Faćade Tectonics World Congress 2018


(Mid-March, Los Angeles, CA) 


The abstract deadline is Saturday, July 1, for the Faćade Tectonics World Congress.


Please consider submitting. If accepted, the paper will be due Friday, September 15. Papers will be blind peer reviewed for consideration for presentation. The abstract should be about 300 words. You may include one image with the abstract submission. Please submit the abstract as a Word file using the naming convention: lastname-firstname.docx


Example abstracts are shown at the end of this page. Most topics about facades are encouraged, e.g. performance, structural considerations, sustainability, construction, innovative techniques, history, current case studies, health concerns, client’s perspective, blast analysis, practice, codes & standards, digital processes, fabrication, future trends, material characteristics, education, etc.   


History of Faćade Tectonics (


Faćade Tectonics started as a series of invited roundtable discussions at the University of Southern California in 2007. The Facade Tectonics Institute has the mission of carrying out progressive and broad-based research in building facade technology. The intent is to catalyze and foster a deep dialogue of collaborative research activity that bridges the fragmented market segments of the building industry, pairing industry, government, academia, the profession, and ownership.


If you have any questions, please email Karen Kensek,  


Thank you!






++++++++++++++++++EXAMPLE ABSTRACTS++++++++++++++++++++



Applications for modular pre-tensioned textile frames

Robert W. Jagger International Project Manager, Solar Shading Systems

Schüco International KG

Download full paper as PDF


The goal of designing the right building envelope in terms of thermal, structural and weather performance commensurate with the building’s geographical position is a formidable goal. Adding individuality, value and design finesse, whilst remaining within budget, can be more challenging. The separation of performance and appearance in terms of inner and outer layers is an established concept in performance clothing design. Using technical textiles on the outer skin offers exciting opportunities to create outstanding sustainable faćades, with flowing or transformative properties and optimal climatic performance. The established use of system technology in curtain wall design is well accepted and industry system platforms form the basis of most standard as well as many bespoke faćade concepts. The ability to utilize pre-tested system components and combine them with modified profiles or gaskets provides the opportunity to realize maximum physical performance, optimize costs, reduce lead times, as well as to reduce development risks. Through the process of “systemization”, the components needed for the effective and broader application of textile solutions in faćades can move into the mainstream of faćade construction and so create new opportunities to improve the technical performance and physical appearance of buildings. The concept of frugal product design provides rationalization effects, which further enhance the cost effectiveness of systemized textile applications in both developing and developed markets, for new and refurbishment projects. Finally, frame systems create fresh opportunities for new functionalities within the faćade. The addition of dynamic elements such as operable louvers and shutters in combination with intelligent controls and or the use of innovative lighting and printing techniques completes the outlook on how the textile outer skin is evolving.  




The robotic positioning of fabric formwork

Joseph Sarafian Perkins + Will

Ron Culver Culver Architects

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The method proposed is derived from a parametric workflow that employs the precision of 6-axis robots and the flexibility of fabric to rapidly create a fabric formwork. Complex geometries can be cost-effectively executed in a precise digital to physical workflow. Conventional concrete casting techniques are labor-intensive, material-intensive and inaccurate, making them unsustainable and inefficient for facades with variable, organic geometries. As a result, parametric design must be rationalized and reduced to meet the requirements of conventional construction techniques. After consideration of some historical and commercial antecedents as well as current applications, a six-axis system is delineated using identical flexible fabric sleeves. Custom built end effectors are positioned by a pair of programmed six-axis industrial robots to capture and stretch the sleeves into positions based on locations extracted from a 3D model. An intricate series of unique objects are composed as dictated by the design. Custom, large-scale assemblies are proposed for manufacture to meet the specific project needs of load-bearing facades and glazing modules. 




Thermal and energy performance in different climate types

Ajla Aksamija, PhD, LEED AP BD+C, CDT

Department of Architecture, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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This paper explores thermal and energy performance of double skin facades (DSFs) in different climate types, specifically focusing on three typologies: box window, corridor type and multistory DSFs. These systems were investigated and analyzed to answer the question of how the different DSFs perform in comparison to each other, as well as a typical curtain wall (single skin facade used as a baseline), in a multitude of climate applications. The utilized research methods included twodimensional heat transfer analysis (finite element analysis), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis and energy modeling. Heat transfer analysis was used to determine heat transfer coefficients (U-values) of all analyzed facade types, as well as temperature gradients through the facades for four exterior environmental conditions (exterior temperatures of 90°F, 60°F, 30°F and 0°F). Results indicate that there is little variation in thermal performance of the different DSF types, but that all DSF facades would have significantly improved thermal performance compared to the baseline single skin facade. Then, CFD analysis investigated three dimensional heat flow, airflow and air velocity within air cavity of DSFs. Results indicate that the differences between the different types of DSFs influence airflow in the air cavity. Lastly, energy modeling was conducted for an office space, which would be enclosed by the analyzed facade types. Individual energy models were developed for each facade type and for 15 different climates, representing various climate zones and subzones in the U.S. The results were analyzed to compare energy performance of DSFs and baseline single skin facade, as well performance of DSFs in various climate types. The results indicate significant differences between the DSFs and single skin facade, but less variations between the different typologies of investigated DSFs. Moreover, the results show what would be the effect of DSFs in different climate types on energy performance, heating and cooling loads.  




Using FRP on high-rise buildings

William Kreysler Kreysler & Associates

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Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP), in this case glass fiber reinforced polyester resin composite with a polymer concrete face coat, was used in the USA for the first time as exterior cladding on a Type 1 multi-story building on the SFMoMA addition. This 11-story addition, completed in May of 2016, makes SFMoMA the largest museum of modern art in the USA with the largest architectural FRP facade application in the USA to date. FRP was chosen to mimic the rippling water of the nearby San Francisco Bay on the east and west elevations. Although recognized by the IBC (International Building Code) in 2009 as an accepted building material (INTERNATIONAL CODE COUNCIL 2009), any FRP material used must pass the same code requirements as other combustible materials. The most difficult of these requirements is the NFPA 285 test (NFPA285). Until this and other requirements are met, no combustible material, including FRP, is allowed. The design for the SFMoMA project called for over 700 unique, individual, constantly curving panels. Although it is possible to construct such panels with metal, the only practical option was to mold the 710 unique panels, thus suggesting precast concrete or the lighter UHPC or GFRC. The less familiar FRP was listed as an alternative by the faćade consultant in part because of its more widespread use in European construction. Although used sparingly on US buildings for decades, FRP has dominated other industries such as corrosion resistant ducting and chemical storage tanks, wind energy, marine, and heavy truck components. However, it has seen no extensive use on Type 1 buildings. This has been partly because of codes and partly because its primary advantages over other materials are its high strength-to-weight ratio and its ability to be formed into complex shapes. Neither of these characteristics has been very important in construction until recently. After successfully passing a rigorous evaluation process, FRP was chosen because it offered solutions to several problems presented by the use of other systems. Its primary advantages were its light weight and formability, the very features exploited by other industries in the past, and now increasingly relevant in contemporary design and construction.