Facade Tectonics SKINS

SKINS: April 2021

Spotlight on Research: R&D and Innovation in Building Skins

Research is an essential part of innovation. Our industry has seen an increased interest in research over the last fifteen years, driven by the multifaceted challenges facing our profession—environmental concerns, increasing complexity in building design and construction, necessity to improve building performance, financial considerations, etc. But there are also aspects that require dedicated research and development, such as adoption of advanced materials and facade systems, new digital technologies, and methods for improved collaboration and coordination.

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0421 1 Book cover Research Methods for the Architectural Profession abstract image


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.

Read the review.

Research Collaboration between Industry and Academia as a Driver for Facades Innovation


Research Collaboration between Industry and Academia as a Driver for Facades Innovation

Technoform recently embarked on a research project with the University of Massachusetts Amherst and are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with academia. We believe that building strong partnerships and networks that lead to shared results progresses the industry.

Read the article.

Figure 1: Green in urban façades


New Challenges – New Facades!

Being part of the European Façade Network efn, an association of ten research and education entities throughout Europe, I would like to share my experiences of last year’s conferences and research activities with this brief contribution.

Check it out!


Research and Life-Long Learning Opportunities for Practitioners: Perspectives of Professional PhD Students

This article provides perspectives of two professionals (architectural designer and a mechanical engineer) that embarked into advanced education and research training, aiming to demystify the transition process and encourage other professionals that are considering research careers and life-long learning opportunities.

Read the interview.

Perkins&Will research cover design


The Perkins&Will Research Journal: Contributions from Practice-Based Design Research

Creating new knowledge through research and development provides value to any organization that prioritizes innovation. But sharing the results from these critical inquiries creates value for our entire profession and industry-at-large.

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2022 World Congress Call for Abstracts


Call for Abstracts: Facade Tectonics 2022 World Congress

The premier event of the facade-centric universe is on for 2022. Submit your abstracts NOW! (Come on people; it only takes a few minutes to write and submit an abstract.)

Read the call for papers.

Paper Review Process


Abstract and Paper Submissions: Overview of the Peer-Review Process

FTI's Scientific, Technical & Artistic Review (STAR) committee administers a sophisticated double-blind peer review process—involving over 200 peer reviewers—as fully described in this document.

Learn more.

9 Metrics Paper


Skin Metrics: The Wicked Problem of Facade System Assessment

FTI's Facade Metrics Working Group has a paper published in the Journal of Facade Design and Engineering PowerSkin edition. Check it out and share your input.

Read and comment.

JFDE: Vol. 9 No. 1 (2021): Special Issue Powerskin 2021


JFDE: Vol. 9 No. 1 (2021): Special Issue Powerskin 2021

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Industry Calendar

May 6

Facade Tectonics Forum: Simulation vs. Reality

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May 18-20

CTBUH 2021 Tall + Urban Innovation Conference


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May 20

Tech+ Harnessing Technology for Future Practice

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May 25-28

DOCOMOMO 2021 National Symposium Chicago: Crossroads of Modern America

Register Now

Previously Featured


Let's Design Building Facades That Promote Happiness

In this perspective from Becci Taylor of Arup, the gauntlet is thrown down that it’s time to think bigger about the role facades play in buildings. Beyond simply protecting us from the elements, facades have the potential to actively promote the happiness of their users as multisensory environmental filters.

Read more.


Ground Rules of Post-Pandemic Facade Design

Can we shift from focusing on economics to designing buildings that are carbon neutral because they reduce energy consumption, and participate in regenerating resources while offering ample space in which to live? Here are some fresh ideas by a few experts for the design of resilient facades and fenestration.

Learn more.


The First Triple Certified Facade

In this white paper presented at the 2020 Facade Tectonics World Congress, author Stephen Katz of Gensler presents a case study of the new Johnson Controls (JCI) building in Shanghai. With a hyper focus on wellness and sustainability, the building was the first in China to receive all three top sustainability certifications; USGBC LEED Platinum, China Green Building Design Label Three Star Certification, IFC-World Bank EDGE Certification.

Read the paper.

Could Low-Tech Design Prevent Climate Change-Influenced Pandemics?

This blog post from Anthony Brower of Gensler points to the direct link between climate change and the spread of viruses. The post goes on to lay out several methods in which the facade can directly impact occupant wellbeing.

Read the blog post.

Facades in Times of Pandemic

Will the COVID-19 pandemic change the way architects design their buildings? And, what characteristics should facades have in order to promote wellness in times of quarantine? This perspective, featured by Intelligent Glass Solutions, tackles these important questions.

Read more.

Are you hosting a facade-related event?

Submit your event for inclusion in our shared Industry Calendar specially curated for Facade Geeks!

Organizational Members of the Facade Tectonics Institute


Enclos, POHL Metal Systems GmbH, Schüco USA


Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Clark Construction, Eastman, Kuraray, Permasteelisa Group, SAFTI FIRST, seele, Sika, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Sto Corp, TriPyramid Structures, Valmont Structures


Clark Pacific, Finishing Contractors Association, HOK, SHoP Architects, Technoform North America, Tremco, TRU Architectural, UL / CLEB Laboratory, Ventana Design-Build Systems, Vitro Architectural Glass, WRNS Studio, W&W Glass, YKK AP FACADE


Administrative Management Systems, AkzoNobel Coatings, altPOWER, Antamex Industries, AZA US Corporation, Benson Industries, Carnevale & Lohr, Construction Specialties, DPR Construction, Eckersley O'Callaghan (EOC Engineers), Gensler, Giroux Glass, Greg Beeche Logistics, Guardian Glass, Heintges, Kreysler & Associates, MdeAS Architects, Morrison Hershfield, National Institute of Building Sciences, Neme Design Studio, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Perkins&Will, Pioneer Cladding & Glazing Systems, Roschmann Steel & Glass Constructions, Southern California Glass Management Association, Syska Hennessy Group, The Architect's Newspaper, The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York, Thornton Thomasetti, Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Ubiquitous Energy, Viracon, Walters & Wolf, Wheaton Sprague

Academics / Nonprofits

Aarhus University, Denmark, Architectural Glass Institute, Fenestration Association of BC, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, National Fenestration Rating Council, Northern California Allied Trades, Western Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association