Why is a building façade so important
A building façade does more than just look beautiful. From a design point of view, it plays a significant role since the facade sets the tone for the rest of the building. The façade or building envelop forms the outer skin of the structure working as an interface between the interior and exterior of a building, and is expected to be high performance. This means, it should play an important role in heat and light exchange ensuring comfort of the occupant. The façade is expected to be productive in managing energy efficiency, should be durable as well as below on maintenance costs, ultimately leading to the success of a project.
Facades are getting innovative
Facades today are not just meant to create the ‘wow’ factor but the design is often a result of integrated solutions that make the building work more efficiently in terms of sustainability. Facades can be single layers, double skinned or even tripled layered. They are conceived in layers, where materials come together as one complete system. A double skin façade consists of two glazing skins arranged with a ventilated intermediate cavity. Sun shading devices, such as operable blinds, can be installed within the ventilated cavity.
The role of high-performance skins is to protect the building from the elements, provide the occupants with fresh-air exchanges, collect solar energy through various technologies, harvest rainwater for cistern storage,heat water, and provide daylight and views to occupants while minimizing glare.
Use of newer materials and smarter technologies help façade architects and engineers come up with innovative and dynamic facades - systems that respond to nature in real time, creating an architecture that integrates multiple materials and systems into a singularly performing envelope. New materials expressing complex geometries are used to create through parametric design.
Indians are not behind
A good façade requires proper planning and execution right from the beginning of the project. Incorporating sustainable elements right from the orientation of the building, selection of the right design which will ensure freedom from future leakages and insulation, take note of building load bearing capacities in case of seismic movements, selection of materials and its final execution to incorporating building maintanence units, everything need to work in tandem to make the façade a world class one. Being in the nascent stages in India, while the façade industry still has a lot of challenges that need to be fixed, however the good news is, India is slowly but steadily catching up to the world of fascinating and innovative facades. There is a growing acceptability for good quality products and use of better efficient materials and applicators. Materials other than the conventional ACP and Glass are being experimented with, such as GRFC, Terracotta, HPL, Stone claddings, WPC, Metals such as Copper and Zinc, Steel. While Rainscreen facades, integrated photovoltaic cells are also getting popular, conventional materials like Brick and Concrete are being used in innovative ways to create the perfect façade designs that work and blend perfectly with the Indian conditions of climate such as dust, humidity and extreme weather conditions.These developments are not just restricted to metros but even smaller projects in smaller cities like Bhubhaneshwar & Jaipur are seeing exciting and interesting facades.