Adrienne Bowman-Grittini
Technical Service & Development
Dow, Auburn

With the evolution of tall buildings and the desire for increased building performance, silicone-based products have been leveraged for structural glazing and weatherproofing. Silicones’ durability and weatherability make them the optimal choice for reduced maintenance and increased life expectancy of buildings. A history of the structural silicone glazing evolution over the past 50+ years is provided. Examples of aging data from existing buildings are presented to demonstrate real-world performance, and an overview of today’s top 20 high-rise buildings are examined for the benefits brought by structural silicone.

Looking forward to the next 50 years of building design, increased computing capabilities allow for modeling of structural silicone as a hyperelastic material to analyze additional stresses due to glass rotation via finite element analysis. Currently, buildings account for nearly 40 percent of global energy consumption. In considering the impact of increased urban density, the building sector has a higher responsibility to ensure new and existing buildings reduce their energy intensities and deliver sustainable improvements to ensure the future of our cities. Silicone-based products will continue to enable high-performance buildings: ones that are energy-efficient, cost-effective, safe, flexible, aesthetically pleasing, and, most importantly, sustainable.