When it comes to picking the right facade system and exterior cladding knowing your choices is half the battle won.
Facades are essential to any buildings’ design; not only because of aesthetic reasons, but also for structural and practical purposes. There are a plethora of façade systems to choose from. However the type of façade system that is used depends on the kind and scale of the building and on local planning requirements that may affect the building’s appearance in relation to its neighbours.
Façade systems comprise the structural elements that provide lateral and vertical resistance to wind and other environmental actions, and the building envelope elements that provide the weather resistance and thermal, acoustic and fire resisting properties.
Here are some of the more popular façade systems:
Marble is a common facade type found on older buildings although there are a few newer buildings that use it. Despite its impressive looks, marble often has practical issues with its maintenance; making it a less than ideal option. Deterioration is top among these issues as well as the expense. One doesn’t need to look further than our own Taj Mahal to see the effects of acid rain and pollution on marble surfaces.
Steel, Glass Facades and Curtain Walling
Steel and glass are synergistic materials and are often used in facades and roofs of multi-storey buildings. The glass panels allow natural light and heat to enter into the structure but can also let in cold air, especially when improperly sealed.
According to UC Berkeley’s Centre for the Built Environment, high performance glazing products allow larger areas of transparent glass to be incorporated into a building’s facade than was once recommended. However, the larger this area, the more difficult it becomes to accurately predict the effect it will have on energy performance and temperature-dependent comfort levels.
Curtain walling is the generic name given to metallic lightweight cladding or glazed cladding systems that are directly supported by a structural frame.
Curtain wall systems are an assembly of factory-made components which are either made up into panels in the factory and the interlocking units brought to site and installed (unitized curtain walling); or brought to site as components and assembled on the building (stick curtain walling).
Stick curtain walling is more often used on low-rise buildings and in relatively small areas because external access is required to the building elevations. Unitised curtain walling can be designed to be installed without using the main crane and this method is favoured on high-rise buildings.
Brickwork and Stonework (Masonry)
Brick facades are favoured for both residential and commercial buildings. They hold up well to the elements and are relatively inexpensive. Repair costs are also minimal when it comes to brick facades. Brick facades can be ordinary or ornate. Coloured bricks add some diversity to this type of facade.
A huge part of a façade system is the cladding material that is used. Facade claddings are non load-bearing panels that are fixed to the supporting structure in some way. Cladding is generally used for its aesthetic properties as it can hide many deficiencies. However, it can also have important thermal and acoustic insulation properties, especially when they are combined with insulation installed behind it.
Metal (generally aluminium or steel) is one of the most popular options because it lasts long and requires little or no maintenance. Its smooth surface gives year-round new and shiny look to the building.
Other popular options are brick, timber, stucco and concrete. Stone is also used and gives a beautiful natural look, however it is expensive and difficult to install.
The most popular type of cladding today is vinyl or UPVC (Unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride), as it requires almost no maintenance and can be used for all types of homes and buildings. This affordable option can be found in a wide range of colours.
It is also easy to add insulation to vinyl cladding. There are several options for façade claddings in the Indian markets:
Exterior Façade Panels
FunderMax offers a wide range of exterior solutions for façade and balcony cladding. FunderMax’s products make it possible to change the appearance of a building in a wide variety of ways; from natural, metallic or neon decors to digital print designs.
The variety of possible designs makes Fundermax panels an innovative option for architects. They make it possible to add an identity to a building. In addition, there is a broad selection of assorted formats and mounting variations that also create a whole different character for the building.
“FunderMax is for people who create, and gives character to the buildings using over 30,000 SKUs offering high design freedom”, says Dr. Prashanth Reddy, MD and CEO FunderMax India Private Limited.
Additionally, the ventilation gaps provided between the panels enable the façade to work like a rear ventilation façade system which keeps humidity off the wall and adds to the energy efficiency of the building. The exterior panels are Duromer High Pressure Laminates in accordance with EN 438. Double hardened acrylic PUR resins provide effective weather protection that is suitable for long lasting balconies and façade claddings.
The panels’ other properties include optimal light fastness, double hardening, scratch and solvent resistance, impact resistance, frost and heat resistance and easy installation.
The company is a member of the Indian Green Building Council and their products can be used in constructing green buildings.
One of the latest products is Fascia Exterior Cladding High Pressure Laminate (HPL) panels from Stylam Laminates. The panels have a decorative surface that is suitable for exterior applications and its special quality resins provide extremely effective weather protection to external facades. These HPLs are produced in lamination presses under high pressure and temperature. Thus, they are resistant to colour fading and are weather-proof with special protection against inclement weather.
Apart from being extremely durable, Fascia’s collection has a wide range of colours available in both horizontal and vertical designs.
Fascia is also the only Indian manufacturer, and among very few in the world to achieve a CE Marking of product standard EN438-7:2005 from the ITC Czech Republic. All Fascia panels conform to standard dimension tolerance of +10 – 0 mm.
For those looking for a more eco-friendly option, Shera’s Splendid Plank is an ideal choice. With these planks you can create a grooved appearance on building walls. These planks are made from fibre-composites and have different edge profiles that give a variety of overlapping and grooved appearances for interior or exterior walls.
Most importantly, Splendid Plank is easy to handle and requires less installation time compared to wood planks. While providing a better finish for sidings, these planks allow overlapping installation simply and efficiently. They are also weather proof, fire-resistant and termite proof and can even withstand salt sprays and flying debris.The planks come in two styles – Croton and Yellow Flame (dimensions: 10 x 150 x 3000 mm).
Text by Alyssa Lobo