Facades are in fashion, and they are here to stay for a long. They not only beautify the building but talk a thousand words and paint the thoughts and the principles of the people owning the building without their uttering a single word. Before people speak, their couture had already talked a thousand words about who they are and what principles, values, and the legacy they carry. And, the same holds suitable for the facades enclosing a building or surrounding a premise. We love imbibing what we are, what pleases us, and what we want to appear like. Facades are no different than our couture.
Facades provide a personality to a building besides embodying the building a character and making it live. And their feature has always motivated instead inspired the architects, engineers, and designers to come out with innovative designs build by using different materials. Here, we will be discussing a few of the fantastic facades that feature the innovative design strategies and have revolutionized the world nothing else has.
(1) Living Facades that breathe (Breathing Facades) – Nature Reformulated
Biomimicry inspired the living facades that breathe, wherein we mimic nature, and try to avail the maximum benefits what one can have from them at minimum cost. Humans have always tried to imbibe from the environment what helps them in leading a better life and becoming a better individual. Similarly, biomimicry focuses on innovating non-biological systems inspired by nature, and it’s freshness. The thermal adaptation to the hot climate has provided comprehensive solutions and new inspirations to develop new innovative concepts for achieving thermal comfort.
Inspired by biomimicry, ‘breathing skin’ is a bio-inspired idea of the skin of the living organisms. The same breathing principal of the skin we use in developing the breathing façade design and the interior spaces of the building are connected with the external environment to provide better natural air conditions inside the building to let people live in a better natural environment. As the skin breathes through thousands of pores, so are designed the facades with thousands of inlets of fresh air in the facades to let the building receives more freshness and breathe better with fresh air rather than relying on the stagnating and foul air of the closed surroundings. These Facades significantly improves the air conditions inside the building.
The different types of breathing facades are Light Responsive Facades, Operable Skin Façade, Metal Mesh Façade, to name a few.
(2)Parametric Façade – Algorithm of a Mathematical Function
The parametric façade relies on mathematical functions like phenomena. It is with a set of data as input that together works to determine the output. An algorithm is built in a function that uses the set of inputs to give the desired output using all those inputs given to the system. On the same lines, different parametric facades are designed based on various algorithms using different inputs to deliver different types of results desired, as deemed fit for different prevailing conditions and environments.
Architects try various permutations and combinations on computers, finding out different inputs and solutions, to develop the right algorithm, that can bring the desired results like the flow and the type of air, besides pouring in natural light. They try to work out solutions to let inside building receive best natural light in different seasons, weathers and months by adopting such facades. Different parametric textures, in combination with different undulated surfaces, are designed and applied in parametric facades. Not to surprise, in case these designs are also inspired by nature, different seasons and environments along with using the mathematics algorithms. Even the breathing façade is also a type of parametric façade only.
They mainly keep in consideration that how the inside building will respond to the different types of stimuli given by nature in different seasons and months during different times of the day like how the interior structure will respond in the morning, noon, and evening during different seasons.
Parametric Façade helps making buildings intelligent to favorably respond to the environmental stimulus and provide the best of nature to the persons inside the building, whether it’s light, air, or temperature while saving energy, resources, or health by intelligently and smartly designing the facades with scientific textures.
(3) Green Façade: Infusing nature in buildings
Green facades are the best mode of infusing life in the tall, rising structures or otherwise elevated multi-story structures, that may not be tall rising but much above the ground to be near nature and avail the benefits of mother nature’s blessings. The vertical gardens are making their way in the urban life to save mankind from harsh conditions of environment while saving the planet itself. The architects are coming up with new ideas and innovative concepts to grow the plants above the ground in facades via cables and trellis to let the people at higher stories remain close to nature.
Green facades involve growing climbers up across the building facades in addition to growing plants at the base of the facades and let them climb on the cables. The climbers and the light weighted plants which demand minimum care and can bear the harsh environment of strong winds and higher temperature are best suited for the Green facades. Different plants are selected for different geographical areas depending upon the climate and the environmental conditions to favor their growth and provide the inhabitants with around the year benefits for the years to come rather than just for a few months and then die out.
The supports housing these plants are either attached to the building or mounted separately and independently of the building on these facades themselves. The distance between the wall and the support provided by the structure is crucial to decide the climate control and plant performance.
(4) Organic Façade: Scientific Free Forms
These facades have nothing to do with the green architecture but come with the sustainable architecture that can provide the pre-requisite benefits with the scientific free forms for years.
The organic facades involve selecting free forms inspired by nature to have nature like benefits while following the specific architectural rules and maintain the harmony and the balance in the architectural norms and free forms. Here the focus is kept on the adopting natural, free forms, but they follow and adhere to the strict architectural principles and efficient rules which help structures respond in the best manner to the environmental strains and harsh natural patterns.
Fibre-reinforced composites, plastics, flexible wood, and other similar materials enable architectures and engineers to design different designs and construct structures with a natural curve like pattern to avail the benefits of these free-form shapes. These organic structures have changed the way the architectures earlier used to design the exteriors of the structures.
(5) Ventilated Facades: Contemporary Constructions
The ventilated facades are the contemporary constructions that use the double structure formation with a slight gap between them supported by some structure to generate an air chamber that leads to fresh air along with proper ventilation inside. This naturally activates the air currents by convection while enhancing the acoustic and thermal insulation of the building. This leads to increased energy efficiency and better living conditions for the people living in those premises.
These ventilated façade systems resemble double-skin facades or rain screens or physical shields that protect the buildings against harsh weather conditions like rain, water, high temperature, and weird climates. They protect the inside structures from rains and help to keep building dry, protecting them from dampness and other miseries associated with it. The ventilated facades are best to guarantee amazing performances in protecting buildings from harsh sun, rain, dampness, humidity, and all other atmospheric impacts without interfering with the internal layout of structures or changing their interiors. It unleashes human comfort.
These ventilating facades are the best when it comes to the thermal insulation, adequate fire protection, soundproofing, and safeguarding buildings at a minimum cost with a permanent life-long solution. They are the best in providing ecologically advanced solutions.