The double-skin façade is a system that consists of two building skins separated by a ventilated cavity (Fig. 9.1). The main aim of the cavity is to vary the physical properties of the façade throughout the year, improving the building’s performance. Between the heat-insulated inner façade and the outer skin is an unheated thermal buffer zone, which is ventilated if required and can incorporate movable solar shading devices. Double-skin façades are designed to adapt to ambient conditions and balance out seasonal climate fluctuations. Thus heat, coldness, light and wind are regulated to attain optimum comfort without any complex technology or use of energy. Sometimes the heat energy that builds up in the cavity is used not just passively but also actively. The outer façade is extremely suitable for integrating photovoltaics since it consists of single glazing and the modules can also provide solar shading.
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