Facade Tectonics SKINS

SKINS: January 2022 - Best of 2021

Facade Tectonics Institute Recognizes Industry Leaders with the Vitruvian Honors & Awards

In this first 2022 issue of SKINS, we pause to look back on 2021 through our most-read stories of the year, which we’ve recycled here in case you missed them (more original content coming in 2022!). Looking back, the very first thing we see is the Institute’s inaugural Vitruvian Honors & Awards (VH&A) program conducted virtually on 7 December. It was a spectacular event! The pandemic pushed us into conducting this program virtually, and at a very busy time of year, so if you missed it, let’s do a quick recap here. (The recorded sessions are located on our website. They are well worth the watch if you are at all interested in deep technical insight into some of the most innovative projects in recent times presented by the teams responsible for their execution.) But first, what is this honors and awards program all about?

Read more from Mic Patterson>

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Sustainababble: Moving beyond talk and taking action!

Well, here we are well into the new year, for better or worse only time will tell. It seems that adversity fails to slow the clock; I don’t know about all of you, but certainly, for me and others I’ve talked with time continues to flow at speed, perhaps even accelerating.

Read on.

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Talking Trees & Timber: In Buildings, Facades and Urban Habitat

Okay, okay; I have a tree-thing going on. This issue was supposed to be about green facades, but it morphed on me as I laid it out. But here’s the thing: if you don’t have a tree-thing going on, you should consider it. I read The Overstory (graciously reviewed here by our Val Block) followed by a viewing of “Call of the Forest” (item 5) while swimming in new information on and applications of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in buildings, inquiries about the potential of the use of timber in facade systems, and studying the carbon sequestration properties of wood. (I mean, where would we be without the breath-making mechanics of photosynthesis?!)

Learn more.

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Skin Deep: Health, Wellness, and the Facade System

Here we are, a full year after the initial COVID-19 surge rocked the United States. It’s hard to believe we’ve been living through the pandemic for a full year at this point; and yet it also feels like it’s been multiple years. We are beginning to see glimmers of hope on the horizon as more people get vaccinated. Likewise, as businesses begin to think about bringing employees back to work, a newfound sense of optimism has emerged. Similar to the way Spring’s first green shoots are indicators of future flowers, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel that so many are seeing now is a sure sign that better days are ahead. Chris Payne of Gensler here. I usually serve as Content Editor of SKINS but this month I’m stepping into the Guest Editor role to tackle facade design issues through the lens of health and wellness.

Discover more.

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Book Review of Research Methods for the Architectural Profession

The concept of research has been hashed and rehashed by the architectural profession for decades, but this dialogue has failed to provide a systemic platform for its implementation. Akšamija cuts through the confusion and controversy like a sharp blade through soft fruit in a book released last month.bo

Read the review.

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Building Buildings, Community, and Wellbeing

If you’ve been reading our newsletters for the past few months, you’ve likely noticed that editions have taken on monthly themes. One of the things that I like most about buildings is how multifaceted they are and the impact they can have on us and the world. We focus often on sustainability because, lets face it, where would we be without an inhabitable planet? In March’s issue, we focused on health and wellness and how design approaches may be impacted given the current pandemic. Last month, there was a heavy focus on research and development, demonstrating how much potential we still have with our built environment, particularly if we can master the integration of academics and industry. This month, our content is focused on how buildings impact people and their well-being. How does their shape, look, and design impact how we function? How are our daily lives, our culture, and our society influenced by the built environment around us?

Read more from Brienna.

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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.

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Embodied carbon

Addressing climate change through façade design - Vaclav Hasik

There is a growing awareness and interest in understanding the carbon footprint of material manufacturing, opening doors to new opportunities in facade design and manufacturing innovation. There are steps and decisions we can make today to help fight climate change.

Read on.

William Green


Crucial Conversations of Diversity & Inclusion

"In order to leverage the benefits of diversity in the workforce, companies need to establish a strong culture of inclusion and equity. Differences among people should be far more than tolerated, they should be acknowledged, embraced, and celebrated."

Read more.

Industry Calendar

March 2-3

NY Build Expo 2022

New York

Learn More

July 6-8

ICSA 2022

Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark

Register Now

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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