By: Ar. Varsha Jain, Creative Architects & Interiors (CAI)
Every structure has a story to tell, which often begins with the façade of the building. Today, façades serve a much larger purpose than just enhancing the aesthetic appeal or a mere visual identity of a building, but are also responsible for making it sustainable and energy-efficient. Contemporary architecture in the form of materials, processes and techniques used in the day, has immensely contributed to the heat gain. This makes sustainability not an option, but a necessity from now on. Ideal future façades would be ones that would incorporate a composite approach to materials rather than a monolithic one, which would ensure the building breathes and is porous.
Perforated cladding techniques – in the form of jalis or louvers can act as shading devices, while also enhancing the structure aesthetically. One of the CAI’s ongoing projects – A corporate office for Southern Regional Pipelines Limited (SRPL) of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited in Chennai, has a dynamic, innovative and futuristic façade design. By incorporating a stepped façade, the building acquires a dynamic form and at the same time reduces the excessive heat ingress into habitable spaces. The use of technologies such as double glazing using electrochromic smart glass, solar cells, green walls and the self-shading overhangs used for the façade, keep out the heat and reduce the power consumption, thereby bringing the carbon footprint down.