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Architectural Record

Joann Gonchar
July 2010 |

More Than Skin Deep

An integrated facade strategy helps designers create more comfortable and better-performing glass buildings.

"Frankfurt has a mild climate, with long, benign shoulder seasons, making it well suited for such an approach. But a double-skin can also be incorporated into a coordinated strategy for energy conservation and occupant comfort in buildings in more extreme environments, as illustrated by the $271 million headquarters for public utility Manitoba Hydro. The 700,000-square-foot building opened in September in downtown Winnipeg, Canada — a city with short and humid summers and long and brutal winters. It has the dubious distinction of being the coldest city on the planet with a population of 600,000 or more.

Despite the harsh conditions, the client and its design team, led by Toronto-based Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB), opted for a highly transparent structure. But by deploying a host of tightly coordinated features, including a double-skin, they’ve created a tower expected to consume only a third of the energy of a code-compliant office building."

The complete article is available in the July 2010 issue of Architectural Record, and on their website: