Free-Form Cold-Bent Façades and All-Glass Structures – Design and Value Engineering Challenges

Façade designers are becoming increasingly under fire from several sides – current architecture is pushing for more complex curved and all-glass structures, a lack of design codes for certain areas causing the need for in-depth research and testing, and clients pushing for cost effective simplified details avoiding single or limited source supply. This paper presents detailed technical background for two recent projects – a series of all-glass boxes and a free-form shape cold-bent structural silicone glazed façade. For the all-glass boxes, detailed structural models helped to assess new ways achieving global lateral stability and stress reduction, as well as value engineering considering limitations of local glass processing capabilities. For the free-form shape cold-bent structural silicone glazed façade, design assisted by testing and a unique structural silicone design method with hyperelastic material constitutive modelling was used due to lack of internal design codes or standards. Similar to the GPD paper presented by the author at GPD 2015, this paper intends to kick-off new design concepts for the silicone design of two-way curved cold-bent facades, serving as a basis for discussion within the community of façade professionals.