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Energy efficient building facades

Energy efficient building facades

Ar. Harpreet Singh, Aann Space speaks on deep verandahs in east and west directions to help build energy-efficient building.

How important is a building’s facade in adding character and personality and protecting it from external influences?

Building’s facade is quite essential as it states the owner’s personality, taste and tells about the designers’ creativity and influences. Besides, facade materials used in different directions per the sun’s orientation impact immensely. For sun, rain and wind, deep projections such as a verandah and perforated screens make a tremendous difference.

A building’s facade could be made more energy-efficient using suitable materials. What are the best materials to use when designing a facade?

First, the right material choice in the right direction per sun orientation is essential. One may use more glass on the north facades as there is no direct sun. Deep verandahs in the East and west directions are recommended. Solid walls with cavities or hollow block constructions on the south wall are appropriate. Also, DGU glasses can reduce heat gain or loss in summers and winters. The use of perforated screens in East-West directions is highly recommended. Also, from my point of view, I consider some
shady trees in the landscape around the building as part of the building facade, which makes a valuable difference in energy efficiency.

In areas where we need to deflect sunlight and keep the indoors cool, what design measures should be taken to create a building envelope?

As stated earlier, the use of deep verandahs in East-West directions, DGU glass usage, perforated fixed or adjustable screens, louvres, shady trees, and water bodies around buildings are a few crucial measures to be considered. Screens and louvres create a microclimate between the outside and the building.

What’s your take on glass facades? Can we consider them energy efficient in the Indian context?

Glass is an essential element in any building facade. It gives us an uninterrupted view of the outside and protects us from the wind. It also helps us in getting appropriate
sunlight inside our spaces. If the glass is used smartly on facade sides, it can give us quite good results, like by using Max Glass on the north (if required). Use DGU glasses in East & West directions. Please don’t limit the usage of glass; it is required for looks, view and light inside; instead, try taking appropriate measures like incorporating verandahs, screens, trees, and water bodies to help reduce heat from glass facades.

In what ways can Low E coatings help glass facades become more energy efficient?

Facades may need regular checking for maintenance. If any joints are visibly open in claddings, these need to be filled again with grouts. Cleaning surfaces for dust or some
organic growth is also important. A protective coating on natural stone claddings is advised occasionally, as natural stones are sometimes more porous than artificial stones or tiles.

What waterproofing membranes and substrates should be used to ensure leakproof facades? Likewise, what sort of additional maintenance is desired?

First, applying waterproof components in the plaster stage reduces the chance of any facade leakage. Ensure treatment of roofs and balconies in waterproofing, which can ruin facades as leakages start popping up. Try using chemicals for stone and tile cladding on facades. The dry cladding method is best to protect facades after plastering and sealing the top edge with stone on top.





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