Facade Tectonics SKINS

SKINS: Issue #134: May 2023

Editor’s note: If nothing else, please read Ted Kesik’s original article for this issue of SKINS—Facade Futures: Building Resilience is Skin Deep, the first feature and further discussed below. It’s brilliant, and a must read!

Are you resilient? Do you bend to the winds of change or do you resist? Do you bounce back from adversity or is your recovery long, slow, and incomplete? Do you readily adopt lifestyle changes in response to personal health, economic, or environmental challenges, or is your response one of denial?

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Facade futures: Building resilience is skin deep - Ted Kesik


Facade Futures: Building Resilience is Skin Deep

U. of Toronto building science professor Ted Kesik explores the critical importance or resilience in buildings and their façade systems and discusses the urgency of realizing buildings that both mitigate the impacts of climate change and promote adaptation through enhanced resilience.

Must Read

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Resilience Planning

Resilience Planning Guide

For a deeper dive, the Resilience Planning Guide provides a concise overview of the field in general and offers guidance to consider at the planning stage of today’s building projects.


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Thermal Resilience

Thermal Resilience Design Guide

The Thermal Resilience Design Guide authored by Professor Ted Kesik of the University of Toronto addresses critical thermal resilience measures for new and retrofit buildings.


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Resilience Talk

Resilience Podcast

Join Mic & Ted’s Fabulous Adventure in their series of building science-related podcasts, this one a fascinating and informative conversation on resilience with architects Gail Napell and Rives Taylor, resilience practice leaders at Gensler. Are you resilient? How about your buildings?

Listen Up!

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Facade Resilience Evaluation Framework: A peer reviewed paper

Among the challenges of facade resilience is the lack of a metric set and methodology for the evaluation of facade system designs. This paper, presented at the 2022 FTI World Congress, provides a framework for assessment and applies it to two case study examples.

Take a Look

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Resilient Design

Considering the Relevance, Scalability, and Design Strategies for Façade System Resilience

First published in the Journal of Architectural Education, this article by FTI members focuses on the building skin and suggests new insights provided by resilience considerations. Design considerations (principles, factors, and strategies) for resilient façades are discussed.

Read More

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Facade Resilience

Cyclone Glazing and Facade Resilience…CTBUH research paper

This report by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat summarizes first stage results of research into best practices for the design, construction, and installation of cyclone-resistant curtainwall systems in 12 cyclone-prone areas of Southeast Asia.


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Resilience Thinking

Applying resilience thinking: Principles for building resilience

The Stockholm Resilience Centre is an excellent resource for broad-based resilience considerations. Every designer can benefit from an understanding of their “Seven principles for building resilience…” and their application to buildings and facade systems.


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Facade Retrofits

Transforming Existing Buildings from Climate Liabilities to Climate Assets

Retrofits to existing buildings can save 50 to 75 percent in carbon emissions over replacement. But neglected embodied carbon considerations can easily negate the carbon advantage, warn the authors of this RMI report.

Learn More

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Embodied carbon

Carbon footprint of facades: Significance of glass

Arup and Saint-Gobain Glass team up to provide this informative industry resource. “Understanding the relationship between embodied carbon and operational performance is key to making targeted decisions to reduce emissions across supply chains and design processes.”


Industry Calendar

June 5

Facade Tectonics Forum: NYC

New York, United States

Learn More

September 5-7

Building Innovation 2023 - Call for Abstracts!

Washington, DC, USA

Call for Abstracts - more info here

September 13-14

Net Zero 2023 Conference

Los Angeles, USA

Celebrating our 10th anniversary!

October 12

Facade Tectonics Forum: LA

Los Angeles, United States

Learn More

Previously Featured


Stop F*cking Around – Build Our Zero Carbon Economy Now

To avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis, we urgently need to reduce carbon emissions now. But that's not enough! This original article for SKINS by Drew Shula is a veritable manifesto on the why and how of climate action for all of us.

Must Read!

Carbon offsets

Curb Your Carbon, Knave!

A question for architects and the building industry: Can our cities be part of the solution to the challenges facing humanity, or are they intrinsically and inevitably a big part of the problem? To move beyond the latter demands nothing less than a radical shift in the way we think about buildings. Let’s pull on this thread for a minute.

Read More


The architecture dialogue: Sustainababble and ‘Orwellian Newspeak’

“... our craft ends up being on the wrong side of history: complicit in escalating house prices, an integral part of the largest CO2-emitting industry, oblivious to the political machinations it helps perpetuate.” - Reinier de Graaf in Dezeen

Read More

Carbon offsets

Carbon offsets: The case for...

Global investments in protecting the climate represent a mere 3% of global finance. Bronson Griscom makes a compelling case for carbon offsets as a essential tool to prevent catastrophic climate change within the next 10 years.



Dire straits: 2023 IPCC report on climate change released

This summary (with infographics) of the newly released IPCC report includes 10 big findings. And guess what, retrofitting and decarbonizing buildings is among them, as is decarbonizing cement and steel. Scroll through the report to see what else.

Must Scan!

Organizational Members of the Facade Tectonics Institute


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


Dow, Finishing Contractors Association, HOK, 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, Schüco USA, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, SOCOTEC, Inc., The Architect's Newspaper, The Façade Studio, The Miller Hull Partnership, The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York

Academics / Nonprofits

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