Lightweight Façade Systems

The Loblolly House on Taylor's Island, Md.

The Melvin J. and Claire Levine Hall at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The Sculpture Building and Gallery at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

The outer layer on the façade of the Loblolly House is a bifold polycarbonate hangar door that doubles as a sunshade when locked in the open position. The translucent polycarbonate has many of the same thermal properties as glass, but it weighs less and keeps out the glare of direct sunlight.






The cavity between the glass panes in the curtain wall system at Levine Hall acts as a return air plenum for the HVAC system.

The HVAC system.

A separate sunshade layer that helps control heat gain.

The active curtain wall system at the Sculpture Building and Gallery.

Sensors placed throughout the façade of the Loblolly House monitor the temperatures on the interior, in the cavity, and on the exterior of the façade.

On all projects, sensors like those at the Yale Sculpture Building and Gallery are installed to closely monitor temperature conditions.

The information is compiled into a graph that demonstrates the curtain wall system's thermal buffering properties.

The culmination of research into and continued monitoring of the active curtain wall system is a prototype design, potentially for a future project. The next generation curtain wall system contains an actuated damper that alternately allows ventilation through the mullion section and acts as insulation.

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