Dividing the outside environment from the interior, the building enclosure is one of the most important parts of the structure. The enclosure not only defines the building’s aesthetic, but also protects occupants from the elements and facilitates a comfortable, controlled climate. With dozens of components comprising the exterior assemblies, from foundation to cladding to roof, figuring out which concerns to address first can be daunting.
This course covers design considerations and cladding assembly choices for creating high-performance building envelopes — a crucial element in healthy, energy-efficient buildings.
New technologies, innovations, and tools are opening doors for building teams interested in better and more socially responsible design.
Insulated metal wall panels (IMPs) offer a sleek, modern, and lightweight envelope system that is highly customizable. This continuing education course explores the characteristics of insulated metal wall panels, including how they can offer a six-in-one design solution. Discussions also include design options, installation processes, code compliance, sustainability, and available warranties.
Advances in glazing materials and glass building systems offer a seemingly unlimited horizon for not only glass performance, but also for the size and extent of these light, transparent forms. Both for enclosures and for indoor environments, novel products and assemblies allow for more glass and less opaque structure—often in places that previously limited their use.
Versatility, reliable performance, and relatively low installed-costs make prefabricated metal panel wall and roof systems attractive for sophisticated building applications. Owners and architects often collaborate to use these products in distinctive and aesthetically innovative design solutions. Manufacturers, recognizing an opportunity, have expanded their product lines with the aim of amplifying product use across a range of building types. Of course, no building enclosure system is without design challenges and considerations.
New ideas in design and constructability are radically changing how metal systems are used as roofing for commercial and institutional buildings. Behind the investment in these new kinds of expressions and construction approaches is a growing interest in improved performance and reduced environmental impact. Metal roofing systems can cut cooling and heating loads significantly, according to the EPA.
This course provides an overview of structural steel deck design and the ways to improve building performance and to reduce total-project costs.
Architectural concrete as we know it today was invented in the 19th century. It reached new heights in the U.S. after World War II when mid-century modernism was in vogue, following in the footsteps of a European aesthetic that expressed structure and permanent surfaces through this exposed material. Concrete was treated as a monolithic miracle, waterproof and structurally and visually versatile.
Building envelope choices for campus, cultural, and infrastructure projects are shaped by particular conditions. Today, institutions place greater value on how buildings relate to their ensemble: how historic buildings fit next to new ones, how massing forms fit with their neighbors, and how a building cladding contributes to the campus context. Concurrently, enclosure assemblies and construction methods have undergone changes due to values of sustainability, science, durability, and maintenance. In this context, mastering the building envelope on college and university campuses requires addressing both cultural concerns and technical performance, honoring traditional buildings while exploring the potential of new materials and forms.