July 16, 2019

Material Matters: Emerging Strategies and Design Practices for Facade Systems, Buildings and Urban Habitat

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The building facade system uniquely impacts both performance and appearance at the combined scales of building and metropolis. The outcome of a new facade program or renovation largely determines the lifecycle success of a building, and together these buildings largely define the ongoing success of urban habitat. Nothing in architecture has seen more applied innovation over recent decades than the building skin. Yet, navigating the implementation of a contemporary facade program remains the single most challenging component of building design and construction.  Escalating code requirements, increasingly complex designs, an expanding materials palette, novel delivery strategies, convoluted supply chains and a constantly morphing risk environment combine to challenge the most savvy and experienced design and building teams. The Facade Tectonics Institute brings its celebrated Forum to Seattle as industry and academic thought leaders explore the facade effect on buildings and urban habitat. Join the dialogue!

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Program is subject to change.
Day 1
16 Jul 2019

Opening Remarks

Session 1 – Digits and Data

Digital tools and processes are playing a disruptive role in the AEC industry, as they have in many markets. Yet the seamless integration of parametric workflows throughout the building process remains a challenge. Where are the gaps and what can be done to bridge them? Unanswered questions of ownership, responsibility, risk and liability (who owns the data/model, etc.) throttle progress and the promise of data analysis and optimization on the building process. Practice leaders in this session explore the current state of the art of digital workflows, the integration of the facade system in those workflows, what is working and not, where lie the opportunities and threats, and finally, pull out the crystal ball to discuss where it is all heading.
10:15 am - 10:45 am

Networking Break

Session 2 – Carbon Counting

The building industry contributes as much as 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions from operating (e.g. heating/cooling, lighting) and embodied (e.g. building material extraction, transport, manufacturing) impacts. Embodied impacts account for 25% these emissions today. However, for new energy efficient buildings in regions with low carbon electrical grids such as Seattle, they can account for well over 50% of the impacts of a building between now and 2050. Facade systems include many carbon intensive materials such as glass, aluminum, and insulation. This session will identify strategies to reduce the embodied impacts of building facades in the context of the whole life cycle of a building, addressing issues such as estimating the embodied carbon of facades, how purchasing power can be used to drive towards lower carbon options, and how design decisions can influence up-front and full-life carbon emissions attributed to the building enclosure.
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Lunch Break

Session 3 – Facade Effects

A sustainable future will require net zero carbon buildings and urban habitat. Important new zero carbon benchmarks are being established by emerging and established programs, including USGBC LEED Zero, ILFI Zero Carbon Certification, CaGBC Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative and other local and international initiatives. Elevating the focus from energy to carbon reveals critical new considerations and metrics for building performance that will change design and delivery practices. This session will demonstrate how to achieve net zero carbon in both design and operations across climate zones, from marine to hot and humid, using real-world examples. Session speakers will address how zero carbon performance goals impact facade design and what it means for envelope design to be truly integrated with mechanical design.
2:45 pm - 3:15 pm

Networking Break

Closing Remarks

Confirmed Speakers

Brian Court, AIA

Partner, The Miller Hull Partnership

David Mead

Senior Associate, PAE Engineers

Jim Hanford

The Miller Hull Partnership

Kate Simonen, AIA, SE, LEEP AP

Founding Director,
Carbon Leadership Forum
Associate Professor,
University of Washington

Kjell Anderson, AIA, LEED Fellow

Director of Sustainable Design,
LMN Architects

Mic Patterson, PhD, LEED AP+

Ambassador of Innovation & Collaboration, Facade Tectonics Institute


University of Washington

Kane Hall Auditorium
1315 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98105