An Attendee's Take on the Facades+ Conference in San Francisco.

An Attendee's Take on the Facades+ Conference in San Francisco.

Edward Peck of Thorton Thomassetti presents his work. (photos: Cosmo Scharf)

San Francisco shone for the two days during the Facades+ conference on July 11th and 12th.  Following the 2012 series dedicated to innovation, this year’s series focused on a variety of topics regarding sustainability. The conference not only addressed energy in building facades, but also the synergy of perspectives from architecture, engineering, and the construction industry that expand our understanding of high-performance building.

The first day’s session dealt with performance as a key in the planning, development, and post occupancy stages.  It detailed  building system fabrication, materials, and optimization methods and tools. Energy simulations, laboratory tests and on-site measurements after one year of operation were shown for The New York Times building façade.  Cases such as the window replacement in the UCLA CHS building and the Stanford Outpatient facility revealed the complexities imposed by working deep retrofit in existing building stock.

The general session of the first day followed by in-depth workshops the second day. Dialog meetings covered materiality, technology, and new tools in the assessment of high-performance systems. Specialists from LBLN demonstrated how COMFEN, Therm, and Windows are capable tools for measuring performance in terms of energy transfer, daylighting, and costs. Technical sessions allowed useful software instruction and deep exploration of composite materials.  Hands-on tools such as Rhino, Grasshopper, Firefly and other platforms showed the capabilities of current software packages.  The session regarding responsive facades also included exploration of code-writing in Arduino micro-controller.

Many thanks to The Architect’s Newspaper and Enclos for providing us the opportunity to learn from cutting-edge  firms such as BuroHappold, ARUP, SOM, Autodesk, YKK, Gensler, Morphosis, SGH, KPFF, Thornton Tomasetti, Perking+Will and others.  Be sure to catch the next Façades+ in Chicago on October 24 and 25!

Gil Akos teaching an in-depth workshop.