Published by:
May 13, 2020

Future of Façades

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has seen construction halted in some cities and states, such as Boston and Michigan, the American Architectural Manufacturers Assn., in its “U.S. Industry Statistical Review and Forecast,” was upbeat. After growing a couple percentage points the past two years, the non-residential construction demand for entry doors was anticipated to remain steady, increasing by 1% in 2020. Even prior to this present downturn, due to the pandemic, building teams were searching for more economical means to improve the glazing installation process, in the form of more unitized and modular systems. In fact, many AEC teams frequently struggle with dealing with multiple manufacturers when sourcing a building’s façade. their odds at delivering a high-performing, tight enclosure, the notion of working with single-source manufacturers that offer a selection of windows, entrance systems, storefronts, curtainwalls and shading devices, has gained ground. This is exactly what Dallas-based GFF Architects did for their design of 9001 Cypress Waters, a 215,000-sq.-ft. office space in North Dallas. Working with CRL-U.S. Aluminum, according to the manufacturer’s sales director George Heflin, a successful façade design relies on the architect’s coordination of different products to achieve the aesthetic and functional goals of the client. “We’ve experienced success in our ability to simplify this process by supplying a wide variety of systems, options and upgrades that accomplish the design intent while meeting performance requirements.”

Following are a handful of other fenestration innovations.

New & Noteworthy

Glazing in Seattle

Featuring three outward-flaring sides and expansive windows glazed with Vitro’s Solarban 60, Bumgardner Architects-designed Kinects Tower is a residential skyscraper in Seattle. Large expanses of low-E glazing feature spandrels with ICD High Performance Coatings’ Starbright Silver Opaci-Coat-300 coatings.

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A Clean Look

An all-glass entryway and curtainwall system combine to deliver a striking façade at 9001 Cypress Waters in North Dallas, Texas. Unique T-shaped mullions and extended face caps support the thermally broken curtainwall’s clean, streamlined spans of glass. GFF Architects’ design also features a four-story trellis made from layered aluminum tubing.

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High Performing and Versatile

Graham Architectural Products’ newest system, the GT6 Window System, is a series of casement, projected and fixed windows with the ability to match sightlines in a variety of frame depths and thermal efficiencies. Available in three glazing profile options—beveled, concave and flat—all models incorporate advanced thermal strut technology for optimum thermal efficiency and low U-values.

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Door for all Seasons

The AA 3200M Thermal Sliding Door, complete with its IsoPour Thermal Break Technology, merges the pour and debridge thermal break with polymer isolator technologies. Features include interior and exterior dual finish capabilities, low and standard threshold options, stainless-steel casters, tracks and fasteners, and an insect screen.

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NEW Perimeter Spacer

Creating an edge restraint for roof paver applications, Hanover's NEW Perimeter Spacer has been designed for conditions in which pavers must be cut to fit along the roof perimeter. The Perimeter Spacer's spring action design allows for easy installation and helps to maintain a tight roof paver system. The slots of the Perimeter Spacer fit onto the tabs of the Elevator Top Plate or High-Tab Pedestal. Adjustments are easily made by sliding the spacer to fit snugly along the edge of the paver.

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Metal Roofing System Makes this Farmhouse Memorable

Petersen’s Snap-Clad metal roofing panel system in silver finishes off this sophisticated farmhouse look. Architect Brandon Ingram of C. Brandon Ingram Design believes, “the metal roof really makes this house unforgettable.” He added, “If it didn’t have the metal roof, the design wouldn’t have the same impact. The roof is one of the elements that catches people’s eyes. We get more calls about this house than any other house I have ever designed.”

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Blending Structural Integrity with Natural Beauty

With its unique elevated positioning and open weave pattern, the brick facade of the Moody Center for the Arts extends the building’s airy design to the exterior. Supporting the brick screen wall of this campus landmark is a system of stainless steel rods running through specially cored brick. High-sheen iron ore additives in the brick create playful blue/gray hues that appear to change with the sun and sky. Widely specified in the hurricane-prone region of Texas, brick is used in buildings throughout the Rice University campus in Houston. Known for superior hardness along with aesthetic quality, the selected brick from Endicott Clay Products was formed of Nebraska clay and then fired using a special burn to meet tight dimensional tolerances and to draw out the deep black color.

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Next Generation Washbar Raises the Bar

Bradley introduces its next generation WashBar with an ultra-modern, edgier profile designed to make a statement in today’s commercial washrooms. This new extension delivers exclusive touch-free clean+rinse+dry functionality in a retooled WashBar featuring a thin, L-shaped design that gives the feel the all-in-one fixture is floating above the sink for a striking design element.

This stunning new model is ideal for more refined applications that call for an iconic-looking high-class design including Class A offices, hospitality, upscale restaurants, bars, retail establishments and more.

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Structural Thermal Barriers Save Energy

While Azon does not make windows, the company does offer turnkey technology for the manufacture of polyurethane polymer thermal barrier aluminum fenestration. Using thermal barriers to improve energy savings in the window assembly helps manufacturers meet strict energy codes and standards worldwide, ranging from monumental architectural to residential aluminum window classes. The newest ultra-performance Azo-Core high-density foam thermal barrier by Azon contains the best combination of energy efficiency and the highest shear strength of all thermal barriers used in the most demanding climates and conditions.

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