2017 | Pushing the Envelope | Liz McCormick

Building envelopes, from the humble brick wall to dynamic, fully-integrated façades, can have huge impacts on occupant comfort, health, environmental impact and energy performance.

Building upon the work of previous EDR fellows, this year's Fellowship explored how to make affordable envelopes that provide daylight and views while controlling glare. Simultaneously, the research explored how building envelopes of historic structures can be upgraded for better performance without moisture drive endangering the very buildings we’re trying to save. And finally, how do we track the carbon impact of building envelope choices as part of the design process?

Understanding Facade Design

Using the office as a tool, we investigated people’s favorite places and what conditions create optimal visual and thermal comfort.

Environmental Considerations

As façades serve as boundaries between the inside and outside, it was important to consider several environmental factors, such as daylight and air quality as well as moisture and condensation.

The Ecotone

Metals in Construction Magazine asked in the 2017 Next-Generation Facade Design competition, “What role does the facade system play in making workers both happier and healthier?” EDR's submission, The Ecotone, ultimately won the grand prize in the competition, with the team envisioning a diverse community of occupiable spaces working in concert to blend the exterior and interior environments through a variety of microclimates.