efficiency has become a primary focus. Research and development in the field of sustainable design has led to advancement in products and methods used in double glassfacades, and holistic analysis of building physics using computer modeling proves thatintegrated design can maximize energy efficiency. The subject of computer modeling, aswell as building management systems (another major factor in the development of doubleglass façades) will be discussed in following sections.Christian Schittich, in his book,
(Schittich, 2003), demands that we treatcladding as a responsive skin, not ornamental packaging. Werner Lang suggests, in thesame book, that since the building skin fulfills a multitude of vital functions, it is theprinciple factor in the energy consumption of the building. Perhaps we should treat thefaçade not as a skin at all, but as system to be integrated with the entire building.Sara Hart, in her article on Façade Engineering, explains that, "The evolution of thebuilding envelope from static wrapper to a complex, active building system has beenpartly motivated by the economics of energy consumption and the promise of sustainability. The proliferation of private and public research and development hasproduced a juggernaut of products and processes.” (Hart, 2002, “Façade…”).Another factor in the development of the building skin, and thus the double glass wallfaçade, is the impact of Biomimicry on the design industry. Biomimetic buildings applythis innovative design model most successfully to the building skin. Examples can beseen in the self-cleaning Lotus-Effect paint used in Germany, the transpiring Stomatexcladding, and the passive thermally-regulated ‘Termite-Mound’ building in Zimbabwe.With building skins becoming a major focus in the goal of reducing a building’s energyload, we begin to see the role of the double glass façade in transforming the way wedesign buildings. As one writer expressed, the double glass façade can provide a “visualsymbol of energy efficiency” (Streicher, p14). For both aesthetic and performativereasons, this innovation in façade engineering should be seen as an opportunity forefficiency and whole building integration.As for the development of the ventilated double façade in particular, we see it as havingbeen put into practice more in the temperate climates of Europe than the US. Thiscontrast will be discussed at greater length in a following section, however it should benoted here that the development of ‘integrated design’ in architecture is a majordeterminant of whether a ventilated double façade will be used and ultimately if it will besuccessful, and that the EU has far surpassed the US in its application of integrateddesign in recent years.
Basic System Components of the Double Façade
Glass, cavity, shading and ventilation – these are the basic components of the doublefaçade. However, a list of considerations from aesthetics to acoustics will produce adifferent combination of these basic elements within a complex, integrated environment.