While the beautiful aesthetic created by large expanses of facade glazing is not disappearing any time soon, increasingly stringent energy codes are pushing architects to seriously reconsider just how much glass they can afford.
“The dominant drivers, at least with large commercial and luxury residential buildings, continue to be aesthetic,” confirms Mic Patterson, LEED AP BD C, vice president of strategic development for the Advanced Technology Studio of Enclos in Los Angeles, California. “Building developers want floor-to-ceiling glass because of market demand, despite the negative effect on thermal, solar, and acoustical performance.”
However, an initiative called the Architecture 2030 challenge is pushing all new buildings, developments, and major renovations to be carbon-neutral by the year 2030, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is directing projects built after 2025 toward a zero-net-energy goal. While these targets are still a few years away, they are beginning to shape the all-glass facade.