Process of Elimination

In participating in this study revolving the facade choice for the Physics and Nanotechnology Building, I learned an immense amount. We started, as most members of our class did, by surveying multiple facades from all three categories. After analyzing over at least 20 facades we came to the conclusion that zinc was our best option. This process proved to be much more difficult than initially anticipated. We found it difficult because the categories for justifying the materials purpose varied from too broad to too specific. I found this initial process very interesting because I had not realized how much thought and collaboration is put into aesthetic decisions.

Not only was aesthetics a category but we also debated the material sustainability as well as the sustainability of the building as a whole. Too often today all building materials are advertised as sustainable and efficient. This process of narrowing down seven categories into five categories helped us realize the authentic verse imitations. The five categories that we narrowed it down to were sustainability/availability, green building operation, aesthetic operation, construction methods/knowledge, and economy. We felt that these five categories gave us a better perspective of the benefits that these materials can bring to the facade. Not only is zinc the best choice of our options, it is also a good choice for buildings other than the Physics and Nanotechnology Building. From these five categories I learned that zinc is 100% recyclable and the patina renews itself over its lifespan. Lasting between 200-300 years, zinc requires little to no maintenance. I now understand why material selection is rarely executed by a single individual. The collaboration between my teammates put me in a more realistic situation and I feel as though we approached it in the best way possible. 


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