Architects and Engineers are Invited to the Composites Conference with a Special, Day-long Architecture-Focused Event

Architects and Engineers are Invited to the Composites Conference with a Special, Day-long Architecture-Focused Event

Check out what’s happening in Denver:

Composites are appearing in many types of architecture.  They present great design opportunities, but come with some genuine challenges.  The current and future use of composites in architecture will be explored in a day-long conference in Denver on May 15, 2013.  It will feature speakers from a broad variety of perspectives who will discuss both the potential applications and the real-world challenges of this emerging construction material.

The event is the Architectural Track of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) Western Chapter Conference, and runs in parallel with the Corrosion, Mining and Infrastructure (CMI) Conference May 15-16.  Attendees at one will have access to both.

“The Architectural Track is intended as an educational session to provide real information about how to use composites, when to and when not to,” comments William Kresyler, one of the chief organizers of the track as well as a presenter. “We have experts from the design, fabrication, and regulatory communities, who can offer qualified, unbiased information and frank commentary that separates fact from fiction. I hope for extensive participation of the attendees including lots of questions, because these presenters are people with real answers.”

Keynote speaker Greg Lynn – the man who coined the term “blob architecture” or blobitecture – is a noted designer and architect, and an authority on the use of composite materials in construction. He is a Studio Professor at UCLA’s school of Architecture and Urban Design (where he is currently spearheading the development of an experimental research robotics lab), and the Davenport Visiting Professor at Yale University. He was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most innovative people in the world for the 21st century, and by Forbes Magazine (2005) as one of the ten most influential living architects.

Lynn will discuss the unique sensibility that is developing around the use of composite materials, a separate aesthetic that minimizes components and has a different relationship to the act of construction. He will offer examples of design that responds to composite materials and their properties, especially their light weight, translucency, and versatility of form.

Among the presenters will be:

  • Shane McCormick, PE, SE of Denver-based Martin and Martin Engineers
  • Doug Evans, PE, Chief Building Inspector for Clark County, NV, where he gained extensive experience with the practical aspects of architectural FRP used on Las Vegas casinos
  • Nick Dembsey, PhD PE, Fire Sciences Lab, Worchester Polytechnic Institute, a leading authority on the fire performance of composite materials used in construction
  • Robert L. Moffit, Product Manager for resin manufacturer Ashland Reactive Chemicals, a chemical engineer and certified LEED Green Associate is a member of ACMA’s Green Composites committee and served on the Architectural committee
  • William Kreysler, President of Kreysler and Associates, a leading fabricator and consultant on FRP and digital fabrication for architecture and large-scale sculpture.

Sessions will cover such topics as:

An introduction to composites in architecture, from Neolithic huts to 21st century facades, including numerous examples of major contemporary architectural applications and large-scale public sculpture;

How digital fabrication is used to create large-scale architectural elements, both unique and repeatable, including entire houses;

An overview of the broader composites industry, including who uses composites, why other industries have embraced composite materials to solve a wide variety of environmental, economic and quality control challenges, how these benefits translate to architecture, and surprising new data on how FRP fits into the sustainability equation;

Composites from a code official’s viewpoint, offering insight on what inspectors look for when reviewing applications where combustible materials are involved;

The science of building materials and evaluating fire code compliance, addressing the use of FRP in construction from a fire research perspective, emphasizing the wide variety of materials and their safe use;

FRP composite bridges and other civil engineering applications that use FRP composites, and why they are important to architects;

How to use composites with other materials, including connections, imbeds, material coordination, and how FRP materials co-exist with steel, concrete and other building materials;

Evaluating composite options for architecture from the professional engineer’s perspective, what to look for, how to look for it, and what an engineer expects from fabricators;

The keynote: A vision for the future of composites in architecture: where do we go from here, and why.

Attendees at the Architectural Track will qualify for 6.5 professional development hours (PDH).

AIA Members: Watch this space for further developments.

The Architectural Track happens May 15, 2013, from 8:45 AM – 5 PM at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. A reception will follow.

For further information, visit