AWS Receives Excellence in Craft Honors for Third Consecutive Year
We are proud to announce that AWS earned the Honor Award for Excellence In Craft for Iowa State University Student Innovation Center from the Iowa Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. This marks the third year in a row AWS has received an honor award in this category. The Excellence in Craft Awards recognize craftspeople who demonstrate particular skill and inventiveness in the execution of their craft into the built environment.
From our entry:
"As teams embarked on the design and construction of Iowa State University’s new Student Innovation Center, they were entering uncharted territory: the first of its kind interdisciplinary facility on campus; flexible, yet highly efficient classroom, lecture and maker space; and a jaw-dropping pleated façade. Driven by the desire to create an energy efficient building with a primarily glass façade, intense research and creative thinking led the design to include a curtain wall system that accordions from pleated to planar in opposite directions from floor to floor – with alternating vision and spandrel panels.
Challenges encountered with this unique envelope design were solved through collaboration and innovative thinking. The entirely custom façade was unitized, maintaining the air barrier and water line at the back of the assembly. The pre-assembled pleated units included two insulated glass panels, a full-height shadow box behind one, and spandrel accommodations at the floor line (corner units were outliers, with three glass panels). The system was fine-tuned to include a very thin floor line joint and parapet condition, which allowed for a remarkably smooth transition from floor to floor. In addition to the aesthetic achievements, each pleated unit also offers occupants the ability to step out into the units at the finished floor level for views of the surrounding campus.
As a unitized system, the façade was assembled off-site. The depth of each unit varied considerably based on the angle of the pleats, so shipping and assembly had to be a very diligent and coordinated process. However, pre-fabrication offsite allowed for critical seals (system performance) and aesthetic details to be perfected in a controlled environment. Once on site, crews were able to enclose the building quickly. One of the biggest feats of installation was the massive three-sided corner units that weighed in at more than 4,000 lbs. each. "
Some comments from the jurors about the project include:
“This building is all about the facade.”
“The prefab modular system is a fantastic example of great craftsmanship.”