Smart materials: A step towards next generation of sustainable buildings.
Abstract (200-word limit)
Currently, there is an increased demand for creating sustainable buildings
to address environmental issues. The advancement of technology has helped in
creating buildings with integrated systems, which are more responsive and
efficient. Use of Smart materials in buildings is the next step towards the
future generation of sustainable buildings. Due to their dynamic behaviour, Smart
materials sense their surrounding environment and adjust themselves accordingly.
As this reaction is due to the intrinsic properties of the material, smart
materials help in optimizing energy consumption. The aim of this paper is to determine
the potential of smart materials in producing sustainable results. The paper
reviews by means of literature review, the definitions of smart material, their
behaviour and potential contribution in creating energy conscious designs. The
research shows that due to their inherent properties Smart materials can contribute
in creating efficient and responsive buildings.
Introduction and aim (100-word limit)
In the recent years, due to problems like global warming, fossil fuel
reduction, mass urbanization, creating sustainable building has become the need
of the hour. This is reflected in the increasing number of buildings that are
integrated with smart technologies. So far in creating sustainable built
environment, the role of building materials has been limited. Use of innovative
materials can make a significant contribution in the sustainability of the buildings.
Smart materials are already being used in the field of engineering and medicine
1 and now many research has been going on their
use in buildings. Their potential is already recognized by the architects and
they will be inevitable elements for the future projects with enhanced
The aim of this paper is to understand the concept of Smart materials
and their integration in architecture and to determine their potential in creating
responsive and efficient buildings.
Literature review (200-word limit)
Architects and designers are always looking for new technologies to
enhance the efficiency of buildings. Smart materials show the potential to offer
efficient solutions in sustainable design. Research on smart materials have
been conducted ubiquitously in the field of engineering and medicine and lately
in the field of contemporary building design.
There have been a number of
academic and technical literature discussing the definition of ‘Smart materials’.
According to NASA, smart materials are ‘materials that remember configuration
and can conform to them when given a specific stimulus’ 3. Due to their
intrinsic dynamic behaviour many smart materials have found application in the
field of architecture 1,2,4,6,9. Also, as smart materials react naturally to
the environment, they can play an important role in optimizing energy
consumptions in buildings making them an effective tool in sustainable design
3,6,7,8,9,13,15. As smart materials will inevitably become the part of our
future buildings, their use will result in initiating a new design paradigm in
architecture 2,5,9. To exploit the
true potential of smart materials, collaboration between architects and
material engineers is important 2,3,8,11,13,15.
Several researches in smart materials
are focussed on the discussion of different types of smart materials and their potential
contribution to the field of architecture especially sustainable designs.
However, since use of smart materials is at an experimental stage, insufficient
data is available in the form of performance evaluation, mass production and
cost evaluation of smart materials. Due to rise in demands of sustainable solutions
in buildings, use of smart materials is the logical next step and further
research on their evaluation can be beneficial to architecture industry.
Methodology (100- word limit)
Based on the objective of this study to determine the potential of smart
materials in sustainable architecture, a systematic review was done, to gather
and analyse information on types of smart materials and their potential use in
architecture. The research platform was setup in the fields of definition of smart
materials and their properties, use of smart material in architecture and sustainable
designs in buildings. This information was further analysed to determine the
effect of these materials in sustainable architecture, by doing the case
studies of different projects in experimental, design and actual stages.