Climate-Responsive Exterior Enclosure Design

Keith Boswell
Technical Partner
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, San Francisco

In this presentation, three different solutions in three different regions of China illustrate best practices for the design and execution of optimized building enclosure systems. Poly International Plaza in Beijing features a dual-wall enclosure that is directly related to its superstructure; Ningbo Guohua Financial Tower’s perimeter structural diagrid engages directly with its exterior curtain wall, comprised of a combination of custom insulated glass and aluminum panels; and Agile Corporation Headquarters in Guangzhou features an array of transparent and opaque fenestration, including horizontal sun-screen fins that correspond to the solar load. Iconic tall buildings and their enclosures have become a catalyst for rapid urbanization in developing countries, particularly in China. Creating and implementing these enclosures requires balancing visual and performance aspects equally. Enclosures must be aesthetically pleasing, perform, and stand the test of time. The design of high-performance building enclosures must consider structural function, response to climate, energy efficiency, and user comfort.

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