In 2012, AN launched the first Facades+ event based upon a simple but incontrovertible observation: buildings account for 40 percent of global carbon emissions and one of the best ways to mitigate that impact is through improving the energy performance of facades. We surveyed the field only to find that there were no conferences organized around having a focused conversation on how facade performance was being improved with the aid of emerging parametric software and computer-assisted fabrication techniques. And so, we created Facades+ (the plus signaling the tie to technological innovation) with the mission of bringing together the leading architects, engineers, facade consultants, contractors, and manufacturers—the whole circle of the world of facades—to share information and forge the connections that will lead to the next generation of high-performance building enclosures.
From our first event in New York City, Facades+ has grown to host conferences in nearly 20 cities across the country. Architectural solutions, especially those related to energy performance, are regional by necessity. In extending Facades+ to include more cities, we always partner with local practices to discuss significant local projects in ways that are meaningful for that location. Each event includes a symposium with keynote speakers and panels, in which projects are shared; an exposition, in which manufacturers exhibit their products and systems; and a series of workshops, in which designers learn about the latest tools and strategies for improving performance and design quality. Facades+ is also committed to providing continuing education to architects and offers AIA credits to attendees.
Of course, we haven’t done it all on our own. In addition to our local partners, throughout the history of Facades+, we’ve teamed up with industry stakeholders and the innovators who have been leading the development of ever-more efficient facade design and fabrication processes. We’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge them and express our deep gratitude: Gary Higbee of the Steel Institute of New York was our first sponsor and really got the ball rolling. Mic Patterson of Facade Techtonics was an early supporter of the conference and has continued to offer his sage guidance. Edward Peck has been a supporter for the past 10 years and hasn’t missed an event. Heath May of HKS has offered consistent support. Jason Kelly Johnson helped us kick off our West Coast events. Our friends at TEX-FAB—Andrew Vrana, Kevin McClellan, Kory Bieg, and Brad Bell—have kept us in the know about the latest in digital fabrication. Jeff Haber of W&W Glass has always lent us his ear and his advice. William Kreysler of Kreysler & Associates has taught us all about composites. Erik Verboon of Walter P. Moore and Ronnie Parsons of Mode Lab have helped to keep us on the cutting edge of developments in engineering and computational design and manufacturing (also, thanks Erik for all the great cocktail parties). And, of course, we have to thank our premium sponsors, YKK AP and Vitro, which have bequeathed their support and contributed know-how to our learning environment.
There are many more! To all the facades tribe—all of the sponsors and attendees who have joined us throughout the years—thank you. We hope Facades+ has elevated your knowledge as the industry continues to evolve.
As we celebrate this 10-year anniversary, it’s clear that Facades+ is as relevant as ever. Over the past decade, the reality and severity of climate change have only become more and more apparent and the need to leverage technology to safeguard against further destruction has become all the more urgent. For architects and other building designers wishing to move the needle of the built environment in the direction of ecological responsibility, there’s no better way to be fueled with inspiration and armed with the latest advances in design and technology than by attending Facades+. Chances are, we’ll be appearing in your city soon.