How to Design a High-Performance Facade
Facades play a vital part in the overall aesthetics and technical performance of a building. Modern buildings have façade design as one of the significant elements of building construction, representing up to 35% of construction costs.
With the increasing complexity and performance demand on buildings, there is a need to make façade design part of a holistic strategy. A façade design should fit the weather and climate of the project area and complement the existing building style and materials.
Pointers to Include in Facade Design to Increases Its Performance
A facade design should get include many factors to improve its performance. A few of them are listed down:
Quantity and Quality of Daylight Penetration
Facades have an incredible impact on the daylight penetrating inside the building. While designing a building façade, we should consider the daylight quantity measured by spatial daylight autonomy and daylight quality measured by annual solar exposure. A building’s massing, window-to-wall ratio, glass orientation, glass visual transmittance, solar shading strategies, etc., impacts the amount and quality of daylight penetration inside a building.
A façade design and active and passive sustainable strategies can vary the energy use of the building. Designers need to evaluate the building’s location, orientation to the sun, material, and construction method to determine the best path toward an energy-efficient façade. For example, solar shading as a passive strategy helps improve building performance. It includes the amount of shading added, building massing, glazing placement, envelop properties, fenestration performance, and traditional and modern shading elements.
Natural Light and Passive Heat Gain
A high-performance façade should consider the amount of natural lighting and heat gain that enters the building interior. Designers need to conduct radiation and glare studies in the early design phase to select the right strategies. It helps make the building prioritize occupant health, comfort, and productivity.
Acoustics can significantly reduce occupant productivity, and one of the factors of acoustic comfort is façade materiality. We can use noise-reducing insulation or materials with similar properties for façade design. It can minimize noise and enable higher productivity levels for the building’s occupants.
In buildings, 39%-80% of the total carbon footprint is due to embodied carbon from the building’s material. Embodied carbon refers to the Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emitted during the extraction, manufacture, transportation, construction, replacement, and deconstruction of building materials, together with the end-of-life emissions.
We can reduce 80% of a building’s embodied carbon while designing the building and its façade. We should optimize and standardize the façade detailing, consider a balance between aesthetics and selection and material quantities of finish systems, consider low carbon form factor while designing the building massing, design for disassembly and replacement, etc.
Symmetry and Uniformity
Symmetry brings a mathematical discipline to the design and adds a sense of logic and order to the spaces. Considering symmetry and uniformity in façade design avoids complicating the design, or any clashes. Designers can explore their creativity by using complementary themes and uniform styling of facades giving a pleasing building look.
Scale, Proportion, and Rhythm
A façade should balance the height and width of the building in relationship to its surroundings. Incorporate frequent doors and windows with few blank walls and narrow frontage buildings to give a more vertical rhythm, projections & voids through bay windows use, balconies and porches, and lively internal uses visible from the exterior or projecting outside. We can use materials and details that show care in design and execution. Also, consider the treatment of the base, middle, and top in the overall façade composition.
Facade Design from the Best at Skytree
Skytree Consulting is an engineering services provider having expertise in Civil and Structural Engineering Solutions
. The organization offers façade engineering solutions to various industrial, commercial, domestic, and skyscraper projects. Skytree has a team of experienced façade engineers that work closely with architects, consultants, and other project stakeholders to provide high-performing façade design for the project considering all the relevant factors. Contact us to get a custom quote and project milestone elaborations from one of our senior engineers.