Inhabitable Skin

Application
The Inhabitable Skin concept is a proto-typical investigation into the replacement of existing masonry cladding in high rise buildings. The low weight of the composite skin allows for additional floor space without impacting the existing building’s structure or foundations.

Why Composites?
The Inhabitable Skin concept investigates the potential for Polymer Matrix Composites (PMC) as structural elements for the building industry and is an exploration of the unique structural morphology of composites. The skin acts as a monocoque structure whose form is influenced by structural constraints and environmental conditions. PMC’s are uniquely suited to this application as the materials and methods of fabrication are intrinsically adaptable to the double curvature required for this type of structure.

Construction
The Inhabitable Skin is fabricated as an assembly of PMC cored panels finished with a thin layer of high density ceramic concrete on each face. This surface treatment provides the lightweight PMC structure with protection from UV exposure, fire and impact.

Adding Floor Space
The Inhabitable Skin is an innovative architectural use of PMC as a means to re-clad existing masonry veneer high-rise buildings by taking advantage of the inherent capacity of the building’s own structure. The difference in self weight between the removed masonry veneer and the composite skin creates the opportunity for supporting additional floor live loading without impacting the building’s existing structural system or foundations.

Contributors
Design Structural Engineer:    Craft Engineering Studies

Digital Fabrication and Composite Consultation   Kreysler and Associates

Materials Consultants:    Construction Solutions Inc., and Core Composites

Material Supplier:    Grancrete

 

Learn more about the use of composites in Exterior Cladding.