Wednesday 25th October 2006. Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Marc Zobec, Permasteelisa, shows that “thinking outside the box” is not limited to the design itself, but also thinking “outside the box” of current standard building procurement, engineering, and construction management practices at the CTBUH 2006 Chicago Conference held in the Herman Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology. One of the key builidng technologies that remains in constant evolution is that of the exterior envelope. In recent years, architects have evolved design of the building form from regular cubic and rectilinear to free-flowing, non-linear surfaces. But where does the constraint to achieve this lie? In order to achieve a cost-effective solution, does the answer lie in the use of innovative new materials or does it mean extending the boundaries of existing materials? Are the boundaries of architectural free form based on the ability to visually model the surface alone, or is it an understanding of how to transform and interface the data produced from advanced computer modelling into computer aided manufacturing systems? Does this attract a cost premium? This presentation also encompasses the methodology successfully used on a number of projects, to realize a free-form building surface from concept to engineering, and through to production and installation, as well as the collaboration required between the facade contractor and the architect.