United Architectural Metals realizes the importance of the building facade in overall building performance. The facade is the most critical system of any given project and has the opportunity to affect other building systems directly based on its performance. A correctly, responsibly, designed, built and installed facade is capable of lowering the demands placed on building electrical systems, HVAC loads, and occupant comfort – which ultimately causes increased productivity. The facade has been placed at a wide range of impact on overall building loads, but some figures state the building envelope as being responsible for up to 60-70% of the buildings total energy consumption. Once lighting, heating and cooling, ventilation, and maintenance are factored into the equation it becomes easy to see how these numbers are possible. As such, we encourage all projects to be as sustainable as possible, and strive to meet any sustainability requirements outlined in the project specifications, whether it is LEED certification or not.
Many of the projects at UAM are LEED certified buildings. We have in-house capabilities of performing thermal analysis of building details and transitions as well as checks for condensation and dew point analysis. Combined with the expertise of our design team and capabilities of utilizing BIM, as well as advanced modeling programs to gain the best possible understanding of a detail, we can provide the best performance possible, even in the trickiest situations.
UAM recognizes that sustainability starts in the manufacture and production of goods. As such, high importance is placed on lean manufacturing techniques such as eliminating waste through optimization, reduced inventory, just in-time production, continuous improvement and built-in quality. These techniques help to maintain a steady work flow that fully utilizes available resources in order to meet project deadlines in an on-time manner with the highest possible quality of products. UAM even uses custom reusable metal bunks as opposed to traditional wood ones to ship the units from shop to job site to help reduce wasted packaging.
Sustainable Building Techniques
UAM uses multiple programs to help provide advanced input in order to maximize value and performance because this is the most influential phase of any project in terms of design influence and ultimate overall sustainability. Some of the programs used include: Revit, Inventor, Rhino, Grasshopper, Therm, C-beam, Ecotect, and rendering software such as VRay and 3ds Max.
Through the use of these tools UAM has worked along side architects to design and fabricate custom facade elements focused on improving building performance such as:
- Custom perforated sunshades for CSU Center for Innovation in Health Professions
- Double facade for Case Western Reserve Student Center
- Sunshades on Smuckers Corporate HQ
- Vertical dichroic glass fins on CMU Scott Hall
- Inclusion of custom blind pockets integral to the curtain wall system
- Custom silkscreen patterns and layouts for light transmittance control