Double Skin Envelope Integrated Hygrothermal Louvers
The double skin envelope integrated hygrothermal louvers are conceived as a next generation design of advanced environmental building envelope technology and direct outdoor air systems. This configuration addresses multiple environmental criteria simultaneously. The operable louver system allows for control of indirect natural daylighting to interior habitable space. The double skin facade provides a weather barrier protection, but is integrated with outdoor air intake to allow for outdoor air processing across the hydrogel louver system within the cavity of the facade. In its dry state, the lyophilized hydrogel has a decent resistance value, and can be configured to provide additional insulation barrier for heat resistance. In order to actuate water condensate release from the hydrogel by synaeresis, grafted chains are incorporated in the hydrogel synthesis. A hydrogel matrix with hydrophobic channels is designed to allow for condensate collection, and the integration of flexible PEX tubes incorporate system water transfer for building water use. The integration of encapsulated phase change materials within the hydrogel matrix provides a heat sink for the latent energy from adsorption, thus maintaining both more reasonable air temperatures exiting the cavity and adequate hydrogel material temperatures. The outer face of each louver is coated with titanium oxide nanometer powder in combination with spectrally selective coating for UV absorption to initiate photocatalysis of any air contaminants carried through the cavity. A PM2.5 filter may be incorporated at the air intake at the base of the double skin facade, and induction fans may be integrated at the base and top points along the length of the cavity to assist adequate air flow rates. This system proposition allows for simultaneity of building envelope functions (natural daylighting control, thermal barrier) in addition to outdoor air processing (humidity sorption and photocatalysis) for dedicated fresh air supply, thus improving indoor air health.