Facade Tectonics SKINS

SKINS: July 2021

Simulation vs. reality: FTI Forum recap

A spectacular Forum this past May! Big thanks to our presenters, event attendees and sponsors. We explored the challenges of modeling to predict as-built building performance and needed action to bridge the gaps. Forum organizers and special guest editors Hoffman and Vossoughi recap the event and speakers have contributed articles below. Extremely interesting what the folks on the front line of facade system modeling and simulation have to say.

Read the rest from Stéphane and Hamid >

Seattle skyline with Space Needle in foreground.


Simulation vs. reality: Insight and inspiration

FTI's Helen Sanders (Technoform) provides her insight and reflects on key aspects of the Forum presentations, while probing key questions and identifying necessary actions moving forward.

Get inspired!

Moon over Vancouver


Facade performance in the absence of fossil fuel

We need high performance buildings that mitigate our impact on climate change and adapt to an already changing climate - and it just so happens that in order to get there, efficiency, especially in the façade, is a prerequisite. - Christian Cianfrone, EllisDon

A must read from Forum keynote>

A planet of buildings with atmosphere.

Codes & Standards

No timid steps: Be bold and generous!

Across the entire world, the only places you’ll find high-performance buildings being consistently constructed at massive scale are those places where it’s the only way to get a building permit. - Duane Jonlin, FAIA, City of Seattle, Department of Construction and Inspections

Tough love>

Cover of Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide


Thermal bridging: The missing key to low energy building design

One of the most significant developments in better understanding the thermal performance of the façade system has been the ASHRAE 1365 RP and the ensuing Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide. Explore thermal bridging with Ivan Lee, Morrison Hershfield

Read on>

Designers viewing results on notebook computer.

Modeling and Simulation

Energy conservation code updates promise to reshape the way facades are designed

New energy codes are encouraging project teams to step up the performance of their building designs to meet these goals, with a particular emphasis on the façade. - Elliot Glassman, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, CPHD, WSP Built Ecology

Read on>

Construction meeting over plans

Measurement and verification

Simulation vs. reality: Measurement and verification

The technique of achieving the High Performing Building is very much in development… This article explores the need for measurement and verification and PCL's process and approach. - Stephen Montgomery and Lori O’Malley, PCL Constructors Canada

Read on>

Construction worker working on building facade.

Policy & Influence

Positive impact: A strategic plan for building retrofit implementation

The Roadmap to Retrofit of existing buildings is a strategic plan to reduce carbon emissions. The process could result in major infrastructure spending and job creation. Implementation at scale is necessary for positive change. - Hamid Vossoughi, WSP Canada

Read on>

Video Library Announcement


Video recordings of Simulation vs. Reality Forum

One of many advantages of membership in FTI is access to our resource library, which includes past events and now the newly posted recordings of the Simulation vs. Reality Forum.

Check out the videos!

Vitruvian awards cover image


FTI Announces the Inaugural Vitruvian Honors & Awards Program

The Facade Tectonics Institute is pleased to announce our first biennial Vitruvian Honors & Awards Program and the inaugural awards ceremony, scheduled to take place virtually on Thursday, December 2, 2021. The premiere celebration seeks to recognize unprecedented innovation and achievements in the field of facade design and delivery.

Learn more and submit a project!

ACAW logo, square format

ACAW2021! Architectural Ceramic Assemblies Workshop

The best design/fabricator collaboration in the industry! For the past eight months, architects, engineers, and academics from around the world have been working with Boston Valley Terra Cotta to design and assemble full-scale façade prototypes, all in preparation for this year’s virtual workshop on August 19.

Learn more, check out the teams and register!

Industry Calendar

Jun-Aug 17-19

AIA Conference on Architecture 2021

Learn More

August 25-27

8th International Buildings Physics Conference 2021

Learn More

September 13-15

GlassBuild America

Atlanta, United States

Learn More

September 27-29

Building Innovation Conference - Call for Speakers

Learn More

February 16-18

GPD Glass Performance Days Finland

Tampere, Finland

Learn More

October 25-29

APT Washington 2021: Preservation Beyond Politics

Learn More

Previously Featured


House of Commons rebuilding - October 28, 1943. House of Commons, London

“We shape our buildings and afterward our buildings shape us.” - Winston Churchill. Revisit the past in a speech in the House of Commons by Winston Churchill where he argues to rebuild the House of Commons based on custom, how the building is used, and the benefit of past experience in lieu of strict logic.

Read More


Design for people: Buildings that blend nature and city

Jeanne Gang’s TED Talk presents a few case studies that demonstrate how building design, when based around the needs of the people it serves, can help foster community and build relationships, reducing the stress and polarization often experienced in urban environments.

Watch here.


Is more facade innovation what we need?

Technoform pays her but we claim her! FTI's own President, Helen Sanders, writes one of our favorite blogs, here discussing the barriers to adoption of innovative products and services in the building industry.

Read more and comment!

Case Studies

Building psychology: The hidden ways architecture affects how you feel

The psychological impacts that the built environment has on our mood and well-being are explored in this article. Design considerations for reducing stress and anxiety in our cities are presented based on past research and case studies.

Read More


African American life, history, and culture explored in Washington D.C.

This article presents the motivations and symbolism behind various architectural components of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, showing that buildings themselves can be a representation of culture.

Read More

Vitruvian Honors & Awards: Submit an entry NOW!

FTI is introducing a new biennial honors and awards symposium. The inaugural event is happening December 2, 2021. The competition submission deadline is October 4, 2021. Learn more and nominate a project or person!

Organizational Members of the Facade Tectonics Institute


Kuraray, Schüco USA


Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Permasteelisa Group, seele, TriPyramid Structures


Dow, Finishing Contractors Association, Lerch Bates, Technoform North America, Valmont Structures, Vitro Architectural Glass, WRNS Studio, W&W Glass


Antamex Industries, Heintges, Kreysler & Associates, MdeAS Architects, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Roschmann Steel & Glass Constructions, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, SOCOTEC, Inc., The Architect's Newspaper, The Miller Hull Partnership, The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York

Academics / Nonprofits

Aarhus University, Denmark, IIBEC, National Fenestration Rating Council, Rainscreen Association in North America, Universidad de Concepción, University of Utah, Western Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association