Supporting precedent research related to the adoption of advanced facade strategies and technologies.

Status: Current

Funding Sources: Polytechnic University of Bari, Italy CBE Members

Project Objective

This project will collect information on buildings with high-performance facades from across the world to be shared via an interactive map. This online tool will allow users to explore and analyze design features of exemplary buildings to encourage implementation of advanced facade strategies.

Significance to Industry

We see increasing efforts to reduce building energy use through programs such as the 2030 Challenge, the California Global Warming Solutions Act and the European 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To meet these goals, decisions related to the design of facades and building envelopes are critical. Building design professionals face numerous decisions related to facade design, including architectural expression, durability, energy performance, occupant comfort, and the combined effects of water, thermal and structural demands. Many innovative design approaches are being explored in practice, however the performance results of many are not well understood. New glazing and control technologies, along with new building standards such as New York City’s proposed ban on all-glass facades, will continue to drive innovation in building facade design, adding more options as well as constraints to the designer’s palette.

To make informed decisions, professionals benefit from examples of best practices that meet multiple facade requirements and also achieve high performance. Many new building designs have leveraged novel facade strategies and technologies to achieve good energy efficiency while contributing to occupant well-being, yet documentation of their performance is often lacking and/or inconsistent.

Research Approach

The project team will seek examples that demonstrate high performance in terms of energy and indoor environmental quality, as well as architectural expression and technological innovation. We have created  screening criteria for inclusion, based on a combination of performance standards, such as LEED, green building awards (e.g., AIA Top Ten Awards), EnergyStar, BREAM or WELL, and also design innovation and application of appropriate technology. We list the full criteria for inclusion here.

We will survey our industry network and canvass online resources to identify exemplar buildings to include in the database. We invite industry professionals and others to recommend candidate buildings for inclusion based on the criteria linked above, using this online form. Once these buildings have been identified, we will invite project team members to fill out an online survey to assist in the gathering of important metadata on the building design, characteristics, and operational performance. The resulting database will be used to generate an interactive map of buildings with high-performance facades using open-source and other digital mapping tools. The tool will be built with the aim of easily updating projects and to allow for ongoing additions. This project was inspired in part by a previous CBE project to create an online map with a database of over 400 commercial buildings using radiant cooling and heating, online at CBE Radiant Systems Map. The project team is informed by an advisory group of approximately a dozen professionals from CBE’s Industry Consortium.

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