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Stephen DeSimone on the structural engineer's role in facade design

Stephen DeSimone on the structural engineer's role in facade design

DeSimone Consulting Engineers provided structural engineering services for SOM's New School University Center. (C-Monster / Flickr)

DeSimone Consulting Engineers provided structural engineering services for SOM’s New School University Center. (Courtesy C-Monster/Flickr)

High performance facade design is as much a science as an art. Structural engineers can bring crucial knowledge to the architect’s drafting table, including how building movement and deflection will impact the building envelope.

From the engineer’s perspective, collaboration is better when begun sooner rather than later. “We like to be involved in the conceptual phase so we can actually integrate a structural solution into the facade,” said Stephen DeSimone, President and Chief Executive of DeSimone Consulting Engineers. “More recently, the expression of structure has become a part of the architectural solution with breathtaking results.” DeSimone will deliver a talk on “Determining and Understanding Lateral Loads” at next week’s Facades+NYC conference.

DeSimone will discuss how innovative engineering can enhance facade performance. Take wind tunnel testing, for instance. “We’ve been wind tunnel testing ‘after the fact’ for decades,” explained DeSimone. “What we are doing now is letting the results of the wind tunnel inform the shape and orientation of the building. Through shaping we were able to reduce the frame as well as facade loads, resulting in significant cost savings.”

Only 7 days away, Facades+NYC gives you the opportunity to hear more from DeSimone and many other facade design and fabrication experts.


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