University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > A regenerative approach to glass façade design with a focus on end-of-life challenges

A regenerative approach to glass façade design with a focus on end-of-life challenges

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Over the past few decades, the building envelope has significantly evolved to meet increased legislation on energy performance during building operation. This has led to façades that are often designed with an increasing number of parts and more permanent connections that contradict design for disassembly principles and are therefore difficult to take apart at EoL.

This research examines glass façades under the circular economy lens, through three strands: behavioural, environmental and technological. The existing barriers to facade reuse from industry were reviewed through an online survey and follow-up telephone interviews. The outcomes of this stage of research provided the context for the development of a quantitative environmental assessment specific to glass curtain walling units, based on their existing design and potential EoL scenarios. Ongoing research seeks to address the existing technological challenges in reusing materials from existing façade systems, in terms of mechanically separating laminated glass and debonding silicone and epoxy adhesives.

As low-carbon and ‘zero energy’ buildings being realised through advances in façade design, it is important to practically realise their EoL opportunities in order to avoid simply shifting the energy use in the building lifecycle to another stage.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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