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November 1, 2019

Engineering smart building skins for cleaner, greener architecture


With support from NSF, a multidisciplinary team of material scientists, engineers and architects is using nature-inspired design and new materials to create smart building skins. A smart skin enables a building to function much like elements of some living systems. It allows a building to "breathe," but independent of centralized control. This Texas A&M University team is exploring the use of smart materials, such as shape memory alloys and stimuli-responsive polymers, in a variety of approaches to produce building systems that function in concert with the environment. NSF supports fundamental research that will shape the future of the nation's constructed civil infrastructure in the context of the natural environment, technological innovations and societal needs.

The research team includes the following scientists and engineers: Zofia Rybkowski, Negar Kalantar, Ergun Akleman, Tahir Cagin and Terry Creasy, as well as the following students: Ruaa Al-Mezrakchi, Nikita Bhagat, Diya Dhannoon, Daniel Hirsch, Hyoungsub Kim, Maryam Mansoori, William Palmer and Saied Zarrinmehr.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF grant #1548243, "EAGER: Interaction of Smart Materials for Transparent, Self-regulating Building Skins."

Credit: National Science Foundation

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