Factors Affecting Facade Design

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The selection of building facade elements at the initial stage of design is a critical decision for occupant satisfaction, energy efficiency and economic construction strategies. It is also a complex and time consuming process, with multiple stakeholders involved in the decision making including architect, client, engineering consultants, façade vendors and specialist subcontractors. Incorrect decisions during the selection phase are a common cause of costly rework in construction projects, which can affect both project delivery and occupant experience.

What are the factors affecting facade design?

In this study, we investigate the impact of different facade designs on occupants’ indoor emotional and comfort perception by analysing the responses to questionnaires and field tests carried out in four office buildings with different patterned facades at www.cssfacades.co.uk. The findings show that a patterned facade positively influences occupants’ perceived space aesthetical, emotional and functional performance, with a higher level of forgiveness towards poor environmental conditions (e.g. thermal discomfort and visual discomfort).

The results of this investigation suggest that a combination of four issues impede accurate selection decisions of building facade elements:

1. limited knowledge of stakeholders about the engineering performance of different systems

2. insufficient technical guidance and information available to support the specification process

3. specialist façade consultants and subcontractors are often not appointed until late in the business processes

4. the rework caused by incorrect choice of a system during the construction phase

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