A Review of Advanced Façade System Technologies to Support Net-Zero Carbon High-Rise Building Design in Subtropical China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Yingying Zhou
  • Christiane Margerita Herr


Original languageEnglish
Article number2913
Journal / PublicationSustainability
Issue number4
Online published6 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023



While net-zero carbon buildings have been the focus of many previous studies, existing research tends to focus on low-rise buildings in temperate climates with cold winters. However, much of current building activity across the world, particularly in China, is located in hot and humid subtropical climates and typically features high-rise buildings. This review article systematically surveys recent literature on advanced facade systems that have been widely used across Europe and North America to determine their suitability for implementation in the subtropical climatic environment of southern China. To support the further research and design of net-zero carbon buildings in this context, this paper reviews existing technologies enabling zero carbon buildings, particularly those related to high-performance building facades, with a focus on South China. To this end, we present a systematic literature review of relevant studies in English conducted in the past 10 years. Following a definition of the scope of zero carbon building and design factors related to such building types, the paper discusses the rationale and mechanisms of key advanced facade technologies and their suitability for high-rise buildings in the hot and humid subtropical climate of South China, including double-skin facades, building integrated photovoltaics, facade greening systems, advanced shading systems, phase-change materials, and smart windows. The results of the review illustrate a shortage of relevant studies as well as a shortage of design tools supporting the integration of key technologies in the early architectural design stages, where decisions will have a significant impact on a building's subsequent performance.

Research Area(s)

  • zero carbon building, sustainability, building façade system, technology integration, high-rise buildings, subtropical climates, DOUBLE-SKIN FACADE, PHASE-CHANGE MATERIAL, INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAICS BIPV, ENERGY PERFORMANCE, RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS, DAYLIGHTING PERFORMANCE, SHADING DEVICES, CO2 EMISSIONS, HOT, PARAMETERS

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