Stephan Wurster
Business Development Manager
POHL Group, Los Angeles

Similar to the theme-setting occasion, the 50-year anniversary of CTBUH, rainscreen façade systems have been around the building industry for approximately the same time. In keeping with the aforementioned theme, this presentation is divided into two major parts: “Past” and “Present and Future”, including a brief historic overview, followed by a detailed discussion about current and future innovations for rainscreen systems. Like all parts of the modern building envelope, rainscreen cladding systems have changed and adapted significantly over time.

In recent years, a design trend could be observed in high-rise architecture, in which architects moved away from fully-glazed envelopes toward a more balanced ratio between transparent and opaque areas. Recent innovations in prefabrication and automation reignited the desire of architects to design ornamental facades that would not have been feasible just a decade ago. One aspect of this development is that architecture firms and developers have become more environmentally conscious and are moving away from fully-glazed buildings in order to improve their buildings’ energy performance. This presentation explores and illustrates with examples the special challenges of developing rainscreen systems, as well as integrating them with other parts of the building envelope.

For the future, an ever-increasing and aging high-rise stock, combined with heightened demands for sustainability due to rising energy costs and environmental concerns, will require better explanations for choosing over-clad solutions.