High-performance facades take center stage at Facades+ Boston on June 7

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High-performance facades take center stage at Facades+ Boston on June 7

Sasaki's 10 World Trade will play a significant role in reshaping Boston's Seaport. (Courtesy Sasaki)

Facades+ is coming to Boston for its first event of the summer. On June 7, Boston’s highest-performing and most innovative facades will be on display during a morning symposium and afternoon of workshops.

The event is co-chaired by David Manfredi of Elkus Manfredi Architects, and will feature projects from eight additional firms. 

Rendering of a research institute
The Ragon Institute will be home to cutting-edge scientific research from Harvard, MIT, and MassGen. (Courtesy Payette)

The first panel of the morning will feature work on Boston’s ever-growing array of life sciences and research buildings, with presentations from Seth Riseman of Handel Architects, Miep Keller of Payette, and Paulo Rocha of KPMB. Riseman will discuss 2 Harbor Life-Science Center’s flexible design—allowing for a range of tenants—which is unique for a life sciences building whose program typically demands specific technical needs. Keller will detail the Ragon Institute’s unique structural glazing, solar studies, and the challenges of building near the MBTA’s Red Line. Rocha will present the Boston University Center for Computing & Data Sciences, previously covered by AN, highlighting the design’s sustainable curtain wall, various skin types, and glazing performance. The conversation will be moderated by Elkus Manfredi CEO and Founding Principal David Manfredi. 

Rendering of a life-science building
The facade of 2 Harbor Life-Science features triple glazing and meets the state’s demanding new energy code. (Courtesy Handel Architects)

Housing will be the topic of Panel Two, with PlaceTailor’s Bradford Prestbo and Stantec’s Blake Jackson speaking on high performance housing envelopes. The conversation will be moderated by Emily Paparella of Elkus Manfredi Architects. Prestbo will focus on PlaceTailor’s deep energy retrofit of Castle Square—an affordable housing building where no tenants had to be moved during construction. Jackson will speak to Stantec’s numerous housing projects, including work with CLT and innovations in energy modeling.

Rendering of a luxury apartment tower
The facade of the St. Regis Residences is marked by its ‘fins’, differentiating it from a standard rectangular tower. (Courtesy Elkus Manfredi Architects)

The morning will round out with a selection of projects from Boston’s growing Seaport. Moderated by Rami el Samahy, founding principal of OverUnder, the panel will feature 10 World Trade Center and The St. Regis Residences. William Halter and Rebecca Eriksen from Elkus Manfredi will present on the building’s dynamic form, detailing the operable windows and the process of working within Massachusetts’ energy code that came to shape the facade. Kate Van Heusen of Sasaki and Francois Beaupre of Island Exterior Fabricators will discuss the challenges and design solutions brought forward by working so close to the MBTA’s Silver Line, and the process of design assist that led to a successful project. 

The afternoon will feature three workshop tracks, with options for hour-long sections and deeper dives.

Track A contains three hour-long workshops: Advanced Perimeter Fire Containment Systems for Galvanized Backpan Assemblies, Thermal Breaks in Cladding Support Attachment Assemblies, and Thermal Barriers in Aluminum Fenestration Systems.

Track B, led by Tom Chung, Ashley Rao, and Juliet Chun from Leers Weinzapfel Associates, will be an in-depth look at the Living Building Challenge and deep green envelopes. The team will focus on the Davis Center at Williams College, which features a Glulam mass timber structure, shou sugi ban cladding process, and Red-List-Free materials.

Track C will provide attendees with an in-the-weeds perspective on decarbonizing housing through Passive House, led by Colin Booth and Liz Hauver from PlaceTailor alongside Beverly Craig from MassCEC. PlaceTailor will show their work in both new construction and retrofits, emphasizing that Passive House can be cost-efficient and technically approachable. From the MassCEC perspective, Craig will discuss incentives to increase Passive House projects, including a participatory portion of the workshops that will have attendees calculating incentives from MassSave. 

Facades+ Boston will take place at the Westin Copley Place on June 7. Tickets and more information can be found here.