For The Making Of - the book title’s association to film making - the director must have broad knowledge of the technical aspects of producing a film. If a designer / architect aims to reach beyond the basic standard and wants to have full control over the outcome of his work, he or she also needs to cover all the different aspects of The Making Of.
This book shows cutting-edge examples of how façades are currently made. But it also reveals where possible innovative developments will emerge from and what the typical problems are in implementing them in the unique building market.
The association of the book title with the film industry is intentional. A documentary about the creation of a movie can be more exciting than the movie itself. With the background information provided we understand the film and its intention in a different way, and develop a different relationship with it. Once a friend said that that one should never watch the “Making Of” before having seen the movie, but we don't just see ourselves as spectators, but rather as directors in the world of building envelopes. A director needs to master the technique of making films.
An institute for research and education not only has to know the state of the art, it also needs to direct its efforts to explore future developments. At any rate, there seems to be sufficient new material related to facade technology. The requirements keep rising, not only in terms of energy consumption. New materials, foil technology for example, evolve from customized solutions to established systems. New production methods such as rapid manufacturing generate questions about the future of traditional techniques. On one hand, existing methods and technologies are being optimized, and on the other, new ones are finding their way into the market. All of these developments are both a blessing and a curse. Of course they provide unknown possibilities and the term innovation alone makes your heart beat faster, but the developments are also a burden, because they force us to keep pace. We need to comprehend them and react accordingly. The facade is a topic that is and will remain one of the most exciting parts of building technology, and for us the book series “The Future Envelope” is one of the tools to stay on top.
However, it might be interesting for the reader to know that the book is based on an annual conference at our faculty with the same title. It combines research, education and practical application of architecture and facade construction. Professors and students from our partner universities use it as a meeting event. With its accompanying workshops it is a fixed part of the curricula of the Facade Master programs in Lucerne, Switzerland, Detmold, Germany, and in Delft. Here, the focus lies on practical applicability, which also provides the benefit for the industry. Our goal is not merely to gather and learn what is technologically and scientifically cutting edge, but to create a relationship between those who currently define the business and those who aim to do so in the future.
We thank our partners VMRG and FAECF for their support and the trust they place in our work. We are also grateful to those companies and institutions that have become firm partners in our research activities and are therefore instrumental in the development of the contents of this book.
Ulrich Knaack, Design of Construction, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology
Design, engineering, prototyping, production and realisation of an innovative insulated facade system with integrated pre-stressed cable stabilisation with application for a polytechnical school INHolland with a laboratory for composite materials in Delft, NL. The process consisted of 4 major phases:
• The experimental (‘Sia Raak’ subsidy) design phase;
• The experimental design and engineering phase;
• The production and realization phase of the commercial facade system;
• The production and realization of the original composite facade system.
The initial conceptual ‘wild idea’ for the INHolland project by architect Rijk Rietveld, New York, was elaborated through different design brainstorms towards a radical innovative system for ultra-slim glass facades. In this facade system insulated glass panels of a depth of maximum 50 mm are integrated with internal pre-stressed structural composite cables, stabilising the facade against wind forces. Dead weight to be taken over by vertical deadweight rods in between the vertical silicone seams between the panels. The insulated glass panels are sealed by composite spacer frames. Many different solitary tests were done with the sealing and the carbon fibre components, with adhesion of silicone sealant on the carbon fibre frames and on the perforation of the carbon fibre used through the frames. In the actual engineering phase structural analysis was performed and tests on several levels were executed. The composite frames were substituted by conventional metal frames. The system is suited for facades of 14 m high. Under wind loading the facade system deflects as a sail membrane, with the deflections at the perimeter taken up by adequate detailing at the sides so that no breakage occurs and the membrane facade is regarded as fail safe system. A prototype of the corner was constructed and tested for practical approval. Due to the refusal by the glass panel manufacturer to supply a guarantee on inadequate number of tests with inadequate quality, the integrated system had to be changed into a duo-system with internal pre-stressed cables and integrated dead weight suspension rods. The project consisted of 2 large facades executed in this manner and one more narrow segment facade exactly in the experimental mode, for performance evaluation. The facade had to keep in pace with the progress on site. The building was opened in September 2009.
The first metal-glass facades where developed about 100 years ago and since than have undergone an incremental evolution. The basic constructional concept and its function have not changed. What has changed is the demand: On the one hand the energy performance and on the other the user comfort. The building envelope of the future will be a like a musical instrument in an orchestra, which is nicely tuned according to the ever changing surrounding conditions. It will contain a large number of technical installations.
The paper introduces Product Architecture as a method to analyze and to design constructions. On this basis students of the Facade Design Master Program at the TU Delft have developed four visionary facade designs.
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