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Flow + Flux

Submission for the Metals in Construction Magazine 2018 Design Challenge.

The 500 Kent Avenue Tower in New York pushes building facade design to embrace the flow and flux of the site’s most unique resources: people, information and city. An understanding of the various site forces acting upon the tower focused the design on harvesting wind and solar energy.

The facade system uses multiple factors to address energy demands, thermal performance goals, and excellent interior comfort, while still adhering to standards of fire safety, waterproofing, and sound attenuation. The independent facade module features sharply pleated geometry and a piezoelectric energy harvesting system. The latter allows wind to flow around the sides of each module and forces higher wind pressures into the piezoelectric sails, generating electricity. The facade geometry is the result of computational fluid dynamics software, wind tunnel simulators and algorithmic irradiance and daylighting scripts from Grasshopper for Rhino 5 3D.