Roof & Facade

What Is A Façade And Its Top 6 Functions?

what is a façade

Every building exterior is unique, and when we look at them, we have different sort of reactions. Some are those tall skyscrapers muddling into the clouds, some look so welcoming with those wide windows and doorways and some reflect us with beautiful glassy outdoors. How these building structures look is no coincidence, someone somewhere did some deep thinking and paid attention to detail in designing the front façade of that beautiful building structure. You may ask what is a façade and does it have any function apart from adding exquisiteness to the building structure? Read On!

What Is A Façade?

Very commonly, a façade is considered the very ‘Face’ of the building and many think it is just one decorative element. But that’s just one side of the façade. In simple words, a building façade indicates one side of the structure, mainly the front exterior. In most cases, facades do not bear any load beyond their own. Basically, they do not aid in holding up the building, instead, they may depend on the building for support.

Mainly facades are most valued for their visual appeal, but above that its elements provide vertical and lateral resistance to wind and other actions. In addition to this, façade plays a huge role in enhancing the properties like weather resistance and thermal, acoustic and fire resistance.

For a building structure, façade is the first encountering factor with the outside world, hence it involves intricate design elements. These very often receive more elaborate or special treatment on the architectural front than the rest of the structure. These can be simple, imposing, or incredibly decorative.

Read – What Is The Importance Of Building Facade in Architecture?

Top 6 Functions Of A Façade

Hope the above explanation gives you a fair idea of what is a façade. Unquestionably, Facades are valued for their visual appeal, but it is important that we stop linking its benefits to just aesthetics.

Apart from aesthetics, here are the top 5 functions of a building façade:

1.Elimination Of Water Ingress

One of the main requirements of a wall cladding system is that water doesn’t leak thru making its way into the building structure. One of the best ways of eliminating water seepages is to create a face-sealed system over the entire building, these are equivalent to a weatherproof skin. But again, when this system is punched, water can seep through the punctures and damage the building. Practically, owing to the complexity of the interfaces between different components and materials in the building envelope and its exposure to weathering, achieving a successful face-sealed system becomes difficult.

In such cases, adopting a system with primary (Façade) and secondary defenses becomes a reliable option. The façade which is the primary defense element resists most of the rainwater and if water passes the outer defense, the secondary defense comes into action to avert the water.

2. Control Of Air Permeability

In recent years, there has been an amplified focus on the role and importance of the building. These days, several buildings are being designed to be ‘Airtight’. Airtightness of the building ensures the amount of external air which comes across the façade of a building into the occupied space is limited. This allows advanced control of HVAC systems and limits any heating and cooling losses.

Air permeability is gaining significant importance from the architects and builders as it helps in managing the rate of heat loss or gain due to the exchange of air with the outside. In addition to this, it also assists in reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the buildings.

3. Resistance To Wind Actions

A building structure that incorporates a wind-resistant design, protects its occupants from strong winds and hovering debris. Wind-resistant construction is vital for shielding a building structure and its inhabitants from calamitous outcomes during strong wind events. Facades play a huge role in sustaining wind actions and transferring them smartly to the main building structure.

4. Thermal And Acoustic Insulation

A façade system provides thermal and acoustic insulation benefits for the building:

  • It brings significant reductions in HVAC reliance by reducing the overall amount of heat absorption by the buildings in hot weather conditions through the limited reflection of solar radiation by the external façade, and the naturally expressed air cavity.
  • External covering ensures, walls retain heat in cold weather conditions which results in a lower reliance on heating systems.
  • A ventilated façade system offers an increased reflection of external noise which can greatly improve the occupant’s comfort.

5. Solar Gain And Day Light

The diffusion of direct sunlight into a building causes solar gain and glare. While too much of solar gain and direct exposure can be harmful, allowing an adequate amount of natural light to the building space is another important factor which cannot be ignored. The façade design takes into account each of these aspects, it ensures an adequate amount of sunlight enters the building envelope and it minimizes the need for artificial lighting during the daytime.

6. Protect Image

A façade of a building as we said is the first meeting point with the outside world, hence it plays a signification function in image building for the designer (owner or architect). Choice of material, features, expression, views, etc. there’s a lot that accounts in the façade construction.

The Right Choice Of Façade Material Is Paramount

When it’s about constructing smart, we cannot ignore the significant role of construction materials. The correct choice of materials can go way long in ensuring the building always delivers superior performance.

Wienerberger is a global leader in this area. Their façade solutions contribute perfectly to the aesthetics and functional benefits. Under the brands’ Aspect ventilated clay facade tiles and Argemax composite panels Wienerberger products guarantee not just the ethereal aesthetics of the structure but also delivers numerous functional benefits creating a special appeal for architects.

Read about the Different Types Of Building Façade & Its Pros And Cons.

To know more about our façade solution get in touch!

Authored by a building expert from Wienerberger India

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