Principal investigators: Kihong Ku and Brian George

University: Thomas Jefferson University

Industry partner: Lightweight Manufacturing

Despite significant energy and environmental benefits, façade retrofits can often be costly and disruptive to operations and occupants. Overcladding which involves installing new cladding outside of an existing exterior façade is a façade retrofitting strategy that minimizes disruptions to the occupants during the repair. Tensioned textile façade systems offer a viable solution for lighter-weight overcladding applications. However, there currently are no panelized textile façade products available in the market that are modular, and substantially premanufactured to accomplish the specific requirements of thermal insulation, light transmission, and airflow, for retrofitting. This project engages students in theoretical analyses, lab-scale testing, and detailed engineering with industry experts to develop a kit-of-parts panelized tensioned fabric system that allows custom configurations of high-performance polyvalent fabrics to overclad existing building exteriors. We will work with Lightweight Manufacturing, Inc., to advance a novel energy-efficient environmentally friendly façade retrofit solution that can be manufactured economically in Pennsylvania.