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Performative envelopes

Together with ARUP and FRONT INC., we developed a parametric façade detail of geometric specifications which were driven by analysis feedback. The curtain wall employs fully continuous vertical fins on the exterior that serve as a sunshade. The depth of these elements will vary and will be optimized depending on orientation. We expect that the vertical fins, while being instrumental in generating the iconic expression of the building, will reduce overall solar heat gain on the building by a further 5% to 15% improvement over the base performance of the glass.

The curtain wall vision and spandrel glass are designed as folded panels moving in and out vertically throughout the entire building. The energy performance of the building will benefit in two additional ways from this strategy. As the panels fold in and out, the spandrel panel above is cutting off the solar radiation angle and therefore reducing the net solar gain that reaches the vision glass. On the south and west facing sides, the angle can be increased cutting off more solar gain, and towards the north, the angle can be reduced allowing for greater daylighting benefit. This folding can be expected to provide a further 5% to 10% overall reduction in solar gain. This benefit will be compounded with the effectiveness of the vertical sunshading.

The design was the smallest spandrel zones on the north facing while having the largest spandrel zones on the south and west faces. By reducing the actual amount of vision glass in the areas of maximum solar gain, we signifi cantly improve the building energy performance. In addition we are benefi ting from a greater percentage of insulated wall in the building overall effectively yielding a more advantageous wall to window ratio.