Facade Tectonics SKINS

SKINS: June 2020


Here’s the thing about the building SKIN: It is utterly unique in the built environment in separating the interior and exterior environments, balancing attributes of both appearance and performance in the process. It’s the gateway to resilience and sustainability goals in buildings and urban habitats. It’s the great integrator; the lynchpin to holistic building systems integration. It’s the linkage to all things. It’s the expressive soul of a building, inside and out. We spend 90% of our time indoors (with the pandemic it’s probably closer to 99% for many of us), with the interior environment shaped largely by the facade system. So, when it comes to the building facade, there is much to talk about; the topics are broad and the conversation cuts swaths through multiple silos of markets and society. In this small-world age of interconnectedness, where degrees of separation are collapsing and the recognition that “we are all in this together” surges, there is, after all, nothing much that doesn’t connect in some fashion to the building skin. Read the rest from Mic >

2020 World Congress


2020 World Congress — August is Facades Month!

The good times are going to roll in August! FTI is taking its landmark World Congress event to a virtual platform spread over an entire month, making expanded program offerings more accessible, inclusive—truly international—and a good bit easier on the planet.

Details here.

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2020 World Congress Paper Spotlight

End-of-Life Challenges in Facade Design

Cambridge University PhD candidate Rebecca Hartwell presents “A disassembly framework for assessing the environmental reclamation potential of facade systems.” A recovery strategy for the high-value embodied carbon materials often used in high-performance facade systems is imperative.

Read and download the paper.

Generic residential building facade

Policy & Influence

DOE Announces Request for Information on DRAFT Window Technologies and Systems R&D Opportunities

URGENT! Our response to this RFI is critical. Please elbow out some time to consider and respond!

Read and respond.

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SKINS Podcast – Latest episode released, "DOE Does Windows"

Mic Patterson hosts Marc LaFrance, windows technology manager with the emerging technologies team at the Department of Energy and Stephen Selkowitz with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as they discuss challenges and trajectories in building facade research.

Listen and subscribe.

Construction site sunrise


Re-forming the Building Industry: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

In an article published late last year, Paula Melton with BuildingGreen anticipates, in the context of the building industry, the issues of equity, diversity and inclusion that have erupted so dramatically in recent weeks.

Read the article on BuildingGreen.

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NOMA’s Public Statement Regarding Racial Injustice

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) issues a call to action to the building profession to condemn racism and eliminate “the racial biases that compromise account for a myriad of social, economic, and health disparities, and most importantly, result in the loss of human lives – Black lives.”

Read NOMA's call to action.

Harvard Gund Hall the Graduate School of Design at Harvard Photo by Peter Alfred Hess


Black Student Activism at Harvard's GSD

Amidst similar actions at leading architecture academic institutions, members of AfricaGSD and GSD’s African American Student Union published 13 actionable demands to the school’s administration, under the title “Notes on Credibility.”

Read more at The Architect's Newspaper.

Technoform AB 707 Fifth


Improving Envelope Performance: Influencing the Design Process Early

Helen Sanders posts on a discussion with facade contractors Nick Bagatelos and Matt Kamper who make the case for the critical importance of the early involvement of the facade contractor in the design process. Hard to believe we are still struggling to make this a best practice.

Read more at USGlass Magazine.

Coveralls Doug Noble


Designing, Fabricating and Installing the Carapace Pavilion

A 15-minute video describing the in-progress work of students from the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California. Prof. Doug Noble narrates a slide show describing the project and its current state as of April 2020. Check out Doug in his coveralls!

Watch the video.

Mannisto Church Kuopio Finland by Juha Leiviska


The Daylight Award 2020 Laureates Announced

“The Daylight Award honours and supports daylight research and daylight in architecture, for the benefit of human health, well-being and the environment. The award puts specific emphasis on the interrelation between theory and practice.” Henry Plummer receives the Lifetime Achievement award.

Meet the laureates.

Figure 10 View of Trinity Church glass canopy

Case Studies

Integration of Structural Glass in Historic Religious Buildings

“Religious buildings continue to embrace the new technologies that appeared in the 20th century and have allowed glass to leap from being used purely to provide access to light and protection to a material with load-carrying capability.” Another original from Karine Charlebois, Eckersley O’Callaghan.

Read the article.

Climate activism "There is no planet B"


Architects Declare

U.S. architects have formed a local arm of the global Architects Declare movement. The focus is the “interlinked crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and societal inequity.”

Read more at The Architect's Newspaper.

Industry Calendar

July 9-10

BIM BOP 2020

Learn More

October 12-13

Facade Tectonics 2022 World Congress

Los Angeles, United States

Register Now

September 15-16

Net Zero 2020 Conference

Learn More

Previously Featured


Permasteelisa Sold (Again)

After major losses, Lixil unloads Permasteelisa.

Read the announcement.


FTI Announces New SKINS Podcast

FTI’s Mic Patterson will be interviewing industry thought leaders on wide-ranging topics relating to buildings and their skins. Upcoming episodes will feature conversations on Passive House, tall buildings and the work the DOE is doing with windows and facades.

Listen and subscribe.


4 Trends in Building for the 22nd Century

NBBJ architect and facade design specialist Stacey Hooper points to the future, while challenging facade contractors to lean-in as collaborative partners in the pursuit of enhanced performance, quality and efficiency in the design and delivery of advanced wall systems.

Read more in Glass Magazine.


California Code Requirements Vs. Realities

FTI President Helen Sanders examines the efficacy of California’s increasingly demanding code requirements in terms of actual performance improvements in installed fenestration systems, finding problems with loopholes and enforcement.

Read more in USGlass Magazine.


It's Time for Architects to Choose Ethics Over Aesthetics

Christine Murray challenges architects on their lackluster response to the climate crisis: "Take responsibility, own that you are part of the problem, and do something about it." She discusses why taking control of the specification process may be an effective first step.

Read more in Dezeen.

Contribute to SKINS

We are interested in receiving articulate and insightful original materials of current topical interest and considered reviews of new print and digital media publications. Also of interest are tools and resources including websites and software programs, lectures, conferences and events. Review our submission guidelines for more details.

Organizational Members of the Facade Tectonics Institute


Enclos, Schüco USA


Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Clark Construction, Eastman, Kuraray, Permasteelisa Group, SAFTI FIRST, seele, Sika, TriPyramid Structures, Valmont Structures


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


Administrative Management Systems, AkzoNobel Coatings, altPOWER, Antamex Industries, AZA US Corporation, Carnevale & Lohr, Construction Specialties, DPR Construction, Eckersley O'Callaghan (EOC Engineers), FreMarq Innovations Inc, Gensler, Giroux Glass, Greg Beeche Logistics, Guardian Glass, Halio Inc., Heintges, Kreysler & Associates, MdeAS Architects, MiTek, Morrison Hershfield, National Institute of Building Sciences, Neme Design Studio, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Perkins&Will, Pioneer Cladding & Glazing Systems, Roschmann Steel & Glass Constructions, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Southern California Glass Management Association, Syska Hennessy Group, The Architect's Newspaper, The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York, 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, Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Universidad de Concepción, University of Utah, Western Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association