How the Evolution of Facades complies with Darwin’s Theory

Presented by:

  •  Albert van Grieken - Technical Director, Aurecon

This presentation provides a broad view of the history of facades, going all the way back to the Mesopotamian era BC through the Roman and Middle Ages period, then the all important Industrial Revolution period to and through to the present. This includes materials and systems and highlights for example, watershed developments such as the Crystal Palace, which was considered the birth of curtain walls and prefabrication. Furthermore, key dates such as the invention of glass and aluminium fabricating techniques and reinforced concrete along with relevant events such as the Chicago fire and the energy crisis etc. 

Albert is a Technical Director with Aurecon in Melbourne and the leader of the Facades and Remedial Engineering Group, with more that 30 years experience with new and existing facades. As a chartered professional engineer, he holds a Bachelor of Engineering and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and has been involved with a range of conference committees, including currently the international ICBEST committee. 

His experience with new facades includes highrise office and apartment buildings, education and health institutional buildings. Experience with existing buildings and structures covers a wide range, including highrise structures and facades, heritage facades, infrastructure such as bridges, wharfs and monuments. 

These projects were located across Australasia and Asia and include amongst others, the 90 storey Eureka Tower, Nauru house-the tallest façade overcladding project in the southern hemisphere, the unique Federation Square, remediation to the Opera House broadwalk and the old Parliament House facades. 

Albert is a frequent conference speaker and has contributed papers to professional journals and contributed three chapter to the book titled “Condition Assessment of Aged Structures”.


This event will be held in Lecture Theatre C1 at The University of Melbourne, Engineering Block C, Level 4. View map.

This event will start at  6:15pm, with refreshments from 5:45pm

All of the IStructE Technical Meetings are free to attend unless stated otherwise.