Professor Gerhard Hausladen teaches and researches in the field of energy-efficient urban and building planning at the Technical University in Munich, where he is Head of the Department of Building Climatology and Building Services. The focus of his research work is the relationships between buildings, energy systems and energy generation, in particular, involving regenerative energies. Since 2007, Professor Hausladen has been directing the advanced Masters course in ClimaDesign, which deals with holistic design and construction.
Do you think that integrating additional functions into the building envelope is the right thing to do?
I think it‘s definitely the right thing to do. By integrating technical systems into the building envelope, you can spare yourself many difficulties which would otherwise need to beresolved inside the building. The collaboration between architects, engineers and contractors, as well as the coordination of the technical systems, is also made easier. In future, the multi-purpose façade will play an even more important role than in the past.
What factors are important when designing futuristic façades?
It is fundamentally important to create a single unit which takes into account both function and design. The main task lies in bringing the design, structural processes, construction and technical systems into harmony in the façade. This is the principle of holistic design. It may involve more or less technology, and more or less energy usage. And this is precisely the aim: to create the highest possible level of comfort for people with reduced technology, which is cleverly integrated in the building, and reduced energy consumption, whilst taking account of external climate conditions.
How integrative, adaptive and active should the façade of the future be?
For me, there is no question that buildings will generate energy. This is an issue that is now easily resolved using façade-integrated photovoltaics and will become commonplace. However, I believe that adaptation, that is the ability of a building to change, is the most important thing aside from the integration of functions. The façade must, to a far greater extent, be able to adapt to the individual requirements of people.