), is applicable in different climate zones and consists of a computational form-finding method, which supports architects and engineers in the buildings' design process resulting in buildings with optimized energy performance and a high level of indoor and outdoor comfort under changing environmental conditions. The innovativeness of AB&S lies in the fact that it includes the entire design process and considers several internal and external inputs to find the best solutions at all scales of a project: starting from the micro urban-scale with the design of the site and of the building shape, down to the building-scale and finally the skin-scale.

Applicability and functionality of AB&S has been tested and improved in the design of office buildings located in specific cities located in different climate zones (cold, temperate, tropical and subtropical). Results of the application in Berlin, Germany, are presented in detail in this paper.

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Author notes

1. HTWK Leipzig, Leipzig University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

2. Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza,” Italy.