VI International Congress on Architectural Envelopes

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Donostia - San Sebastián 20 - 21 - 22 June 2012

VI International Congress on Architectural Envelopes

The Sixth Edition of the International Congress on Architectural Envelopes satisfied all foreseeable expectations

ICAE 2012 Congress gathered more than 230 researchers, industrialists, and architects related to Architectural Envelopes from Latin America and the United States, as well as different European countries


Photos of the event at:

10 julio de 2012 –.The Sixth Edition of the International Congress of Architectural Envelopes was held in San Sebastián-Donostia from 20th to 22nd June. This edition centred on innovation and the identification of future challenges with regard to architectural envelopes. Over 230 researchers attended the congress: industrialists, and architects from Latin America, the United States, and various European countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Holland, and Spain.

Congress participants included architectural and engineering studios as prestigious as Herzog & de Meuron, UNStudio, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Eckersley O´Callaghan, Estudio Lamela, Ortiz y León Arquitectos, Inhabit Group, and Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering, among others.

Over three days a panel of more than 50 congress participants, including members of the International Scientific Committee and representatives from various countries, expounded the main achievements, challenges and architectural projects on the topic of envelopes, among which those presented in the first session (and part of the second) were summarized in a publication of congress proceedings that was circulated to all participants.

The topics addressed in the plenary lectures, parallel sessions, round tables and working groups were very diverse: new materials for use in facades, new design methodologies and constructive systems, calculation systems, possibilities of the envelope from the perspective of rehabilitation, need for the use of double skins, the future of the envelope, etc. Several buildings (principally in Asia) were also reviewed with unique envelopes; buildings presented by the architectural studios responsible for their design.

One of the most relevant achievements of the congress was to bring together a varied group of researchers, industrialists and professionals from different disciplines to approach the study of envelopes from varied perspectives. The international meeting also stands out for having created the opportunity for for the exchange of experiences and interaction between participants. This interaction allowed similar concerns to be shared on the "distressing state" of the sector and the transformation that it is going through: new markets, internationalization of national and European companies, new possibilities for development, etc.

One of the most important challenges facing the congress was how to convey the importance of research and development in the world of the envelope to participants and how to apply this research to decision-making in their work and in their new products. There was also talk of innovation and its relation to the market, as one of the supports to facilitate growth in view of the plight of the national market.

The congress likewise served to acknowledge the worth of various actors that participated in the value chain, ranging from architectural and engineering studios, through to industrialists and universities and technological centres. By doing so, it strengthened the capabilities to link research and development with the search for new effective solutions to various facade-related problems (pathologies of materials and construction systems, design problems, etc.) which enriches perspectives, strengthens capabilities and boosts the search for solutions.

This edition of the congress enjoyed the collaboration and support of the Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Fachadas Ligeras y Ventanas [Spanish Association of Manufacturers of facades and Windows Light] (ASEFAVE), the architectural journal DETAIL and the Basque Government through its Department of Education, Universities and Research.

Moreover, companies such as REYNAERS, GUARDIAN, SIKA, TECHNAL, 3M, EA, VMZINC and LANIK sponsored the congress, which has contributed to the growth and consolidation of the architectural envelopes sector.