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blogpost – exteriors

Today’s blogpost is a straight-up experiment, a survey.

We’ve done some conceptual façade drawings lately, and I’m left with an open and obvious question: what material is right for a building exterior? In Raleigh the answer has traditionally been brick. Raleigh has clay under our feet and cheap energy. These are the ingredients for brick. Most existing 20th century buildings in town are brick. However, brick is an anachronism: today, it doesn’t support weight, it adds weight. Brick is installed by hand 2 inches by 8 inches at a time – it’s work for a craftsman, in an era without craftsmen. Brick doesn’t insulate, it traps moisture. It stops fire, and also stops daylight.

In the office, we received the new issue of GreenSource, my current favorite trade publication. Excluding the advertisements and conceptual work, following is a survey of the highlighted exterior materials, for reference. Here goes:

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P54 Chandler City Hall Chandler, AZ Quartzite stone, aluminum storefront glass, frosted glass $341/sf

P60 Kiowa County School Greensburg, KS Kansas limestone, Cyprus rainscreen $367/sf

P66 Vai Avenue Residence Cupertino, CA Fiber cement panel siding, cedar siding n/a cost

P70 Center of Excellence Syracuse, NY Aluminum storefront glass, concrete $491/sf

That’s it – four case studies with crazy high construction budgets, using local and durable exteriors and no brick. Good test, let’s try again next issue!

Andy Osterlund AIA | LEED AP
Andrew Osterlund, Architect, PLLC
19 W Hargett Street, Suite 700-A | Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 889 6823 | | TWITTER: aoarch

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Osterlund Architects is a full-service architecture and interior design firm, committed to our clients and their work from concept through construction, and through to their next opportunity. Our firm has expertise in all project phases, including programming, pre-design and planning through construction administration and closeout, as well as interior design, including furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE) services.

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