This paper represents the first public exhibition of Thermadapt™ building coverings which were invented more than eight years ago. The paper starts with a brief overview of the field of adaptive materials and their applications in various industries. Thermally adaptive building covering sheet fundamentals are explained by laying out the basic structural mechanics of thermally induced gross shape changes in lamina. As a truncated paper, the driving theory, coupon, test chamber and subscale building data could not be included due to length constraints, but will be delivered during oral presentation. Nonetheless, data from outdoor range testing on three independent buildings is presented. These three buildings measuring 1.8m (6 ft) deep x 2.4m (8 ft) wide x 2.1m (7 ft) high showed excellent results. The first was outfitted with Thermadapt™ siding and roofing. The second was outfitted with a variety of different amounts of insulation. The third was used as a control. The configuration of the full-scale test range buildings is shown along with performance data in all midwestern seasons. The data demonstrated that thin thermally adaptive building coverings are as effective as 27 cm (10.5”) of fiberglass insulation, indicating an equivalent R-value of more than 40/cm (100/in). The paper concludes with an overview of the economics of Thermadapt™ building coverings and the intellectual property landscape.
Barrett, R. M., & Barrett, R. P. (2016). Thermally adaptive building covering field test. Procedia Engineering, 145, 26-33.