International Facade Education

Findings from the Facade Design & Technology Survey



Photo of James Doerfler

James Doerfler

Thomas Jefferson University

Photo of Uta Pottgiesser

Uta Pottgiesser

Chair of Heritage & Technology

TU Delft



Globalization in the construction industry has brought about new demands for buildings and construction projects, new demands that still need to take into account local conditions. Moreover, digital technology has effected lasting changes to architecture, from planning and production through to execution. In particular, the expertise required to design and make building facades are getting more complex. Existing European masters programs teach theoretical and practice-oriented skills of digital analysis-, design-, planning- and production methods, and teamwork and presentation which give a detailed overview of the latest technological developments in facades. There are currently no North American masters programs that specifically focus on facade design and technology. The two authors were interested in investigating and aligning the goals of academic facade programs with industry needs. The survey was supported and distributed by the Facade Tectonics Institute and the European Facade Network in 2016-17. The outcomes of the International Facade Design and Technology Survey show the current skills needed to meet the demands of these conditions in a globalized world. The results of this survey will be used to inform and develop the content of advanced masters programs in facade design and technology.


Facade technology is the leading discipline within the building sector in terms of technical complexity and systems integration in addition to having an impact on the public aspect of the

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Concept of the World Wide Online Survey: Improvement of Education and Training

The survey was designed in 2016 by the authors as a cooperation of the European Facade Network (efn) and the Facade Tectonics Institute (FTI) in the USA. It is seen

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Participants of the World Wide Online Survey

This section of the paper will provide some general observations and analysis of the survey, with more detailed information, including the questions, are provided in graphic form at the end

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Educational Needs of the Labor Market (Questions 9-13)

The second section addresses the educational needs of the building and façade sector related to specific study and training programs (Q9), the course format (Q10), the masters program (Q12) and

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Specifications for Facade Design and Technology Professions (Questions 14-20)

In this section of the survey we were asking for specific knowledge and competencies that are used by the current professional staff and those skills that need to be acquired

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Demands on Education and Training (Questions 21-24)

In the last section of questions we were directly asking for the specific academic requirements of education for architects and engineers (Q21) and for construction workers and installers (Q22). First

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Conclusion and Outlook

With more than 200 participants from around the world this survey can validate our impressions gained in the past from discussions with professionals with our current curriculum for educational programs

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Download the survey results.

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Thank you to our supporters at the Facade Tectonics Institute, the European Facade Network, The Architectural Glass Institute and the Architectural Glass and Metals Association for helping to distribute the survey world-wide.