Expanding Our Understanding of Building Movement and Facade Joint Design

Date: April 23, 2018 4:00pm
Location: District Architecture Center

Monday, April 23, 2018

District Architecture Center (DAC)
421 7th Street NW 
Washington, DC 20004

DAC is close to several Metro stations, nearby street parking, and independent parking lots.

4:00 - 4:30PM Registration & Refreshments
4:30 - 6:00PM Presentation & Discussion
6:00 - 7:00PM Cocktail Reception

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for their attendance. Attendance is free and open to all; please invite colleagues. We will serve refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. Space is limited to the first 60 guests to register.


Joints within the building enclosure play a critical role in a facade’s overall performance and durability. Just like mechanical or electrical components, facade joints are vital parts of a building system – the enclosure system – and require thoughtful design. The design of facade joints must account for various construction tolerances and in-service building movements caused by temperature changes, occupancy loads, wind and seismic forces, and other phenomena to maintain the building enclosure’s air, water, and vapor continuity. Underestimating the importance of facade joint design can allow air and water infiltration and lead to premature failure. In this presentation, we will explore the building movements and tolerances that affect facade joints and discuss how to appropriately design joints to accommodate them.

After attending this seminar, participants will be able to: 

  • Identify the various movements and tolerances that affect facade joints.
  • Understand how to combine movements and tolerances to design facade joints.
  • Describe the various types of facade joints.
  • Understand the process for sizing joints for various facade systems.



Emily P. Appelbaum, P.E. | Senior Staff II
Emily Appelbaum has extensive experience designing, renovating, and investigating structures in Boston, Washington, DC, and elsewhere. She enjoys collaborating with architects, owners, and contractors to develop creative and efficient solutions to structural challenges, particularly in the education and health care fields. She is a member of the Women in Healthcare DC organization, and participates in the development of industry standards through her work on the ASCE 7-22 Load Combinations subcommittee.
John A. Jackson, AIA | Senior Staff II 
John Jackson specializes in facade and building enclosure design by combining his experience in both the architecture and structural engineering fields. He applies his creative and technical skills to the design and engineering of innovative facade systems, on projects both domestic and abroad, with particular expertise in curtain walls, double-skin facades, structural glass, and computational design. He has given numerous presentations on facade design and is a member of the AIA and ASTM Subcommittee E06.52 – Glass Use in Buildings.


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