RECAP | Facade Tectonics Forum: SEATTLE

The Facade Tectonics Institute (FTI) held our fourth regional Forum, Material Matters, at the University of Washington and it was truly an all-encompassing trip. Seattle has emerged as a global leader in the pursuit of resilient and sustainable communities. It is home to many iconic structures that have influenced the building industry both at home and abroad and continues to push the boundaries of architecture and urban planning. The forum brought industry and academic thought leaders together to explore the “facade-effect”—the profound influence of the facade system on buildings and urban habitat.

The Forum consisted of speaker presentations and moderated discussions surrounding topics such as Sanjeev Tankha of Walter P Moore and Sean Quinn of HOK’s exploration of integrated parametric workflows in facade design and execution, Mic Patterson of The Facade Tectonics Institute’s passion for balancing operating and embodied carbon in facade design, building zero carbon and David Sadinsky of NBBJ and Charles Gronek of WSP’s case study focusing on the intricacies of Amazon’s Seattle Spheres. Other aspects of the days’ discussion focused on how to implement the “big picture” during the actual project through the contractor’s perspective, a historic accounting of the total carbon story as well as latest developments, curtain wall systems, the exploration of how we can extend the service life of buildings, the truth behind the visual work load and the implications on project delivery and the intricacies behind Amazon’s Spheres among other topics.

Several of the panel discussions zeroed in on carbon reductions and sustainability and how the design world is shifting to focus on building performance. Mic Patterson, FTI Ambassador of Innovation and Collaboration, noted that sustainability is a cultural issue, driven by human behaviors and patterns of consumption, including the way we implement and use buildings. The program highlighted the need for both professionals and educators to place greater emphasis on sustainable building practices and shift the predominant focus on building aesthetics to building performance.

As a bonus, we were able to see Seattle’s innovative designs and ingenuitive properties before discussing them during panel sessions. The FTI team visited the Space Needle and Amazon’s Spheres enjoying the unique aspects of each structure’s design that were delivered by some of our valued members and sponsors, including Kuraray, Technoform and Enclos.

“Seattle showcases the endless potential for growth within the built environment through its groundbreaking architecture. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to experience the unique ambiance of this beautiful city in bringing our Forum to the University of Washington,” said Helen Sanders, President of the Facade Tectonics Institute. “On behalf of FTI we want to thank everyone who helped make the event a success including the University, our sponsors, speakers and attendees.”

Still want more? Take a look at our gallery for exclusive photos of our speakers, sponsors, and event space.

We'd like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors who made this event possible: HALIOKuraraySchüco, and Technoform.