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Discussing Advanced Facade Solutions


The 60th global edition of Zak World of Façades was held successfully at ITC Maratha, Mumbai on 26th April 2019. Being one of the leading international façade design and engineering industry conference, it attracted over 450 delegates this time. In this 7th edition in Mumbai, the experts shared their thoughts on the recent trends in the façade industry.

The first panel discussion on Challenges in Designing High-Rise Buildings with Glazed Curtain Wall
The first panel discussion on Challenges in Designing High-Rise Buildings with Glazed Curtain Wall

The focus of the conference was on ‘Advanced Façade Design through Innovation and Technological Evolution’. Zak World of Façades conference is currently being organised in 25 countries, which include the Middle East (UAE, Qatar, Kuwait & Saudi Arabia), South Asia (India & Sri Lanka), South East Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam & Indonesia), East Asia (Greater China & South Korea), Africa (Kenya, Egypt, Morocco & South Africa), Europe (United Kingdom, France, Germany & Sweden), Australasia (Australia & New Zealand) and the United States of America.

Zak Event

The event took off with a warm welcome note by Syed Ahad Ahmed, Director, Zak Group. Addressing the august audience, he said, “I am proud that Zak World of Façades is conceptualised in India and that we could take it globally as well. We started on 27th July 2012 in Bangalore with a very small networking event in the evening and the event has just grown strength to strength. We are currently in 25 countries, which speaks about the interest in façades and façade engineering globally”.


Ashish Kapoor, Sales Director, Schüco India who was the convener of the event initiated the conference proceeding on an optimistic note. Kapoor said, “This is our 5th year together and we are proud to announce that we have a Global Partnership with Zak Group and Zak World of Façades present in 25 countries. Schüco is the presenting partner for all the Zak conferences in each of these 25 countries”. Ashish Lahoti, an Associate at the well-known Japanese architectural firm Nikketan Sekkei, gave the keynote and first presentation of the event on the topic – ‘Façades as an Interface of Public Realm’. His presentation covered the topics, innovation & client identity, socio-economic context and environmental impact on façades. He spoke about the use of bio-skins in their projects, presenting a few case studies.

He also explained on ceramic façades with water circulation, and how the system helps to keep the interiors cool during hot summer days. His presentation on another interesting project – Mokuzai Kaikan, Tokyo, the headquarters of the Tokyo Lumber Wholesalers Association, which has a façade crafted from Japanese cypress wood, was remarkable.
The next speaker was Mahesh Armugam, Regional Director, South-Asia, Meinhardt Façade Technology, who elaborated on ‘Empirical Approach for Parametric vs Manual Complex Geometry’. He also presented a case study on the TCS Tower in Siruseri, Chennai featuring a complicated 17m cantilever with 5 different geometries and tested for 9Kpa wind load. His presentation covered topics like the traditional way of designing and building façades versus designing complex façades through parametric modelling, using tools like Grasshopper.

Jean-Paul Moonen, Global Segment Manager, Architecture, Akzonobel described the concept of ‘Powder Coating Technologies Supporting Façade Design’. He explained the new technologies that can support façade designs and digital support tools for designers and specifiers. Mathew Penrose, Vice President, Vector Foiltec elaborated on ‘High Performance, Lightweight, Long Span Building Envelopes with ETFE’ along with a case study presentation on the ETFE and steel structure at Project Jewel, Changi Airport in Singapore.
After the tea/coffee break, Rajan Govind, Director, BES Consultants started the second session and talked about the ‘State of Building Construction Tolerances’. He also threw some light on the reality of the current state and impact on façades, explaining the missing links between owner, developer, designers, engineers, façade contractors, project managers, and façade consultants. He also stressed on the need for testing for quality of construction of curtain walls and installation of windows, considering their tolerance levels.

Stephen Tanno, Director – Pre Construction, Schüco International gave the next presentation on achieving the design perfection with value engineering and how the short falls in construction will lead to inferior final products. He also discussed the topics like the shortfall of the final product visà- vis the initial design and how to avoid it, avoiding the design to meet timelines.
Jonas Upton-Hansen, Managing Director, UHA London shared his presentation on Pragmatic Formalism, which included Formmaking: Process for shaping buildings and developing their ‘identity’, designing ‘inside out vs outside in’ and dialogue vs single vision. He explained his vision with the help of four case studies from different countries having different constraints.


It was followed by a panel discussion on “Challenges in Designing High-Rise Buildings with Glazed Curtain Wall”. KR Suresh, Regional Director, Axis Façades moderated the discussion and gave the chance to the dignitaries to ask their questions to the key panelists and give their views. The panelists included Ananya Gandotra, Head – Design, Birla Estate; Rahul Kulkarni, Director, HOK India; Anuja Sawant, Principal, SSA Architects; Saurabh Chatterjee, Director, Skyline Architects; and Hitesha Thakur, VP – Estimation, Glass Wall Systems. The panel discussion saw very interesting presentations by the panelists, explaining how design can add value to the high-rises.
The third session began with an outstanding presentation by Ravi Sarangan, Director, Edifice Consultants. He presented case studies of the design of Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan, New Delhi (HQ of The Ministry of Renewable Energy), which is an attempt to go beyond net zero and create an energy positive building. The project featured many innovations like solar walls and roofs, fins and mesh with vegetative walls (using landscape elements on façades), along with the ideal window wall ratio of 27%. He also described the design of the HQ for Montecarlo in Ahmedabad – a dynamic façade cladded with Sage Glass, featuring an interesting and complicated façade with various innovations.

Prameena Karunairaj, Business Development Manager – Sun Shading Façade, FunderMax India spoke about the benefits and techniques for designing cladding for high-rise buildings. She also elaborated on the pre-requisites for fire safety in high-rises.

Devesh Kumar, Technical Head, Aludecor spoke about propagation of fire on façade and fire safety codes around the world. He stressed on the need for better fire codes for materials and its implementation. Jean-Paul Hautekeer, Global Strategic Market Director – High Performance Building, Dow Consumer Solutions spoke on innovations in the façade technologies in high performance buildings and emphasised on the ‘Possibilities with Silicone for High Performance Buildings’. Dr. Bernd Koll, Technical Marketing Manager, Kuraray Europe shared his views on the right choice of the acoustic & structural interlayer. He explained the acoustic challenges, standards for materials, noise insulation, lamination technologies and methods for better acoustics. Hitesha Thakur, VP – Estimation, Glass Wall Systems detailed about the new façade materials available in the market.

Zak world of facades
The 2nd panel discussion on Early Façade Contractor Involvement (EFCI)

The last session of the conference saw the presentation by Bhami Ilyas, Regional Business Manager, CPP Wind Engineering & Air Quality Consultants. He delivered an effective presentation on Wind Engineering for Façade Pressures in High-Rise Towers. The last presentation of the conference was given by Sourabh Kankar, Regional Manager, Gujarat Guardian. He covered the topics like GGL go to a solution provider, the evolution of glass façades for better occupant comfort and innovations in glass. The conference ended with a panel discussion on “Early Façade Contractor Involvement (EFCI)” moderated by Stephen Tanno.

Zak event

The panelists included Sudipta Ray, Sr. Vice President – Projects, K Raheja Corp; Sandip De, General Manager – Design & Build, Shapoorji Pallonji; Kirtisagar Bollar, Associate Architect, Architect Hafeez Contractor; Sushant Shah Deo, VP & Head – Special Initiatives, Larsen & Toubro; Aditya Thota Srinivas, Head – Sales, FunderMax India; Siddharth Shirur, Cofounder & Partner, Vistaar Architects & Planners; and Capt. Edwin Saldanha, Managing Director, Doors & Doors System. The sponsors included: Schüco, Glass Wall Systems AkzoNobel, Aludecor, McCoy, Fundermax, etc. Window & Façade magazine was the media partner of the Zak World of Façade conference.

Zak Conference

Zak World of Façades – a one day conference brings all the professionals with architectural, construction and engineering background together to discuss the latest trends in the façade industry. The conference gives a platform to the companies in the façade and fenestration industry to network with the other professionals and learn new technologies. In its last 59 editions, Zak World of Façades has attracted over 25000 delegates.

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