Where do you find the confidence to design what has never existed? Brilliant feats of architectural imagination. Soaring towers of glass that are both enduring and energy-efficient. This article explains how proven silicone technologies, collaborative technical support, and supplier investments in material innovation can help architects push the envelope of building design without compromising performance.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Dow Corning Corp. (now a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Co.), pioneered silicone technologies that opened the eyes of architects to a new way of designing and realizing pure glass aesthetics—first with long-lasting weatherproofing sealants, and then with revolutionary silicone structural glazing (SSG).

In SSG, glass panels are attached directly to a building’s frame. No longer restricted by the need for intrusive mechanical fasteners, imaginations soared, and architects began creating structures previously thought impossible.

How can architects today make the most of the silicone technology and supplier support to create awe-inspiring designs without compromising building performance?

Leverage the Power of “Proven”

Silicone is the only adhesive material proven to attach glass to aluminum frames and to handle the environmental, UV, thermal, and wind and dead load stresses that building façades are subjected to every day.

Silicone technology has been used on thousands of high performance building projects around the globe, demonstrating its ability to withstand earthquakes, bomb blasts, hurricane-force winds and rain, sandstorms, arctic cold, desert heat, and the test of time.

The science behind silicone’s proven performance lies in the long-term strength and flexibility of its polymer backbone, coupled with its legendary resistance to damage from the sun’s UV rays.

Jean Paul Hautekeer, Dow High Performance Building’s global strategic marketing director, reports, “We now have projects that are older than 50 years. Those elastomers are still performing extremely well.”

Take Advantage of Recent Innovations

These include high-design-strength sealants that help reduce joint size and increase natural light, and point-fixed attachments that help eliminate gas leakage and reduce thermal bridging in glass facades.

Collaborate

Working collaboratively with your material supplier can help you meet key challenges over the lifetime of your project. Your supplier should be able to provide your design team with the following:

  • Assistance with third-party façade testing
  • Product development/innovation
  • An experienced technical team
  • Specification work
  • Building envelope and materials research
  • Training and education for your design team, as well as for the contractors who will implement your designs
  • Advice about codes and regulations
  • Choose Suppliers with Broad Resources and Innovation Support

The Dow/Dow Corning integration is a case in point. The company is building a new state-of-the-art R&D Innovation Center that will combine heritage Dow Corning silicone technologies (which will soon be available under a new name: DOWSIL) with existing Dow chemistries to advance material technology and define solutions to be used in the future.

Explore more ways to design with confidence.