Advanced Building Skins 2016: cost-effectiveness of integrated engineering
The annual Conference on Advanced Building Skins, organised in Bern Switzerland the past two days, attracted 600 participants from over 50 countries. VK Architects & Engineers demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of integrated design with a case-study.
VK’s façade engineers were asked to optimize an initial architectural design of an intricate glazed roof. The engineering solutions had to meet high performance façade requirements with regard to
- structural integrity
- rain/water/air tightness
- façade/frame design
- energy and comfort performance
- cost optimisation
- construction methods
- durability of materials
Applying parametric design, VK Façade Engineering imposed some important restrictions to enable a prefabricated solution that optimized the material use, such as the amount of cutting actions and a minimisation of material losses. The parametric design also included rain water evacuation studies, and solar irradiation and daylight studies for an optimal position of the glazed elements. A detailed fire safety design showed that smoke curtains in the underlying atrium could be excluded.
Last but certainly not least, a feasibility analysis showed impressive cost-savings of the optimized design compared to the initial design.
With this integrated engineering’s approach, VK Façade Engineering contributed to a high performance, cost-effective solution without having to sacrifice the architectural quality. An important aspect of this successful form-finding process was timing: the optimisation process was performed at a very early design stage.