It is a curious thing when discussions on building facades can translate to personal growth. Innovations aren’t considered successful from conception through creation just for being new and state-of-the-art.  For something to be innovative, it has to have overcome obstacles. For people to be successful, the term implies overcoming obstacles and adapting in the face of difficulty. In the context of construction, that was the main focus of the last two discussions in the most recent Facade Tectonics Institute (FTI) dialogue series. The series took place virtually on March 26, moderated by Mic Patterson, ambassador of innovation and collaboration for FTI.

The penultimate speakers were Karl Stefan Dewald and Thmonas Haltenhof of Schüco International KG in Germany. Dewald, head of the façade business unit, and Haltenhof, head of innovation management, discussed principles for pushing change. Being focused, understanding timeliness, and embracing change were just a few of their presentation’s main takeaways. An idea may lead to problems, and those problems are to be worked on to come up with a solution – to learn from failures. Aside from the context of building and construction, these concepts can essentially be applied to one’s individual development. Still, Haltenhof and Dewald explained how Schüco learns to adapt one of its main products, aluminum, to other materials, such as wood and fabric, to ensure the industry’s progression.

The final speaker was Helen Sanders, general manager of Technoform North America, president of the Facade Tectonics Institute and a columnist and blogger  for USGlass magazine/USGNN™. Sanders offered her own take on façade innovations and examined the history of innovation in polyamide thermal barriers and posed the question of whether or not the industry needs innovations. She explained the different types of warm-edge insulating glass and thermally broken cladding attachments that improve thermal performance. Sanders said that there are requirements for a product to have at least three suppliers and have a 10-year track record of use, and these requirements hinder adoption and stifle innovation. However, the industry does require innovation, but not always in the immediately visible areas: codes, public policy and project delivery.

FTI’s discussion about pushing change only covered a fraction of innovations and growth occuring in the industry. Read about other sessions from the FTI dialogue series here and here.