The facade and cladding industry has gone through varied changes in the past decade. The construction industry is flooded with materials of different textures and colors. These days Architects and Designers use a variety of new materials for wall cladding, to provide each building with a unique enchanting appearance. While designing facades a lot of research is conducted to ensure selecting the right type of material that minimizes environmental impacts and maximizes a building’s life, energy, and performance.
Cladding is an integral part of the wall assembly and plays a structural role by transferring wind loads, impact loads, and its self-weight back to the structural framework, responsible for the building’s overall thermal performance. A well-designed cladding can boost thermal performance, reduce air leakage, lower maintenance, and optimize natural daylighting into a building. Poor designing or installation, however, will compromise cladding functioning and can result in safety issues.
Energy efficiency has been a key point of emphasis in the past few years in facade design and construction. Cladding materials that could adapt to local weather, maintain thermal comfort, along with optimal light levels and energy consumption can be referred to as intelligent and responsive. High-performance intelligent facades are evaluated based on energy optimization, good acoustic qualities, and reduction in the use of resources and their inhabitants.
Living Walls- Living walls are a unique form of façade design that improves facade thermal performance and reduces air pollutants and overall energy consumption. These green walls are visually stunning and bring new dimensions to architecture.
Conclusion- The global scenario of the building façade industry is undergoing several changes and development is massive. This has resulted in the evolution of new innovative façade designs. As the focus on the future comes into perspective, cladding materials should be more performance-based, where it does not remain as a facade element alone, but can harness energy for the building’s consumption making them highly sustainable, cost-effective, and beautiful exterior solutions.
Writer Credit: Ar. Jahnavi Malhotra