Sensors and control solutions for Smart-IoT façade modules
Measuring the operating conditions of buildings' components is generally applied to technical systems for improving the energy and environmental management, especially exploiting the IoT functions. However, the measuring and connectivity capabilities are not largely applied to the building envelope. This paper presents the development of a sensing and control system integrated into prefabricated envelope elements, with the functionalities typical of an IoT system. In fact, the Smart-IoT façade is based on the idea of transforming the buildings' façade into a IoT device, capable of communicating with external actors: building owner/manager, building management systems or local controller. Given the importance of the façade as interface between indoor and outdoor environments, the possibility of having real-time data on the envelope operating conditions, is significant to improve the building operation, in terms of comfort and energy efficiency, enabling the adaptive or intelligent façade concept. To this aim, the RenoZEB project is developing a plug&play façade module for building renovation, with embedded sensors and actuators. The module with the sensing architecture is completely assembled off-site, reducing the amount of work to be done onsite. Once installed and configured, the module sends data to a IoT platform, that makes them available for third parties. Different configurations of sensors/actuators can be developed. Among them, this paper presents a solution to optimize the control of windows' shadings. Thus, the façade sensing system has been integrated with an advanced controller that aims at optimizing the shadings position to provide the maximum comfort but allowing the right amount of solar radiation to pass through the windows.