Two professionals with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) will be headline speakers at the upcoming Facades+AM conference at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco on December 7. The conference series aims to create a dialogue about building skins, bridging the profession, industry, academia, operations, and ownership.

The technology of high-performance facades is rapidly changing and has emerged as a key to building integration. Event organizers see the skin of a structure as a central component to resilient buildings and a sustainable built environment.

"The building skin combines attributes of appearance and performance like nothing else in architecture," says the conference website. "The well rounded, informed dialogue will inform and inspire."

Facades+AM is a condensed, morning forum version of the larger, two-day​ Facades+ event, which travels around the country. Focused on issues specific to San Francisco, the conference includes nine speakers in three sessions: Redefining Residential Architecture, High Performance Design + The Thermal Envelope, and Facades: The Next Generation.

John Kuchen, associate director and technical designer with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), will be the chair of the conference, while SOM's Olivier Brouard, associate and sustainable engineering specialist, will also present during a session on high performance design.

Other speakers include Clark Manus, CEO of Heller Manus Architects; Anne Fougeron, CEO with Fougeron Architecture; Cynthia Parker, president, CEO of BRIDGE Housing; Colin Shane, associate/senior project manager with RDH Building Science; and William Burke, with PG&E Pacific Energy Center.

Additional presenters are Jason Kelly Johnson, co-founder + design partner with Future Cities Lab / CCA; Colin Touhey, CEO/founder of Pvilion; and Sanjeev Tankha,
principal / director of facade engineering with Walter P Moore.

Attendees to the conference include architects, building envelope specialists, construction professionals, developers, engineers, materials specialists, manufacturers, and aia members.

After the morning event there will be a Tile of Spain Lunch served to attendees. This session will detail the use of high performance ceramic tile panels in rain screens and curtain wall systems. Presented by Ryan Fasan, Tile of Spain Consultant and ceramic tile specialist, the program will examine how the advanced materials and performance systems are designed today specifically for exterior cladding of buildings large or small.

The discussion will explore common system components and their relation to building performance and sustainability; look at differences between ventilated facades and rainscreen systems; and explore the myriad of advanced ceramic panel collections and their benefits versus traditional cladding materials. 

The Facades+ conference will be held on December 7 at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. For more information, visit: