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The Evolution of the Facade System


The global facades market size is expected to reach USD 339.46 billion by 2024, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. The rise in construction-related activities, which are an economic barometer stimulating demand, is estimated to drive the market growth over the forecast period. Furthermore, technological innovations have led to the development of energy saving facade materials. These advanced products absorb solar energy and find a widespread adoption in many commercial and residential buildings as a secondary source of electricity generation.

The industry is expected to grow at a considerable rate over the forecast period. This growth is ascribed to the rising consumer spending power, primarily in China, Japan, India, Brazil, and GCC countries, along with the need to provide a secure work environment to employees.

The rise in demand

– The facade combines attributes of both appearance as well as superior performance in a manner, unlike any other building system. The development of sustainable facades materials offering the capability of shielding buildings from environmental conditions such as heat, the wind, and rain is a primary factor expected to drive ventilated facades growth, and the segment accounted for more than 40% of the overall revenue share in the year 2015.
– The facade of your building is the first thing that strikes the eyes of people visiting you. It says a lot about your design choices. The kind of facade you opt for plays a major role in terms of making your building stand out aesthetics wise as well as function wise. The product demand in commercial buildings is expected to remain high over the next eight years owing to the growing need for better safety measures and ambiance in corporate and the hospitality industry.
– Asia Pacific dominated the industry and accounted for over 30% of the global share in 2015, which is expected to grow considerably over the next eight years, mainly due to the notable growth in the commercial and residential real estate sectors.

The evolution of the facade system

Building Facade started its journey way back in 807 B.C in Japan where wooden logs were used as facade material and traveled to most of the world and used local building material as clay, lime , wood and stone to create a facade.

The Prominent facade material was clay, wood and stone and glass also started making an inroad by 1800 Century in Europe. Most of the world’s popular buildings have best facade designs and one of the reasons for its popularity.

Pyramids of Egypt, Most of the Roman Buildings, the Red fort in Delhi, Taj Mahal in Agra and Hawamahal at Jaipur, Parliament Building at Delhi, India Gate at Delhi and Gateway of India, Lotus temple in Delhi are the best examples of great facade designs. If you consider the life of the buildings mentioned above, their facade designs had played a vital role in its life with various in built features.

With Inception of Modern technology in building construction stone and glass took an important position as preferred faced material and stayed for a long period in 1900 century. With help of western designs and space crunch in major cities, Natural Stone, Glass, and aluminum composite panel has got favored as preferred facade material and as on date most preferred material.

Steel facades:

A variety of steel components may be used in modern facade systems, such as Steel profiled sheets and composite (sandwich) panels, Flat and rigidized cassette panels with folded edges, Light steel infill walls Hollow steel sections, Stainless steel glazing support systems, to name a few. Steel Facade system offers a variety of colours and surface textures is possible. It also minimizes the loads on the supporting structure. It also an installation in lesser times. As steel is non-combustible and robust to damage in façade panels. A high level of thermal and acoustic insulation can be provided.

Panel Framing

Panels are framed by mullions on the vertical edges and transoms on the horizontal edges. Mullions and transoms are thermally broken to prevent cold bridging through the element so that condensation does not occur. Unitized curtain walling is identifiable by the presence of split mullions and transoms on the panel perimeters. These structural shapes are cheap to manufacture in large quantities once a die has been made.


Curtain Walling

Curtain walling is the generic name given to metallic lightweight cladding or glazed cladding systems that are directly supported by a structural frame. In some cases, a stone veneer or large tiled fascia may be attached to give the appearance of a more monolithic cladding system. Curtain wall systems are an assembly of factory-made components which are either made up into panels in the factory and the interlocking units brought to the site and installed (unitized curtain walling) or brought to site as components and assembled on the building (stick curtain walling).

Clay Facade

Clay facades are nothing but the panels made of terracotta that can be cladded on the exterior walls or facade of any building. Though glass and aluminium based facades have been recent additions to Indian cityscapes, borrowed largely from the west, but clay facades like facing bricks or clay facade tiles have been in use for many years. Clay facades are the outcome of sophisticated technology and advanced firing processes and hence are highly resistant to the exterior environment. When compared to paint, which can look smudgy with dust and dirt, clay facades, retain the colour for a longer period of time. Since they are made of terracotta. Their weather resistance power makes them highly durable which last for decades.

Brick Slip Systems

Modern brickwork can be manufactured in the form of brick slips that are attached to a supporting steel sheet or composite panel. The advantage of this system is that it is lightweight and can be installed rapidly as mortar is not necessarily required. Brick slips can also be stacked vertically, and ribbon or unusual shaped windows can be created for architectural effect.

Steel and glass facades

Steel and glass are synergistic materials and are often used in facades and roofs of multi-storey buildings. The glass panels are generally supported by separate vertical steel elements to the main structural frame of the building that may be internal or external to the building. Stainless steel and hollow steel sections are often used in combination with glass.

Glazed facade systems

The glazed walling system is designed to provide the necessary functions of weather-tightness, natural lighting and shading, and thermal insulation. The glazing panels are usually supported by vertical mullions or in some cases, glass fins. The glass is designed to accommodate the movement of its support system due to the wind and other forces acting on it. Typical deflection limits under the design wind loads are defined by the Institution of Structural Engineer.

Double-skin facades

This is formed of two glass walls separated by a cavity on south-facing elevations and are used to reduce the energy consumption of a building. Shading devices are usually mounted in the cavity and, depending on its width, walkways for access and cleaning. This type of façade has many variations in the arrangement.

The two skins form a thermal buffer zone and passive solar gains in the cavity reduce heat losses in winter. If the cavity ventilation is integrated with the building services, air heated by the sun can be introduced into the building, providing good natural ventilation and reducing the heating load and vice versa during summer.

Aluminum Composite Panel

Aluminum Composite Panel Cladding (ACP) is a widely-used term, describing flat panels that consist of thermoplastic core bonded between two aluminum sheets. ACPs are frequently used for external cladding of buildings (building facades). The main advantage of ACP is that it is very rigid and strong, despite its light weight. Due to the ability to paint the aluminum in any color, ACPs are produced in a wide range of metallic and non-metallic colors as well as patterns that imitate other materials, such as wood or marble. Applications of ACPs are not limited to building’s external cladding; they can be used in any cladding application, partitions, false ceilings etc.

Solar shading systems

There is a wide variety of solar shading systems that may be used and incorporated as part of the building façade. There are: Oval shaped horizontal steel elements that span horizontally between external columns and their size and spacing is designed to reduce the intensity of solar gain.

Glazing support systems

Modern glazing support systems are based on attachments to 2 or 4 separate glass panels using stainless steel brackets, also known as ‘spiders’ because of their multiple legs. The attachments to the glass panels are generally made by stainless steel brackets with neoprene gaskets through the glass, as shown below. These attachments permit articulation due to thermal and structural movements so that local stresses on the glass are minimised.

Rainscreen cladding

A rain screen cladding system is usually drained and ventilated and consists of open-jointed, rail-mounted panels with an air-gap behind. Rain screen panels are made from durable materials and are chosen by the architect to achieve the desired visual effect. Stainless steel, weathering steel, anodized aluminum, glass, and terracotta are all materials which can be used. Rails and brackets are made from materials such as stainless steel and aluminum. The backing wall resists wind actions and supports the rain screen and can consist of an infill wall made from cold-formed steel sections faced with cement particle board, precast or composite panels or blockwork.

Insulated wall panels

Insulated wall panels are interlocking, composite metal-faced sandwich panels or concrete panels with insulation between internal and external concrete elements. Steel-faced insulated panels are frequently used on single storey and low-rise industrial buildings. Panels are usually designed to span one-way (either vertically or horizontally) and are made to suit commonly-used frame spacings without intermediate supports. Various insulation materials are available such as expanded polyurethane (PUR), polyisocyanurate (PIR) and mineral fibre with a range of insulating, fire-resisting and other physical properties.

Precast Concrete Panels

Masonry facades are also formed by supporting brick or natural “hand-set” stone panels from storey-height precast concrete panels. Stainless steel support brackets and restraining pins are used. Thicknesses of handset stone vary from 20 mm to 70 mm, depending on the wind load, the tensile strength of the stone and the spacing of fixings. Continuous areas of masonry cladding have naturally low air permeability so generally air permeability is controlled by good detailing at interfaces with windows and doors and other penetrations through the wall for building services. Solar gain, light levels and views out are balanced by choosing appropriate window type, size, and arrangement with suitable shading.

Development of self-cleaning facade system

Since the evolution, the facade system has gone through a complete evolution. From clay to steel its application has changed from the time. From material segregation to format, with time facade too has gone into automation mode. Self – cleaning facade is nowhere, making it easy for the applicator as well as for the end -user. The efficiency and long -term benefit is far reaching. Self-cleaning surfaces have become a relevant product type because of photocatalytic coatings containing titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles. Self-cleaning nanocoatings have been used to treat everything from concrete and stone, to glass and ceramics, to textiles, wood, stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic.

System analogy of self-facade system:

Nowadays facades have turned into the intelligent façade is a complete façade system with an integrated self-cleaning function. This façade system offers all the benefits of using prefabricated facade elements: The production in the factory is a guarantee for precise manufacturing and quick installation on site. This system enables the changes of glass from inside and enables the amalgamation and maintenance of evacuation units. The system is directly connected to the water supply with washable detergent being used.

The water automatically is used via mixer unit. Water and detergent are sprayed onto the façade at the touch of a button. Then the integrated wipers clean the façade automatically. A huge high-rise building can be cleaned via this system in no time. Individually it can be parameterised how much and how long water should be sprayed onto the glass facade, equally the frequency of the wiper movement can be decided. The wipers are spring-loaded, which guarantees not only a perfect cleaning result. Spring pressure used in this system enables to overcome every kind of hurdles and not leaving back any stains. Even bird droppings are removed easily. This system also protects the facade in the case of a fire. With the success of this concept globally, there has been a further development of robotic self-facade system.

Market potential of the facade system

The Indian window and door (all material) market was around Rs.10,000 crore in the year 2012 and Rs13, 000 crore in year 2013-14. As per report by Ken Research, Indian doors and window market is expected to reach over Rs.15,000 crore by FY-2020. The overall growth is around 15 to 20 per cent annually. The global facades market size is expected to reach USD 339.46 billion (Rs. 1.7 lakh crore) by 2024, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc.

The surge in the adoption of advanced eco-friendly facades across the world is anticipated to fuel the market growth in the coming years. According to Grand View Research, Inc, Asia Pacific dominated the industry and accounted for over 30 percent of the global share in 2015, which is expected to grow considerably over the next eight years, mainly due to the notable growth in the commercial and residential real estate sectors. According to Global Market Insights, Inc., window and door (uPVC, Wood, Metal) market size was valued at over USD 82 billion in 2015 and is forecast to grow at 5.6 per cent CAGR from 2016 to 2024. It also suggests window and door market size worth over USD137bn by 2024. The facade is innovative in design and aesthetic by nature and it is here to stay.


– www.grandviewresearch.com

– www.sciencedirect.com


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