The VS1 system is the outcome of a commitment to simplicity, innovative design, and a response to sustainability in architecture. Integration of elements into a unified whole is the driver of the design approach. The work of Franz Safford carried out over 28 years prior to the invention sowed the seeds for VS1, a truly original kit of parts for building envelopes. Combining the powerful design and detailing attributes of point supported glazing strategies with the efficiency of aluminum production, VS1 delivers an extraordinary level of design at unprecedented value. 

  Eskind Library at Vanderbilt University: First tension-truss glass enclosure in US after completion of the Louvre Pyramid, 1991. 

Eskind Library at Vanderbilt University: First tension-truss glass enclosure in US after completion of the Louvre Pyramid, 1991. 

  UBS Tower, Chicago: First cable-net glass wall in the US.

UBS Tower, Chicago: First cable-net glass wall in the US.

  Security and Exchange Commission Headquarters, Washington DC.: First hypar shaped cable-net wall/roof enclosure in the world.

Security and Exchange Commission Headquarters, Washington DC.: First hypar shaped cable-net wall/roof enclosure in the world.

Underlying the system is a strong background in engineering, design and execution of innovative projects. The work Franz did at ASI Advanced Structures Incorporated (1991 to 2007) included work in:

 
  • exotic steel alloys
  • aluminum
  • carbon fiber
  • castings
  • high tolerance components
  • structural glass
  • introduction of cable net technology to the United States
  • long span structures up to 400 ft
  • integrated steel/glass tension structures
  • several world record achievements.

Extensive empirical testing to validate theoretical modeling was central to the success of the projects and continues today with VS1. The system represents a continuation of the theme championed by ASI: the implementation of innovative building technology. It is through the many first-of designs and working though some extraordinarily complex details that the idea crystallized leading to the spark that became VS1. It was forged in the furnace of innovation. 

  Time Warner Center, New York City. World-record cable net span at the time of construction in 2001. 

Time Warner Center, New York City. World-record cable net span at the time of construction in 2001. 

  TKTS Booth, New York City.  First all-structural glass enclosure in operational use in the world. 

TKTS Booth, New York City.  First all-structural glass enclosure in operational use in the world. 

The project images noted here are excerpts of Franz’s work prior to inventing the VS1 system. The question posed at the time the system was developed: “Can we capture the innovative possibilities of the custom ASI solutions with a more cost effective outcome?” The high-end solutions that ASI created had associated high costs due to their unique and custom nature as compared to standard systems. The solutions were excellent responses to the modern needs of better performing building skins but the associated high cost relegated their use only to the feature area of buildings.

VS1 has achieved an installed cost level that allows entire buildings to be wrapped with the system at comparable costs to conventional systems, including unitized walls.

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