02-03 October 2017

Advanced Building Skins Conference

The 12th edition of the international conference on "Advanced Building Skins" took place on October 2nd and 3rd in Bern, Switzerland. This important event, which gathered over 250 speakers from 40 nations in a total of 38 sessions, constitutes a platform for exchanges on the latest results in research in the field of high-performance façades. On this occasion, Martin Boesiger from the Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale de Fribourg (HES-SO) presented the intermediary results of the ACTIVE INTERFACES interdisciplinary research project, which aims to develop new strategies for the implementation of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) in urban renewal processes.

As international platform for architects, engineers, scientists and the building industry, the Conference on Advanced Building Skins aims to contribute to a multidisciplinary, integrated planning approach by architects, engineers, scientists and manufacturers to reduce energy consumption of buildings. By fostering lively exchange between these groups, this conference sheds light on the significance of the building skin, with a view to putting scientific know-how into practice.

In a context of energy turnaround, the production of photovoltaic electricity constitutes an increasing issue for the coming decades. The issues, however, are not only quantitative but also qualitative. Currently, only a small potential percentage of building integrated photovoltaic systems (BIPV) is valued in cities and urban areas. Among the issues to deal with, architectural issues are of paramount importance.

The emergence of new technologies and the inclusion of BIPV from the preliminary sketches suggest new paradigms for advanced integrated design. Exploring the challenges inherent in this development is at the heart of the ACTIVE INTERFACES interdisciplinary research project, which focuses on the integration of BIPV in the renovation projects of the existing building stock in urban areas. In this context, Martin Boesiger presented a market research on BIPV in urban renewal processes as well as the results of surveys conducted with architects in Neuchâtel in the framework of the ACTIVE INTERFACES project.

Realized with the support of the Swiss National Fund (SNF) in the framework of the National Research Program "Energy Turnaround" (NRP 70), this research project gathers ten research groups specialized in theses issues.

M. Boesiger, P. Couty, J.-B. Bacher, « Market potential and acceptance of building integrated PV (BIPV) solutions, a practical approach. »

 Program of the Advanced Building Skins Conference