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Wienerberger Building Material Solutions

“Kinematic Façades are the Future”

By: Ashwani Khanna

What are the 4 key trends in exterior wall cladding?

Modern and innovative materials such as exterior grade laminates (as per EN438-6), fibre reinforced concrete, metal claddings (zinc, copper, and steel) are creating a healthy disruption in the market apart from available traditional materials.

Exterior grade laminates (such as Max Exterior from the original FunderMax) offer 121 decors, which gives high design freedom for people who create. They are also available in various surfaces like matt, glossy and textured. The installation follows the sustainable and acclaimed rear ventilated principle that can help keep the heat at bay and enhance the occupant comfort of the building. With the current trend towards passive architecture, we see the growth of usage in sun-shading systems. Systems like FunderMax’s new shading system – Max Lato, which is a louver system – are specifically aimed at improving daylighting, glare mitigation and energy efficiency, without compromising on occupant comfort.

Liberating fins: Project - NITTE Meenakshi College of Architecture, Bengaluru
Liberating fins: Project – NITTE Meenakshi College of Architecture, Bengaluru

How would clever use of cladding technologies and materials regulate daylight and ventilation as well as provide privacy?

Most buildings today seek certified products and prefer green-rated buildings with innovative designs. They are willing to explore and experiment to learn about newer cladding systems and this will significantly increase the market demand for efficient cladding materials.

Sun path analysis, wind loading patterns, dynamic sun shading, and thermally efficient materials are some of the factors that are computed to achieve the best functional output from a façade. Technology also plays a very important role in the manufacturing stage. The original FunderMax panels are manufactured using patented NT technology and are in accordance with EN438-6 and CE certified. The panels are installed following the rear ventilated principle using the installation system developed by the company.

According to you what is the most preferred cladding material dominating this industry at present and why?

The rear-ventilated façade system and the sun-shading system are trending and in demand today. These systems use exterior grade high-pressure laminates that are extremely durable. Apart from offering contemporary aesthetics and design, these systems are sustainable and functional. These systems can also be easily implemented in combination with various other cladding materials.

They offer thermal comfort, daylight mitigation and reduce the energy consumption load. Sustainable buildings take into account the sun path analysis, wind loading patterns, dynamic sun shading, and thermally efficient materials to achieve the best functional output from a green-certified façade.

Optical & mesmerising: Project – KNA Plaza, Kochi
Optical & mesmerising: Project – KNA Plaza, Kochi

What is the trendiest cladding material which can be called as the material for the future façades?

Exterior grade panels are extremely robust, have a long useful life, require less maintenance and, in economic terms, are an extremely advantageous solution for increasing the value of a building. They are the future.

What do you mean by intelligent & responsive cladding?

An intelligent façade refers to kinetic façade that is adaptive to the surrounding environment. They can be sun-shading systems based on the elastic kinematic principle. The primary objective is to reduce solar heat gain and adequate ventilation.

How to choose fire-safe cladding material?

As NBC stipulated, the flame spread index (FSI) on the surface of the cladding material has to be considered. Exterior grade laminates are flame retardant material that does not propagate fire. Windows and glazing junction areas are vulnerable areas from which fire can spread into the overall building. Covering them with fire seal reduces the scope of fire spread on the façade or into the building.

Every country or region follows different fire classification. The class of the cladding material under standard fire classification norms must be considered while choosing. Max Exterior cladding systems are certified according to ASTM E 84, BS 476 Part 7, NFPA 285, BBA certification, etc.

Sunset: Project – Arogya Bhavan, Bangalore
Sunset: Project – Arogya Bhavan, Bangalore

Please brief on BIS Standards & ECBC norms for safe Cladding Materials?

BIS 875 part 3 (Bureau of Indian Standards) deals with wind load, National Building Code (NBC) deals with fire safety norms for cladding. Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) deals with u-value or energy efficiency, which includes the cladding performance of a building.

The NBC specifies that the surface flame spread index of cladding material should be less than 25 as per ASTM E 84, Class I. BIS standards for cladding materials follow the British norms of material classification for fire safety, to be rated as Class 1 as per BS 476 part 7.

Please throw some light on future cladding designs and materials for exterior claddings

Kinematic façades are the future.They are dynamic and adaptive and can be made up of materials such as exterior grade laminates. They can be sun-shading systems based on the elastic kinematic principle.

Ashwani Khanna

AVP - Marketing

Ashwani Khanna is currently handling the marketing division at FunderMax. An ardent follower of principles mentioned in ‘The seven habits of highly effective people, Ashwani Khanna’s success mantra is ‘Sharpen the saw’. He constantly sharpens his leadership acumen with training at the best of institutes like Harvard, IIMA, ISB to name a few. Having over 13 years of experience handling multifarious responsibilities with some big names in the construction material industry such as Saint Gobain and Armstrong, Ashwani is now AVP Marketing at FunderMax. He loves to coach people and is known for his management training initiatives that are as fun as they are informative.

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