Facade Performance 101

Date: June 5, 2015

Time: 2015-06-05

Host: Building Energy Exchange

Type: Lecture/Presentation

Link: http://be-exchange.org/events/113

New high-performance facade technologies enable freedom in architectural design. Knowledge of facade systems help designers and specifiers meet stringent energy codes without sacrificing design aesthetics. The presentation will provide a comprehensive overview of key properties of facade systems, including common systems, coatings, and applications and discussion of thermal and visual properties. The presentation will speak to how facades are evaluated at SOM.


Few things in architecture are more visible, and potentially more impactful on overall building performance as the building’s facade. As design methodologies, construction methodologies, and analytical tools continue to rapidly evolve, the potential for greater design synergy between building systems and the facade is ever growing.

The focus of this workshop will be to provide a baseline understanding of the principles and mechanics related to curtain wall assemblies and related facade cladding typologies, as well as define different approaches and systems related to high performance facade design. In addition, the workshop will present a variety for a practical understanding for how different high performance facade concepts can be applied to a variety of building types in a variety of climate conditions and markets.


Goals of the workshop will include:

  • Provide an understanding of the principles of unitized curtain wall as it relates to design, performance, and constructibility
  • Understanding of air and water control and its importance in facade design
  • Understanding of thermal performance and condensation resistance of facade systems
  • Overview of Passive House standards and how it differs from typical U.S. construction
  • Basic understanding of a variety of high performance facade typologies including ventilated facade systems
  • Basic understanding of how applicability of certain facade typologies in certain markets