1895
  • Expanding the Possible
  • The Expertise to Succeed
  • Collaborative Solutions
OUR PROCESS

Expanding the Possible

We are passionate about engineering beautiful, functional and constructable façades. Our expertise in various systems and materials allows us to work on projects of any shape or size, ranging from traditional curtain walls to complex ETFE, fabrics and composite systems and innovative custom design solutions. And our advanced analytical capabilities, supported by our CORE studio and Sustainability practice, enable us to overcome even the most difficult design challenges.

OUR PROCESS

The Expertise to Succeed

Our multidisciplinary team comprises technical architects, façade engineers and other specialists with decades of work experience in façade consulting and contracting services. An extensive knowledge of local markets, building codes and construction practices enables us to provide pragmatic and cost-effective solutions to clients around the globe.

OUR PROCESS

Collaborative Solutions

Our team members take a hands-on approach to every project, with a common goal of creating value and finding the best possible path to overcoming any given challenge. We are committed to look beyond our scope of work, to work proactively with the entire team to solve problems and maximize the team’s overall performance.

Façade Engineering projects

Materials & Systems

Brick & Terracotta

Terracotta and brick façades can impart a timeless aesthetic to a building’s vocabulary. For designers who want to marry this aesthetic with new forms, façade systems that use these materials, but with better performance and at a fraction of the weight, are often the solution. Our engineers are experienced in the design of these systems. We have a thorough understanding of these systems, whether used in a traditional cavity wall, as rainscreen cladding or as a high-performing panelized system. The result is a façade that unites classical language with new technology.

Materials & Systems

Cables

Unsurpassed for transparency, tensegrity systems and cable-net façade structures can efficiently enclose long-span openings without the use of heavy, rigid trusses or frames. We use leading-edge software to design glass façades and roofs with minimal structure. Our extensive experience with form-finding for complex geometries, along with our practical knowledge of cable engineering and construction, places us at the forefront of this design trend.

Materials & Systems

Composites

Composite materials – fiber reinforced plastics (FRP), glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) and polycarbonate – make for elegant, lightweight and cost-effective enclosures. These materials are well-suited for use in stadiums and long-span buildings, both in new construction and for re-roofing existing structures. Most composites adapt to nearly any complex shape and are available in an array of thicknesses and finish options, from translucent to opaque. Using our 3D form-finding and optimization tools, we can adapt commercial systems or develop customized solutions.

Materials & Systems

Concrete

New technologies have transformed concrete – traditionally a heavy material used for structural elements – into a material that can be used on façades. When reinforced with glass fiber, concrete makes lightweight cladding panels that provide the textures of traditional material with a new flexibility of use. Precast concrete offers efficient panelization and range of finishes and embedment options such as brick or stone. We have experience applying these systems and can use that knowledge to help our clients select the most effective solution for their project.

Materials & Systems

Curtain Wall

Our façade engineering teams advise clients on the best way to develop both conventional and innovative façade systems, applying our knowledge of structures, glazing technology, mechanical shade systems and thermal behavior. We provide design, detailing and engineering support for enclosures of any shape or size, from minimalist to high-tech. We also provide expertise in safety and security glazing, along with glass frits and reflective coatings.

Materials & Systems

Double Skin

The double-skin façade has come to represent the ultimate in passive energy performance. Used primarily in Europe in the past, double skin is now being adopted worldwide for its ability to provide controlled natural ventilation, excellent solar control and high thermal performance – leading to substantial energy savings over time. Our building physics expertise and our experience with glazed façades enable us to provide design guidance to clients who wish to maximize energy performance by using a double skin.

Materials & Systems

ETFE & Fabrics

The use of lightweight membrane structures can enhance design, budget and building performance – but only if their attributes are considered early in the design process. With the ability to span great distances, these systems are used in dynamic and sculptural forms and can be quickly modified to meet changing weather-related or programmatic needs by adjusting shading, thermal and aesthetic characteristics. Our façade engineering consultants are experts in the application of ETFE, fabric and tensioned membranes, from concept evaluation to integration of these lightweight systems into building skin designs.

Materials & Systems

Glazing & Structural Glass

Glazing offers transparency that enhances a façade’s aesthetics and experience from both the interior and exterior. It provides light and a visual connection between the inside and outside. But designing with glass requires the deliberate balancing of light transmittance and the effects it has on energy performance and occupant comfort. Glazing design also requires careful consideration of material strength and safety. We provide a full range of design and engineering support for glazing and glass structures, from structural analyses to recommendations for aesthetics and energy performance. Our expertise in glazed-façade and structural-glass construction includes unitized aluminum frames, stick-built metal frames, steel cable supports, structural glass fin supports and glass stairs and balustrades.

Materials & Systems

Kinetic

Operable systems provide flexibility of use of a space, increase energy performance and enhance occupant comfort. Ranging from retractable roofs to operable screens on a façade, they can open or enclose a space and increase or decrease sun exposure. Some are automatic; others rely on manual control. Many can be incorporated into other façade systems. Our engineers work with designers to create custom solutions for building envelopes that satisfy performance requirements while giving owners the visual and experiential effects they desire.

Materials & Systems

Metal

A variety of metals are used to wrap a building’s skin: aluminum, stainless steel, copper and zinc are notable examples. Each has its own special characteristics and can be used as rainscreen cladding, open screens, overhead enclosures or decorative elements with an array of possible shapes and configurations. We have used metals in a variety or project types, ranging from new façades to innovative re-cladding of existing structures. Our understanding of each material’s physical properties helps us provide designers with unique solutions that fulfill their design visions.

Materials & Systems

Reclads

Structures whose exterior cladding is in need of replacement have two options: remove the old cladding and replace with new, or place new cladding over old. The second option eliminates the cost of deconstructing the existing façade and may provide an energy savings by creating a double-skin facade. We leverage our experience with all systems to help determine which option will work best for each project, visually and financially. We work closely with clients to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Materials & Systems

Stone

Dimensioned stone panels have long been in use as cladding, but only recently have new technologies drastically reduced the material cost of using stone. Anchoring methods that allow panels to be supported individually, rather than stacked, allows reduction in stone thickness and overall façade weight. Thin layers of stone can be laminated to other stones to improve strength and durability. Very thin layers of stone can be laminated to glass to create visually stunning back-lit stone panels. We have extensive experience with all types of dimensioned stone technologies as well as relationships with fabricators and quarries that enable us to help clients define and meet their aesthetic and performance goals.