Earlier this year architect Charles Nelson AIA LFRAIA wrote about the Disruptive Frosting on the Cake in PSMJ, a business journal for the AEC community. In the piece, he talks about how our new software platform ShopFloor is providing instant pricing for decorative facades.

“Bill Zahner is to be congratulated for taking a bold step in bridging a gap between design idea and construction cost; he’s brought System Thinking to building frosting. That’s good for all concerned and no doubt will pave the way for other similar advances.”

What Nelson gets right, and he’s one of the first to really understand this, is that CloudWall and the upcoming tools from our ShopFloor platform “reduce the cost of their facade” and eliminate the temptation to further reduce the design with value engineering — because it all occurs within the software:

“…Architectural cake-frosting is back in vogue in big and often highly imaginative ways. Except where surface ornamentation serves some other function, like energy-saving, this “gilding of the lily” adds cost to design just as it has done throughout history.

Architects have to demonstrate that the decoration that separates their designs from boring old boxes add value to the real estate […] in order to safely run the gauntlet of the machete gang who call themselves “value engineers.” Therefore any tool that allows them to reduce the cost of their facade treatment, or to determine it in advance and get the client’s approval of it as a justified “enhancement,” is good news.

This software allows architects to design any façade they want, and to see “in real time,” the cost of having it realized in a finished product by Zahner. Thus, they can tinker with the design and see the cost go up or down.”
Screenshot of ShopFloor, a web-based tool for manufacturing custom architecture.
Screenshot of ShopFloor, a web-based tool for manufacturing custom architecture.

It’s a great editorial, and the architectural community is about to discover that CloudWall’s “decorative” aspect is just the beginning. In the next few weeks we’ll be unveiling some new systems that merge function with decoration, providing a cost-effective way to build a high-performance glass and metal envelope systems for new and existing buildings.

Also, CloudWall does in-fact provide a high-performance functional sun-blocking, privacy and shading for a building’s interior. On our own building the facade is used to bring in more light from the north, blocking out the heat of setting sun. Read the full article by enrolling in a membership to PSMJ AEC Resources Journal.