Facade Tectonics SKINS

SKINS: November 2020

Turning Up the Heat: Back to the Basics with Thermal Performance

It’s that time of year as the holidays approach and heating bills climb. Next to moisture control, thermal behavior has occupied the top spot in performance considerations of the facade system for many years now. So how are we doing? Not so hot! How is it that after years over years of focus on this problem of thermal transfer we are still struggling to get it right. Our tools are inaccurate, our processes inadequate, and out techniques largely ineffective. The glass industry has done a great job of delivering better performing architectural glass products, at least with respect to thermal performance, but we’ve long ignored what’s happening at the edges; it’s all about the edges! The edges, the boundary conditions, the transitions between systems; this is where we are losing the battle, the battle of the wall, as the glass industry likes to call it.

Read the rest from Mic >

Thermal Building


Breaking Bridges: A Look at Thermal Performance from the Glass Industry

Ellen Rogers explores the thermal bridging issue in an article for US Glass Magazine, with input from FTI’s president, Helen Sanders (Technoform), and others. Helen cites thermal performance of the facade as “the linchpin to building performance.”

Read the article.

Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide


Thermal Bridging Guide from BC Housing

Canada is increasingly playing a leadership role in North America with respect to building performance. The Building Envelope Thermal Bridging Guide is a free online resource prepared by Morrison Hershfield and other stakeholders and made available through BC Housing.

Download the guide.



Warming Up: Measuring Up with TEDI

Another resource provided by Morrison Hershfield is the Guide to Low Thermal Energy Demand for Large Buildings. Chapter 4 starts out with a discussion of thermal energy demand intensity (TEDI), a more robust metric than energy use intensity (EUI) for facade system thermal performance.

Learn more.

Effect of Thermal Bridging


Effect of Thermal Bridging on Buildings' Energy Performance

PhD candidate Mahsa Farid Mohajer and Associate Professor Ajla Aksamija at UMass Amherst explore the impact of thermal bridging in buildings in a research paper presented during our August World Congress. Session streaming is still available to registered attendees!

Read the paper.


Episode 09: Ted Kesik on SKINS

Thought leader and professor of building science at the University of Toronto, Ted Kesik, rants on the pervasive relevance of the building skin to the pursuit of sustainability and resilience goals in buildings and urban habitat. First episode in a building science 6-pack series.

Listen and subscribe.

Creating Structure Podcast


Skin Talk: The Front Line on Facade System Technology

In this must-listen for all facade geeks, Helen Sanders, Technoform, lays out the current challenges to facade system performance and barriers to advancing the technology. Check out John Wheaton’s new podcast platform, Creating Structure.

Listen to the interview.

NYC aerial view

Event Recaps

FTI and the Ornamental Metal Institute Host NYC Forum

The theme of this year’s FTI Forum: NYC! was Pandemic pantry: Digesting Covid-19 and understanding the lessons for buildings and facade systems. Three outstanding sessions explored the adaptive response of buildings, the impact on site operations and logistics, and the options for facade renovation.

Read the recap.

Metals in Construction Magazine 2021 Design Challenge


Metals in Construction Magazine 2021 Design Challenge

Always a building industry highlight, the 2021 challenge from Metals in Construction addresses New York’s affordable housing shortage. Six finalists will win fame and one will take home the prize! Registration is open.

Learn more.

Technology Architecture Design (TAD)


Call for Papers: Technology, Architecture+Design Journal

The next issue is Intelligence. Submissions involving current and emerging research are invited. Deadline: January 15, 2021.

Read the call.

Journal of Facade Design & Engineering (JFDE)


Journal of Facade Design & Engineering - New Special Issue

This issue features European perspectives ranging from additive manufacturing through adaptive shading via shape-memory alloys to a facade-integrated thermal venetian blind with heat pipes. Free download here.

Download for free.

Industry Calendar

November 25

The ABCs of ZNE

Learn More

December 3-4

Enclosure Innovations on the West Coast

Learn More

December 15

Facade Design + Construction in the Southeast

Learn More

Previously Featured


Facades Education in the Time of the Pandemic—Perhaps We Can Learn Something from This?

Ajla Aksamija, the chair of FTI’s education committee, reports on a virtual education experience bringing students and professionals together. The outcome exceeded all expectations and points to a new model for facades education.

Read the article.

Members Speak

NextGen of Integrated Enclosure Design

Perkins&Will architect, Dahmahlee Lawrence, a unique and powerful voice in the building community, speaks eloquently of her experience with the recent Facade Tectonics World Congress.

Read Dahmahlee's post.


Disruptive Technology: The Wood-be Window of the Future?

Transparent biodegradable wood glazings that are stronger, more efficient and more durable than glass? Read the full paper here. Sounds great! (But wait, I have a few questions...-Mic)

Read the paper.


Eckersley O’Callaghan Takes a New Tack

Leading glass engineering firm EOC, known for their work in highly transparent building facades (think Apple retail stores), is testing the water in a new industry—superyachts—and coming out a winner.

Learn more about the winning design.


Episode 08: Reglazing Modernism

Special guests Uta Pottgiesser of TU Delft and Angel Ayón of AYON Studio Architecture and Preservation discuss their recent book, Reglazing Modernism, where they explore facade intervention strategies on Modern-era buildings through international case studies.

Listen and subscribe.

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, 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