Enclos’ services have proven especially effective in any building program including innovative content in the form of advanced design, materials, systems or installation methods, and in programs incorporating BIM and LEED. We provide comprehensive design-assist and design-build services.
The foundation of a successful facade or curtainwall project is innovative system design and engineering. Our D&E group develops custom solutions to each new project, derived from a robust framework of Enclos technology and know-how. Design considerations range from the aesthetic and performance requirements determined in collaboration with the architect, to the fabrication and installation requirements that must be anticipated by the system design to assure a successful project completion.
With an extensive in-house design group and a long history of experience in the design and development of custom curtainwall and advanced facade systems, Enclos provides unparalleled design service to the AEC industry. From concept development to BIM facades, from virtual construction to multiple facade simulations, the Enclos design team has the experience and expertise to deliver comprehensive engineered solutions to the most challenging facade program.
In addition to 3D modeling and BIM, the Enclos team can provide analyses ranging from finite-element analysis (FEA) to computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Our advanced visualization and simulation capabilities have also proven valuable to both the design and build teams of our diverse client groups.
With growing pressure for superior performance at competitive cost, building skins have become increasingly complex. We understand the importance of early technical input into facade development during the schematic phase of a new building design, and specialize in providing comprehensive design-assist and design-build services. We recognized the importance of emerging design tools and practices early on, and embraced Building Information Modeling (BIM) and LEED for the facade so that we could integrate them into our service offerings as appropriate. In addition, we maintain one of the most ambitious research and development programs in the industry as a means of keeping our service offerings at the cutting-edge of advanced facade design practice.
Design and Engineering Capabilities
With roots extending back to the advent of the glass curtainwall in the mid–twentieth century, Enclos has deep experience and expertise with the array of design and engineering requirements characteristic of the building facade, including system design and analysis involving:
- blast resistance
- impact resistance
- thermal performance
- acoustical performance
- facade systems testing
- custom systems development
The ultimate success of a challenging building program is often rooted in the conceptual design. The decisions made (or not made) during concept development can have enormous impact as design and construction progress. This is also the time when the design team is often working with the least information. Our powerful skill set is often solicited by the design team early in the process in the form of:
- facade concept development
- design development
- continuous estimating
- constructability review
In response to our clients needs, we have adopted advanced working methods and contracting strategies that facilitate the provision of these services in the most efficient and economical manner early in the design process. We typically work on a design-build basis, and have provided design-assist services on many projects.
3D Modeling and Form-Finding
As a provider of innovative curtainwall systems and structural glass facades, the Enclos design team is frequently involved with complex building form and surface geometry. In support of this work, the company has developed an extensive expertise in 3D modeling and advanced form-finding techniques.
Facade System Analysis
A remarkable aspect of the building skin is the number of performance attributes associated with it that can so impact overall building behavior, ranging from user comfort to energy consumption. Armed with a building model, a plethora of innovative software programs, and many years of experience, the Enclos engineering team can provide a wide variety of analysis on the building facade beyond structural, including:
- thermal: Therm, Window
- acoustical: proprietary
- daylighting: Radiance, 3D Studio
- ventilation and convection: Flovent, ANSYS CFX
- energy and climate: Ecotect, Climate Consultant
Enclos employs 13 structural engineers with licenses in 29 States, including structural certifications in California and Illinois.
We are expert in the traditional design associated with building envelopes: wind, thermal, snow loads and building movements (including seismic). But the design capability only begins here. The firm has evolved the expertise to perform non-linear analysis as required to support advanced facade designs, including blast design and cable structures. Enclos uses STAAD as its 3D static analysis software along with pre-programmed Mathcad templates for component design. FEA and non-linear analysis are supported by Strand and SpaceGASS.
Recent in-house research resulted in advancements in theories related to the deflection of thin plates, load sharing and pressure equalization models for spandrel and shadowbox cavities, as well as advanced component design for wall systems in hurricane zones.
Advanced Visualization and Simulation
The Enclos design and engineering team employs a variety of analytical and visualization tools and techniques to create various simulations of building behavior. We also develop simulations to illustrate processes, with installation method prime among them. These tools and techniques are an important part of the way we work and communicate with our clients.
We use a variety of software tools to facilitate the visualization process, including: Autocad 3D, Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, 3D Studio, Maya, Revit, and others. Rapid prototyping and the extensive use of mockups are also fundamental to our work process.
There are many applications for simulation, from heat transfer during design development to installation strategy. In fact, site constraints and installation concerns can become a predominant issue from the very beginning of many building projects. Our site operations teams have consistently developed innovative solutions to a wide variety of unique site and construction requirements. On many occasions our ability to demonstrate these solutions during the pre-award phase of a project has proven a valuable aid in site planning and logistics, and in facilitating coordination between subcontractors.
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
BIM is another emergent technology that Enclos has been actively involved with for years as both internal process, and increasingly, as part of a building program. The BIM program varies widely between projects, but Enclos has demonstrated the adaptability to respond to any desired level of BIM development and interface with the design and build teams. We have worked on a variety of software platforms involving 3D, 4D and 5D components. We have worked with the design team in developing an information model that can be passed to the build team, and we have worked with the build team in adapting design information models to the needs of construction.
The building facade has important implications for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system established by the Unites States Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is a point-based rating system that certifies buildings to a uniform standard of energy and environmental criteria. Commercial building projects are increasingly pursuing LEED certification as developers recognize the beneficial aspects of a more efficient building. There are four levels on a 100 point scale, with basic certification requiring 40 points, Silver 50 points, Gold 60 points, and Platinum at a minimum of 80 points. Facade systems provided by Enclos are featured on many LEED certified buildings at all levels including Platinum. Our technical staff has worked with the design and build teams on these projects to assure that the influence of the building skin is optimized for LEED point considerations.
Enclos has provided design-assist services to leading architects on many landmark projects. The AIA Best Practices document The Basics of Design-Assist Contracting, defines the practice as “a construction management method to improve quality and maintain cost.” The design-assist process has proven to be effective in mitigating the risk posed by unique and complex design requirements, and the use of emergent materials and specialized technology. Requests for information and changes are characteristically dramatically reduced. Design-assist is essentially a contractual method to involve the necessary specialty expertise as early as possible in the design process.
Enclos provides most of its work on a design-build basis, meaning that the firm designs and engineers the custom facade solutions it provides, in addition to manufacturing and installing them. The design and engineering requirements range widely in scope and complexity, as evidenced in the body of work completed by Enclos. No project is too large or too complex for the firm’s sizeable and capable design and engineering team.
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
IPD is an emerging project delivery strategy promoted by the AIA that, like design-assist, recognizes the importance of involving key subcontractors, vendors and material suppliers early in the design process. As building programs become increasingly complex, incorporating innovative design, materials, processes, and products, it is vital to the project that this early involvement be facilitated. IPD is a contractual strategy for accomplishing this. Enclos has experienced the value of this early involvement first-hand on many projects, and has positioned itself to provide the highest level of facade design services starting in the early schematic phase and carrying on through design development.