Building the future
Research and development within the Permasteelisa Group has primarily focused on sustainable design of buildings and the development of façade components and systems to achieve this.
Studies have shown that approximately half of global energy production is consumed in building conditioning and operations. Sustainable design requires that design & construction today, should not become the problem of future generations. Global population increase as well as finite energy resources are resulting in increased energy prices as well as increasing levels of CO2 generation. Whilst renewable technology is making vast in-roads to alternate means of energy, current technology cannot meet building energy needs alone and hence buildings must become increasingly energy efficient as well as intelligently interactive with both the building occupant and weather forecasts. Permasteelisa is leading the design and development of advanced building energy prediction tools, interactive façades and control systems that result in dramatic reductions in building energy consumption and improvements in the overall life-cycle of the façade, its materials and components.
Physical protection is at the forefront of any building occupant concern. It is an unfortunate truth that we live in a world with increasing threats to building occupants. Alternately, events involving catastrophic fires in buildings results in a continuous complete re-think in facades design for fire protection. Natural events such as storms and earthquakes are having increasing impacts given that city populations in regions disposed to such events are rapidly increasing. Permasteelisa has researched and developed innovative tools and systems for blast, intrusion and ballistic protection as well as continually undertaking research and design development of systems capable of resisting fire, seismic and extreme weather events.
The predominant identity of a building is not simply its architectural aesthetic but more so its functionality; particularly with regards to the occupants themselves. There is an indisputable scientific relationship between occupant comfort and productivity as well as health and well-being. Greater urbanization of cities will result in greater density of people living in limited space and near transport hubs and hence building façades will be required to provide an increasing level of visual, thermal and acoustic comfort for building occupants as well as the ability to interact with the external environment through the greater use of natural daylighting and ventilation. City space is also becoming increasingly limited and hence buildings will be taller and more slender requiring increased comfort control measures due to movements and accelerations. Permasteelisa is at the forefront of this research with the development of innovative analytical tools, advanced interactive façades and control systems.
There is a realization the global resources to produce building materials are finite and there is a need to reduce energy and hence CO2 emissions in the production of these materials. Research and development in the use of alternative materials seeks to integrate new material solutions with a focus on recycle-ability, supply from sustainable sources, durability and cradle-to-cradle durability. The current use of materials in building design are predominantly engineered based on the intrinsic properties of materials themselves, whilst research in the use of alternate materials seeks to engineer the material to suit specific design requirements as well as reduce waste through optimizing the quantity of material used where it is mainly required through advanced additive manufacturing technologies.