The building envelope: Then and now

The building envelope has been a staple of structural design for the past few hundred years and it's just as important today.

The procedures used in construction change all the time, but some methods aren’t going anywhere. Building envelope, a term for planned gaps in a structure, has been a staple of structure design for the past few hundred years and it’s just as important today. Let’s take a look at the progression of the building envelope to see just how far along the technique has come.

Since the dawn of mankind, civilization has relied on shelter for protection from the elements. As these structures began to progress alongside technology, the additions to the basic home became more advanced, as did the materials used. According to the National Institute of Building Sciences’ Whole Building Design Guide, the earliest known buildings were often dome-shaped, but early humans began to adapt to their respective climates in the world by utilizing different materials. Once distinct roofs, floors and walls began to emerge, our ancestors realized the importance of adapting to their respective environments beyond just protecting themselves from exposure. This led to the earliest practice of masonry utilizing building envelope.


How to prevent autumn building damage

Autumn carries unique conditions that can cause lackluster building performance - here's how architects can meet those challenges.

Autumn carries unique conditions that can cause lackluster building performance – here’s how architects can meet those challenges.