Posts tagged with "Facades Conference":

Facades+AM San Francisco

Facades+AM Returns to San Francisco

The program includes three sessions covering issues unique to the region—innovative building skins, high performance facade delivery, and San Francisco’s changing building fabric. These well-rounded, expert dialogues will inform and inspire.

The Facades+ conference series is a robust dialogue encompassing all things building skin—bridging the profession, industry, academia, operations, and ownership. We’ve distilled the best of the Facades+ 2-day event into a quick-take morning forum with a strong local flair. Facades+AM is returning to SF on June 7th, 2018.

  Full Speaker Lineup:

Facades+ Returns to NYC April 19+20, 2018

Facades+ unites top professionals from the worlds of design, fabrication, and construction to consider how high performance envelopes contribute to and are shaped by NYC’s unique architectural landscape. Be inspired and learn how to innovate all steps of facade implementation—from systems and materials to designs and delivery strategies. Hear about the latest and greatest projects in NYC and around the world at Facades+. We provide proven insights on how to make your ideas become reality. We bring together some of the world’s most productive building professionals and leading researchers to share insights on how facades ideas are brought to life. On April 19th, join us for a stellar lineup of speakers and network with top manufacturers from across the AEC industry in our Methods+ Materials gallery. Keynotes by international, award-winning architects Francine Houben (Mecanoo) + Ian Ritchie (Ian Ritchie Architects) Join us on April 20th for your choice of deep-diving workshops lead by industry leading designers, engineers, and specialists. For more, visit


An exclusive tailored event focusing on innovations for Architects, Interior Designers and Specifiers.  With over 500 innovative products and services showcased by manufacturers and distributors. All exhibitors go through a strict selection process with an external juding panel, ensuring the presence of high caliber innovations. FEATURES include: Keynote Speakers, Accredited Seminars, Materials Exhibit, Project Wall, ART Installation. We offer complimentary catering all day to our exhibitors and attendees, so they can focus on networking and conducting business.    
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Two Philadelphia architects discuss projects beyond Center City

As Philadelphia expands, architects and designers find themselves increasingly working on projects outside of Center City. This is both good and bad news for those in Philly's periphery, which has seen rising rents but also a growth in architectural variation as well. Two architects at Philadelphia-based firms: Scott Erdy, Principal of Erdy McHenry Architecture, and Eric Oskey, a Partner at Moto Designshop, are contributing projects outside of Center City at various scales.   Speaking to The Architect's Newspaper (AN), Scott Erdy spoke of Millennium Hall, a student residence and retail project that was completed in 2009. Here, the end walls of the building are glazed, while the other facades are highly textured, comprised of an array of curved panels which form a composite aluminum rain screen. [intersitial] Such facade projections are seldom seen on student halls where cost limits intricacy. However, Erdy explained that eliminating material waste persuaded the fabricator to go ahead with it. "The folds and side edges are directly related to the size of the raw material fabricated," he said. "We were able to convince NovingerGroup [the fabricators] that it would cost them no more to create than eight inches of relief in the facade as it would be it flat—so long as wasn't wasting any material." "It was a great learning experience for us," he added. "Engaging with the people doing the work for us results in high quality and good price." The relationship with the fabricator was aided by the fact that Erdy McHenry Architecture had worked with them before on another project, Race Street Residence Hall, which was built three years prior. Erdy also spoke about another facade project. At The Piazza at Schmidt’s, a housing complex between Poplar and Fishtown, the facade operates on numerous levels to facilitate views in and out of the building, as well as, according to Erdy, to engage outdoor space as a "social exercise." Erdy elaborated on how the facade came to be. "The skin is basically a window system that was modified with the sub-contractor (GMI)  to make it cost-effective," he said. "The gridded element of that building is a direct expression of the underlying structure." Also speaking to AN, Eric Oskey explained how Moto Designshop has been using layered screens at a residential scale. At the Walnut Estates, a residential complex finished last year, Oskey used a perforated brick wall to form a facade that is offset from the main structure. The white brickwork provided light and privacy to the luxury apartments behind the facade, but was also parted to allow substantial views to a swath of floor-to-ceiling windows. Oskey will be discussing this project and others in further detail at the upcoming Facades+ Conference in Philadelphia. Scott Erdy will also be present to elaborate on the two projects mentioned here, as well as EVO Tower (completed in 2014) and The Radian (completed in 2009). At their panel, "Philadelphia’s Design Trajectories: Growing Beyond Center City," Erdy and Oskey will be joined by Danielle DiLeo Kim, who will discuss how buildings can come together and activate the street level and how facades, as she describes, can act as "identity makers for cities." Facades+AM Philadelphia is being held at the National Museum of American Jewish History on September 25. More information on the conference can be found at Seating is limited.
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AEC professionals behind Cornell Tech Passive House reveal key to high energy performance

Today at Facades+ New York, The Architect's Newspaper's conference series on innovative building envelopes, AEC professionals gathered for a day of talks on the challenges and opportunities presented by the design and construction of high-performance facades.

To kick off the afternoon session, Blake Middleton, partner at Handel Architects and Lois Arena, senior mechanical engineer at SWA convened to talk about “The House” at Cornell Tech. The 26-story, 350-unit building, on Roosevelt Island on the East River, is the largest Passive House–certified structure in the world. AN editor-in-chief William Menking was on hand to moderate the post-talk Q+A.

Passive House certification, Arena explained, is the most rigorous building standard in the world. Why? The certification is based on performance—and the performance levels that Passive House demands are five to ten times higher than current building codes require. So, to meet the exacting standards, Arena and Blake revealed just how they rose to that challenge with their project at Cornell Tech.

There are six key factors, Arena said, to achieving the certification: siting, compact shape, the proper enclosure, a low energy HVAC system, energy efficient appliances and lighting, and, crucially, user-friendliness.

The Cornell Tech building is sited due south to maximize solar gains. Middleton added that minimizing the facade’s exposed surface area was key to the certification: the designers used a “wrap” metaphor for what the facade might be, a form that's connected to the geology of the island. With a facade that’s 23 percent glass, “the design goal was to break down that scale and solidity with banding,” he said.

Functionally, the team used a prefabricated panelized wall frame for the facade, both for quality control and to achieve desired R-values of 19-40, depending on the wall’s thickness at various points.

To really double down on efficient energy use, The House has a feedback system to encourage occupant participation whereby residents can see how much energy they are using. The system, as a result, promotes friendly competition between floors to meet or beat projected energy use. Meanwhile, a centralized mechanical ventilation system helps maintain optimal airflow, but each room—per Passive House standards—comes equipped with fully operational windows to encourage natural ventilation.

Building on the success of the Cornell Tech project, the team’s next projects include a 700-unit Passive House–certified affordable housing development in East Harlem. To find out more about The House, check out another Q+A AN did with Blake earlier this week as well as more previous coverage here.

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Weiss/Manfredi’s Marion Weiss on “surface presence” in facades

"Surface Presence," the title of WEISS/MANFREDI cofounder Marion Weiss' upcoming keynote presentation at Facades+Dallas, "captures the essence" of the firm's recent investigation of the facade as more than skin, she said. "We've been very preoccupied in our own projects with landscape, topography, sequence, section, and movement." "The idea of section and movement has often been obscured in the facade," explained Weiss. But if sequence, section, and movement can instead be revealed by or encoded in the building envelope, "we could also look at the facade as something not so much tied to reductionist modernist ideals of what glass can be—that is, transparent." Among the six projects Weiss will highlight in her talk are three that treat glass "as a material that has a presence, that has a life": the Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology, the Novartis Office Building, and Barnard College Diana Center. WEISS/MANFREDI has also explored the surface potential of materials beyond glass. For the just-dedicated Kent State Center for Architecture and Environmental Design, the architects worked with brick maker Belden to apply ancient technology to a custom pattern that inverts the usual focus on the ground plane. The facade of the Marshall Family Performing Arts Center near Dallas similarly examines the "tug between section and surface," said Weiss, through a combination of earth-colored brick and fritted glass. Finally, said Weiss, the fifth facade—the roof—has the capacity to act as a "chameleon," as at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center. There, the rooftop garden, overlaid on a glassy conservatory roof, expresses the "tension between complete transparency and the surface of the ever-changing medium of the roof," she explained. Hear more from Weiss and other thought leaders in high-performance facade design at Facades+Dallas. Register now to secure one of the few spaces remaining.
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UT Austin’s Michael Garrison reflects on students’ changed approach to facade design

When Professor Michael Garrison, the Cass Gilbert Centennial Teaching Fellow in Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, thinks about how students are pushing the cutting edge in design, three developments come to mind. First, said Garrison, who will participate in the “Form Follows Performance” panel at the upcoming Facades+Dallas conference, is a heightened attention to materiality. “Our students are keen on new materials, the embodied energy of materials, smart materials,” he explained. This new awareness is largely the result of students’ exposure to the school’s University Co-op Materials Lab, a multidisciplinary space for hands-on exposure to more than 27,000 materials samples. Second is the question of craft. “We find it very interesting that naval architects and NASA call their works craft, but we in architecture don’t know such things,” said Garrison, recalling Buckminster Fuller’s question, “How much does your house weigh?” Thanks to developments in digital design and fabrication, he said, “the old idea of tool and die mass production characteristic of modern thinking in the twentieth century has really changed. Students are able to make something of a more unusual shape.” Parametric design is the new normal in the design-school classroom. Finally, Garrison points to a “new and profound” evolution away from “the hermetically sealed box of the Seagram Building era” to a focus on “thick skins.” These multi-layered facades typically involve a sunshade or other external component, which “creates an interstitial space between the traditional envelope and the new envelope,” said Garrison. Increasingly, students are focused on incorporating adaptive technology into building envelopes, often patterning facades along biomimetic lines. “Whereas the first two decades of the twenty-first century were about unusual shapes, [with] parametric design, we are now moving toward intelligent shapes that are more responsive,” he concluded. Catch up with Garrison and other top AEC industry professionals at Facades+Dallas. Seating is limited; register today.
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GFF’s Brian Kuper on seamless facade design and fabrication

Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can turn an architectural challenge into an opportunity. Such was the case for Dallas-based GFF, which hired a crop of new design school graduates earlier this decade—just in time to deliver an innovative solution to a seemingly prosaic problem. The problem involved enclosing a bridging element between two parts of a Burnet Marketplace, a mixed-use project in north Austin. The solution, courtesy of one of the new hires, was to streamline design and fabrication using Rhino’s parametric modeling capabilities. Upon seeing the young designer’s presentation on some of the digital design skills he had learned in school, recalled Design Director Brian Kuper, GFF’s more experienced staff thought “this is an opportunity to use parametric design, and Rhino specifically, to not only design a sun control and space-capturing system that we could model in-house for the client, but to go straight to fabrication with our documents rather than take a more traditional approach.” Kuper plans to tell the story of the Burnet Marketplace project in a panel on “Getting it Built: Overcoming Design, Time, and Budget Concerns” at next month’s Facades+ Dallas conference. GFF completed the design work and sent the documentation directly to the fabricator in Austin. The fabricator then water jet cut the aluminum components. Relatively speaking, the entire cycle was complete in a snap. “Something that could have taken a lot of time and effort was really seamless,” said Kuper. “It also gave the message that younger folks have the ability to participate in and impact the design process.” Hear more from Kuper and other facades pros at Facades+ Dallas. See the conference website to register for the symposium and a lab or dialog workshop of your choice.
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Facades consultant Glenn Heitmann talks retrofitting

Heitmann & Associates President and CEO Glenn Heitmann is surprised that more developers do not take advantage of one solution to the demand for new residential or commercial space: retrofitting an existing building. Like other cities in the United States, said Heitmann, Kansas City, Missouri is home to a surfeit of buildings constructed during the 1950s and 1960s “that have gone through a useful life cycle as it relates to the facade.” But while these structures might not meet contemporary demands for efficiency and comfort, “Rather than tear them down and start over, we can say there are choices,” said Heitmann. Heitmann, who will participate in a presentation block on “(Re)designing Downtown” at the upcoming Facades+AM Kansas City symposium, sees existing buildings as “clean canvases” onto which builders can project just about anything, from surface rehabilitation to a complete aesthetic update. That said, a few facade-related factors outside the design and construction teams’ control can help determine the scope of the retrofit. The first is that renovated buildings must meet current building codes. “A building built in the 1950s was constructed for that code,” said Heitmann. “But keep in mind that your new building skin has to comply [with contemporary codes]. That means anything we do now needs to be airtight and thermally efficient.” Second, explained Heitmann, would-be retrofitters must consider the condition of the anchors holding up the existing cladding. If they are in good shape, the team can opt to keep them in place. But if “over the years air or water infiltration has compromised structural integrity,” said Heitmann, they may need to start from scratch. Asbestos can also present a challenge. “Most people think about asbestos on the interior,” said Heitmann. “What I’m talking about is sealant or byproducts that make up the exterior facade.” In bringing up asbestos, he said, his intention is not to “use scare tactics,” but instead to encourage architects and builders to think through every facade renovation “clearly and holistically.” Whether of an occupied or a vacant building, said Heitmann, retrofitting can be a powerful tool by which to improve a property’s financial value—not to mention occupant comfort. One example he cited was an office building in prime location that, through renovation, catapulted from Class B to Class A. Another concerned a “very high end” residential structure constructed in the 1960s. “People were frustrated,” said Heitmann. “They loved it, they loved the views, but they saw their investment dwindling” due to inefficiencies. A revamped skin, including new glazing and framing, brought the property up to snuff. Learn more from Heitmann and other facades experts from Kansas City and beyond at Facades+AM Kansas City. Register today to secure one of the few seats remaining.
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Dallas’ Chief Resiliency Officer on creating a sustainable growth strategy

As Chief Resiliency Officer for The City of Dallas, Theresa O'Donnell spends a lot of time thinking about the challenges faced by the nation’s fourth-largest metroplex. O'Donnell will bring her experience to bear on the conversation at Facades+ Dallas October 13-14, setting the stage for a deep dive into high performance facade design and fabrication with her opening remarks at day one's symposium. "Dallas is a great place to be if you're in the development community," observed O'Donnell. This has been a banner year for growth, with the city on pace to issue a record 40,000 building permits. O'Donnell is rightfully proud of Dallas' record on permit turnarounds: 81 percent are issued in three days or less. "In terms of just pushing work out the door, we have an incredibly efficient system," she said. "We really see the development community as our partner. We want to keep this golden goose laying eggs as much as we can." As O'Donnell and her colleagues craft Dallas' resiliency plan, one challenge at the front of her mind is the gap between the broader economic picture (bright) and the experience of the city's bottom-rung workers (less so). Despite the region's low unemployment rate, "this rising tide is not lifting all boats," said O'Donnell, noting a 42 percent increase in the poverty rate since 2000. "One of our major challenges is how to expand this economy to be more inclusive, and help those folks who’ve been excluded from the traditional labor force," she said. Her office is looking, in particular, at skills training, child care, and language instruction. Two other challenges are affordable housing and transportation, said O'Donnell. Despite the metro area's relatively low housing prices, "because wages are low, it's still a reach for some families to get into safe, decent, quality housing." Luxury condominium developments are booming, she added, but affordable housing "is identified as a market failure; it doesn't pencil." The city is looking at how it can combine government, philanthropic, and institutional resources to expand the supply of homes for low- and moderate-income households. Regarding transportation, explained O'Donnell, "Dallas is a very auto-centric city." Suburban sprawl leads to high transportation costs, which only increases the burden on low-income families. "Our public transit system right now is not very efficient in helping people get to work in a timely manner," said O'Donnell. "A lot of that is just the physical layout." Replacing the current hub-and-wheel system with a grid-based transit network would be a good place to start, she said. Hear more from O'Donnell and other local officials, academic, and AEC industry professionals at Facades+ Dallas. Register today to secure a space at the Day 1 symposium and in a lab or dialog workshop of your choice on Day 2.
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Facades pro Brendan O’Grady on beating the heat in Dallas

CallisonRTKL Vice President Brendan O'Grady views Dallas' hot climate as an opportunity, rather than a challenge, when it comes to facade design. "With the intense summer heat there are numerous opportunities to integrate both passive and active facade design solutions that can reduce the overall environmental impact our buildings have," said O'Grady, who will co-chair October's Facades+ Dallas conference on high performance building design. The city's architects working abroad, moreover, are able to bring lessons learned in other high-heat areas to bear on the local AEC industry. "These firms have the opportunity to take this global perspective and intelligence and apply it to local problems related to facade design and fabrication," he said. Architects, engineers, fabricators, and builders working in the Dallas area excel in digital design and analysis, explained O'Grady. "I would say this is a direct result of the emphasis we are seeing on building performance over pure aesthetics in facade design," he said. On the flip side, "Hearing comments from a recent design awards jury, I would have to say that there is room for improvement in the way a building's program or specific use is reflected in the design of its facade," said O'Grady. "When you look at a building you should be able to tell if it is a hospital versus an office building or an apartment tower." Network with O'Grady and other movers and shakers in the facades world at Facades+ Dallas, October 13-14. Learn more about the first day symposium and the workshops offered on the second day at the conference website. Register today!
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el dorado’s Josh Shelton on merging facade design and fabrication

For el dorado Principal Josh Shelton, facade design and fabrication are simultaneous, rather than sequential, practices. "el dorado was founded on the premise that design and fabrication were a unified act," he explained. The firm often prototypes or constructs physical components of its project in its in-house fabrication shop. "Our approach to facade design evolves from that hands-on rigor and sense of craft that we've developed over the last 20 years of being a practice," said Shelton. Shelton will participate in the "Materials + Surfaces" presentation block at the upcoming Facades+AM Kansas City symposium with A. Zahner Company's L. William Zahner and Paul Neidlein, of JE Dunn Construction. Shelton is particularly intrigued by opportunities to combine new technologies and traditional materials. As an example, he cites an el dorado project in Denver's LoDo district. Faced with strict contextual constraints, the firm is taking "a very high tech approach to the design of brick facades, using computational design to pixelate bricks," said Shelton. "We're meeting historical guidelines in fresh, innovative ways. We're using a refined sense of craft to take a material that evolved from an artisan material to a very vanilla material, back to a more artisan approach." In Kansas City, noted Shelton, el dorado is not alone in exploring the synergy between design and fabrication. "We've got a deep bench with regard to good architects," he said. "There's also a rich tradition of craft and making. It's on that tradition of great architecture and smart fabrication that we've molded our practice." Hear more from Shelton, Zahner, and Neidlein, plus other experts in facade design, engineering, and fabrication, at Facades+AM Kansas City. Register today on the conference website.