The Importance of Façade Engineering
Kate Becket reports on the subject of facade engineering. This involves not only what the structure will look like, but how it will function in terms of energy efficiency and sustainable footprint.
The construction industry sees facade engineering growing in importance. Over the last couple of decades more and more building projects have incorporated a cladding system into their design.
Although they are aesthetically more pleasing than the bare concrete jungles that cropped up in the 1960s, façades are far more than just putting on a pretty dress to cover unsightly lumps and bumps. A properly designed façade can help reduce the building’s energy consumption, too. Improving natural lighting and offering better airflow makes a façade-clad building both functional and easy on the eye.
This makes sense as architects now have to look at a more holistic strategy when it comes to designing a building and the façade is clearly a major factor in that process. With ever-changing regulations regarding green construction, façades are the most important part of a building to get right as they can considerably affect the structures lighting, heating and ventilation.
Unfortunately, this does not come inexpensively, with the façade often accounting for up to 35 percent of the overall build costs. However, this cost is deemed to be worthwhile so long as the design is sound. A well-designed façade for a sustainable building will bring energy costs down considerably, and add to the lifespan of the building. Sustainability is clearly a key issue in today’s construction industry with many different products being used in ways and combinations that will hopefully bring about a lower environmental impact in the future.
With this is mind, façade engineering is now a fast growing industry in its own right and façade engineers are constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve a building’s performance. Monitoring everything from the design phase through to the installation is essential as façades are notoriously difficult to accurately predict and are often regarded as the highest risk element of any build. Making sure that the façade behaves in the way it is supposed to can mean the difference between a successful project and an outright failure.
The final factor to be taken into consideration is what the building will actually be like for living or working. It is down to the façade engineer to provide the future occupants with a comfortable space in which to operate so everything from the amount of light that will enter the building through to the levels of noise from the external environment has to be taken into consideration.
Couple this with the green issues and the fact that the building will need to be able to blend into its surroundings and you can see why façade engineering poses so many challenges. Nevertheless, it is these challenges that make the job of a façade engineer one of the most interesting and creative within the modern building industry today.
Author: Kate Beckett is interested in facade engineering who is at all times interested in taking up the ever-changing and reforming business. She is interested in all types of metal cladding and building materials. She loves to write on topics of recyclable cladding and building materials.
Image Credit to www.turenscape.com