Summer 2019 – 497-250: The Building Envelope Rain Screen– Reconsidered

Meeting Day/Time
Session B (6/3 to 7/27) on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 6:25 to 8:50 pm
Mark McKinney (Undergraduate Education with expertise in architecture)
Appropriate Majors
All interested students are welcome.

The continued increase of the cost of construction materials and labor along with the increased demand to achieve sustainable building envelopes is counter to the necessity to provide affordable habitats. This IPRO project will investigate effective cost and performance alternatives to a new exterior cladding – the rain screen.

The IPRO team will brainstorm and develop concept alternatives to one of the newer building envelope technologies – the rain screen. The goal is to maintain the sustainable benefits of the rain screen while discovering and evaluating affordable and aesthetic alternatives.

The IPRO team will scrutinize all components of commercial building envelope construction and evaluate opportunities for innovation in efficiency, performance and cost effectiveness. The goal is to achieve alternative and more affordable approaches to the rain screen exterior envelope system. The team will embark on a design / making process that will prepare, evolve and present research findings, analysis of data, creation of logistic diagrams and models, and the fabrication of working prototypes and cost analysis related to the stated problem.

This IPRO will give students, from a variety of disciplines, the opportunity to explore multiple approaches to a problem and prepare solutions that have both technical, social, and wellness relevance. The team will be introduced to important industry knowledge and trends. The project is relevant to the disciplines of architecture, architectural engineering, design, materials science, business, etc. Teamwork, communication, logic / reasoning (leveraging prototyping and analytical thinking) and time / project (process) management will be critical to achieving the course objective.  We will also discuss and evaluate the ethical implications of the subject matter. The success of the course is achieved when students have raised the bar or set the stage for moving the bar related to the problem through methodical, rational and visual presentation.

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