Sustainability in building design
It is both a legal and an ethical requirement that contemporary buildings are not only created using sustainable materials but also designed to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. To deliver a sustainable building, careful consideration needs to be given to every aspect of the project to ensure minimal environmental impact and maximal sustainability. From the use of recycled materials through to energy efficiency, sustainable resourcing and keeping emissions to an absolute minimum, sustainability needs to form an integral part of every phase of development.
Facades can contribute towards sustainability
As the outer covering of a building, the facade not only plays a major part in determining appearance, it’s also a key factor when it comes to insulation and weather protection. The right facade not only helps to maintain the fabric of the building, it also helps to regulate interior temperature, potentially minimising the amount of energy needed to run HVAC systems. Carefully chosen, a facade has the potential to significantly reduce fuel bills over the lifetime of the building. A facade is recognised as one of the main factors that determine energy efficiency – a major sustainability factor.
Reducing exterior maintenance with the right facade
In addition to being a major contributor towards reducing energy consumption, a suitable facade can also protect the exterior substrate from the destructive effects of wind, rain and chemical pollution. Although facades need to be lightweight, they don’t need to have the load-bearing capabilities of the built structure. This allows a wide variety of materials to be used, including composites that demonstrate considerable weather-resistance. These can be adapted for easy application and are capable of being used widely across the walls of a building without compromising the stability of the structure.
Facades provide enhanced visual appeal as well as sustainability
The highly visible nature of facades provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the building’s green credentials, sending out the right messages to users and passers by. Contemporary facades benefit from innovative composite blends that allow materials such as glass, alloys or synthetics to be transformed into tough, durable facades that provide stunning visual effects at the same time as being highly practical. If you want to make a powerful statement regarding the emphasis placed on sustainability during the design and development of your construction project, a carefully chosen facade can work really well.
Sustainable materials give innovative results
The days when facades were made of traditional construction materials are long gone! Contemporary facades are made of composites that include naturally occurring insulation materials such as wool, cotton and hemp, layered with durable synthetics of natural materials (including timber or glass) to create innovative building solutions that are environmentally friendly as well as commercially viable. A resurgence of interest in traditional insulating materials commonly used in by-gone times has resulted in modern facades that offer exceptional insulating properties at the same time as being an environmentally responsible choice.
Alsecco facades can reduce your building’s carbon footprint
Inevitably the manufacture of facades produces carbon emissions – a major contributing factor to acid rain and global warming. By selecting your facade manufacturer with care, it’s possible to find one that minimises emissions at every stage of the manufacturing process; from using materials that are carbon neutral (hemp, for example, locks carbon dioxide into its leaves, meaning the carbon dioxide is safely trapped for the lifetime of the hemp material), through to making sure that production is as green as possible, it’s possible to ensure your facades are as sustainable as they can be, even before they’re fitted.
Designed for green installation
Poorly fitting facades or products that fail to give enough coverage to effectively insulate and protect can lessen the sustainability of the building over time. High-quality facades are often custom-made for the requirements of the individual building, ensuring an excellent fit that creates a weather-tight insulating layer. Easy-fix installation systems keep labour costs low and ensure that facades can be quickly and easily fitted to a wide range of structures, helping to keep costs low and minimising the risk of unwanted delays during the construction process.
Facades that are built to last
Cost is always a factor in any construction project. Sustainable facades aren’t just a cost-effective option to purchase, they are also a choice that can markedly reduce building running and maintenance costs for several decades. Facades technology has advanced to the point where today’s facades are made to last for many years without deteriorating. A reliable facade is a choice that will save money in the long-term, at the same time as being an economical investment when compared with similar facades that demonstrate fewer sustainable characteristics.
Sustainable facades are the versatile choice!
Particularly when sustainable building was an innovative concept, environmentally friendly facades tended to be reserved for larger, more prominent projects. Often designed to score architectural brownie points, sustainable design was previously seen as an exclusive choice. This is no longer the case. Sustainability is now part and parcel of modern construction at every level. From affordable housing through to high-impact construction projects that dominate the skyline, every new building now needs to put sustainability at the heart of its construction. Facades are adaptable enough for widespread use, complementing design at every level. No matter what shape, size or financial value your construction project might have, facades can play a vital role in rendering it greener.
The adaptability of facades and the wide range of options currently on the market mean that they can be used in many different types of project. Because insulation and longevity are always considerations for any structure, facades offer an important contribution to the fabric of both residential and commercial dwellings. If you haven’t used facades before, or have previously only seen them employed on larger projects, it’s time to take a fresh look at the innovative, cutting-edge nature of modern facade products. Innovative facades are now considered to be an essential part of 21st-century construction design innovation.