fensterbau/frontale india Tabloid 7

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Issue VII | November 2014

Facade and Fenestration News for India

“Amalgamating Science and Art in Building Facades”

A sensuous denial of dogmatism! Practice Design

NürnbergMesse India Pvt. Ltd.

Project: 53 Silver Oaks

Architecture Discipline

German House, 2, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021, India Tel.: +91-11-47168888 / Fax: +91-11-26118664 / Website: www.nm-india.com Contact : Ms. Rucheeka Chhugani / E-mail: rucheeka.chhugani@nm-india.com

Article by

ift Rosenheim

Computational Technology for Smart Building Facades by Sushant Verma

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Contents In the Indian context the earlier building facades were the result of economies in construction, local material, culture, tradition, local craft and skills. This rapidly changed in the last 20 odd years starting in early 90’s where rapid urbanization and growth led to infusion façade systems, slick materials like aluminum, all glass skins so the buildings would fall into the notion of the look of the 21st Century. These buildings lacked a sense of place and had no relationship with the surroundings.

Thankfully, due to the response of end users of the new buildings, high energy bills, awareness on environmental and financial sustainability the designers and the developers started looking back at the past and science behind it. So from a more site, labour, craft based approach to a system based approach is todays façade an amalgamation of just systems? Or is creativity limited to how the system can be tweaked / twisted /morphed into a bespoke solution whilst still retaining the performance parameters of a pre-engineered system based façade? Would acetylated wood take care of our hard wood requirements? Would silk screen printing replace the art of stained windows of the earlier days? Would the brick be used as a cladding element and not as masonry? Is their science behind 16 MM thick Marble stone cladding for exteriors? Rather than answering all the questions, I look forward to the views and articles in this edition of FFI respond to this amalgamation, though this process has been going around since hundreds of years but its only of late that we have access to such a wide variety of materials, cutting edge technologies, systems which withstand the test of time as well as respond to the climate, are programmable, adaptable and still serve the function of aesthetic, weather protection, cuts of sound and let in optimum amount of light and energy. I look forward to your views on articles in this edition of fensterbau/frontale india Tabloid and expect your presence in the next show at Bengaluru on 26th-28th February 2015.

Vijay Dahiya Partner Team3 & Protowork

“Amalgamating Science and Art in Building Facades” - Dibyendu Chakravorty


A sensuous denial of dogmatism! - Manash Sinha Roy


Windows & facades for passive houses and plus energy houses - ift Rosenheim


“The Appearance” - Amit Khanna


Project : 53 Silver Oaks - Akshat Bhatt


Computational Technology for Smart Building Façades - Sushant Verma


“Aluminium Fenestration Systems: Future Trends for Building Industry” - Industry Meet, Kolkata


Your Alulux Specialist: Falcon Contracts Pvt. Ltd. sales@falconcontracts.com +91-9810000714 www.alulux.com www.falconcontracts.com


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Issue VII | November 2014 | Page 3

“Amalgamating Science and Art in Building Facades” - Dibyendu Chakravorty


s per oxford dictionary, the definition of Science is – “The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” And Art – “The application of expression of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting and sculpture, producing works to be appreciate primarily for their beauty and emotional power.” Fenestration – “The arrangement of window in a building”

solid walls in the form of hollow blocks, using insulated glass panels (with sealed air being used as thermal barrier), may be used to reduce transfer of internal heat from inside to outside or external heat from outside to inside. Light – From the preceding exercise, we have found that like air, light is also an essential ingredient for all enclosed spaces. However, we have to remember that while natural light is welcome, glare accompanying the natural light is not. Glare may be defined as the difficulty in seeing an object in bright light like direct or reflected sunlight caused by a significant ratio of luminance between the object looked at and the intensity and angle of the source of light. Glare can be reduced by scattering the light particles through insulation of glass in the window or providing shading devices. There are various methods of measuring the intensity of glare and with present technology, there are various ways of preventing glare but allowing light into a given space. Heat – Transfer of heat from outside to inside and vice versa is the major consideration, often requiring artificial energy in designing building façade. The way to reduce transfer of heat is by providing insulation in the building façade. We have already discussed the use and contribution of thermal barrier in the form of sealed layers of air in solid walls; like hollow blocks, and also in windows. Besides this naturally available means of protecting a space from transfer of heat, there are other ways of providing artificial insulation with various combinations of polyurethane, glass wool and similar other elements. However, in areas, where external heat is preferred, like in cold climates, exposing the windows to the direction of sun may be integrated during the design of the building.

Having gone through the definition of the captioned items, the next exercise is to relate them to the context of this article. If we chose to take the scientific considerations at the onset, we are left with the following criteria: 1. Function of a building facade is to allow or prevent external weather viz: air, light, and heat to enter into a space collectively or individually. The factors influencing the decision regarding a building façade comprising solid (to block light, air, and heat) and transparent (to allow heat and light and air) surfaces are 1. Climate: specifically micro climate of the area, which may be divided into the following: a) Hot arid b) Hot humid c) Composite d) Temperate e) Extreme It is prudent to acknowledge that detailed analysis of all these factors are far too extensive to be contained in these article but we may consider the following table. Sr. no.


Hot Arid

Hot Humid
































Air – We know that through any building façade entry of air is a necessity, because we have to breathe. Light is also a necessity because that reduces our dependence on artificial energy. The only item in the table which varies is the entry of heat, so, the primary function of any building façade is allow entry of air and light. However, depending on the climate, the quantity and quality of air allowed into a building is to be processed. This requirement may be as per following – Item

Hot Humid

Hot Arid




Air Cold air Cold air Cold / Hot Cold air Cold / hot Air can be cooled before it enters into a space by creating shade or shades in layers. Shades may be created by overhangs, jalies or by creating thermal barriers in front of the fenestration to allow direct entry of air from the outside and allow it to lose temperature while passing the shading device. This process reduces dependence on mechanical cooling and may be practiced almost everywhere. Since heating of air while passing through openings cannot be done, insulation in

Sound – Insulating an internal space from external sound and the other way round may be achieved by insulations; similar to those preventing heat exchange in a building. Materials – To arrive at the desired effects discussed earlier, careful consideration must be given to the materials used in the design of the façade. The factors to be considered in choosing the materials are: 1. Embodied energy of the material, including real energy, as opposed to delivered energy, in producing, fabricating, transporting and assembling the material in the building façade. 2. Availability of the material in nature and in the locality 3. Life span of the material used. 4. Recyclability of the material 5. Total cost of the material in the life cycle of the building. 6. Durability, i.e. strength to with stand the forces of nature. Once all these features have been considered scientifically, the task of designing the building façade begins. Art of designing a building façade – From our earlier definition of art, we know what art is, and the consideration of appreciating the beauty of the building façade is also of immense importance. So, after assembling the scientific / rational ingredients of the building façade, we have to decide on the size, shape, colour, texture, composition of the windows / doors taken together with the solid area (walls) of the building façade befitting the purpose and function of the building.


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It has to be kept in perspective that art is subjective while the scientific data are objective in nature. It has to be therefore dealt with respective appreciation.

About the author

During the effort to create visually attractive façade, there are temptations to be too simplistic/ minimalist or to go over board. While it is possible to perceive a balance between the two extremes mentioned above, like all creations of art, it is probably not possible to create a façade that would be globally appreciated. Architects, as individuals, are different in nature, perception and instinct. All architects have their own style of creation which makes them distinctive from each other. Similarly, the beauty or emotional content of building façade are bound to be different and no standards may be set for art. From the aforementioned discourse, it is prudent to conclude that a rational building façade is a combination of both science and art; with all other considerations being equal, art makes all the difference in creating a lasting impression on the viewer.

Mr. Dibyendu Chakravorty graduated in architecture from the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology ( formerly Bengal Engineering college under Calcutta University) ,Shibpur, in 1971. After having worked in Kolkata for 6 years he went to Nigeria in 1977. Back in India in 1984, Mr. Chakravorty established his firm D S Architects in 1990. His works include various Housing, Commercial, Hotel, Institutional and Interior Projects for clients like NTPC, SAIL, BENGAL PEERLESS, JADAVPUR UNIVERSITY, PEERLESS HOTELS, EDEN CITY etc., in WEST BENGAL, ORISSA, and SIKKIM.. He is also an avid reader and enjoys music.

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Issue VII | November 2014 | Page 5

A sensuous denial of dogmatism! Abstract: Instead of using the entire site for development, we were given a part of it, much away from the main access. They call it as a VASTU derivative; we call it the much needed SILENCE to narrate the story ahead. The building required a significant architectural presence in the city of Bhubaneshwar. At the same time it needed to emerge as an integral part of surrounding city’s character and scale.

- Manash Sinha Roy

lower mass and flows inside-out. We made the wrap replicating this ‘shawl’ and treated its free-form surface with non-monohedral quadrilateral tessellated panels.

On the other hand, the upper mass explores the functional opportunities of sophisticated patterning technique on building envelope which usurps cognitive proportions of historic Odisha temples in their ability to bridge the outdoor with The Vision was to arrive at a bold, young, unique building which is local at the same indoor in a serendipitous journey. time.

Program: Programmatically a shopping destination, it is inter-weaved with an address to commercial offices in a way that propels a comfortable flow of one into the other. Food court acts as a transition zone within the building. Thus the mall, offices and the plaza gets entwined into a harmonious spectrum of functions and patterns. The retail geometry is dynamic with a spiralling race-track while the intermediate level blurs out the functional shift merging retail and office traffic at the concession and food court level. This looping race-track along with free flowing food court and articulating façade have been used as a sensuous denial of dogmatism. On the contrary, the offices above are configured as a formal network of self-shading masses around the introvert open-court, supplemented by private landscape terraces. This juxtaposition expresses an integrated system of breathing volumes, intends to amplify the office court’s latent character meeting the contemporary social needs.

A set of staggered yet simple geometric patterns complements the fluid form of the wrap. This staggered principle is represented in both inner and outer facades of the building. The inner facade is in the form of terraces overlooking the inner court of the offices, whereas the outer facade has it in the form of carefully articulated density as per the uses behind it. Unlike other prevailing Mall and Mixed use typologies, this presents itself in a very monochromatic avatar with its static materiality, allowing the user and its nature of uses to render the necessary colors. Practice has collaborated with a highly specialised and multi-disciplinary team to engineer this wonder. The project has already hit the ground and is set to be experienced by 2017.

About the author Facade: A binding concept was required to ‘INTERWEAVE’ the exteriors with the building and its interiors. ‘IKAT’ an indigenous local form of a ‘weave’ served as a dominant design driver. It being a highly popular and extensively practiced craft form, made it relevant as per the socio-cultural aspect of the place and an archetype which the people of the region could relate to.

Studio Profile: Practice Design is an emerging architecture, urbanism and design firm, dedicated to the design of high performance, energy efficient and sustainable architecture. Practice has bi-located design offices, at Mumbai and Kolkata. Mumbai office is led by Sandip Agarwal and the Kolkata office is with Manash Sinha Roy. Both the partners and key resources have significant experience in leading large scale projects and actively pursue research in Urbanism, Changing office work environment in India and Affordable Housing. Practice Design also includes a team of designers with extensive experience in multiple disciplines, including interior design, technical architecture, interface and applicable software, urban planning and sustainable design. Team also have expertise in a range of building types, large-scale mixed-use complexes, corporate offices, civic and public spaces, hotels and residential complexes, institutional projects, high-tech information technology and healthcare facilities.

A ‘WRAP’ emerged as resultant that can act as the differentiator and at the same time facilitate a free flowing visual co-herence. In order to capture the nexus of femininity and local consumption profile in retail, a piece of ‘shawl’ with colloquial applique pattern geo-morphed, drapes around the www.frontale-india.com

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ffi@nm-india.com +91-11-4716-8828

Page 6 | November 2014 | Issue VII

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“The Appearance”

“Frankly, I cannot believe that in the short span of our history we have experimented with and exhausted the possibilities of form.”

- Amit Khanna

- Jeffrey Kipnis


he appearance of buildings informs our understanding of them. We can look at a building and attempt to comprehend it without inhabiting it. We draw upon fragments of our memory to correlate certain specific symbols and aspects of its exterior and establish relationships – The cross on the church, the display window at a shop, etc. This helps us navigate our worlds as most buildings seek to conform to the visual nature of the category they belong to. Nikolaus Pevsner has written a rather large book, ‘A History of Building types’, which re-emphasizes the same point – that a façade must communicate the internal function of the building within established norms.

About the author However, as architects, we all love crazy buildings. Buildings that swoop and swerve, that arrest the eye – that try and be more than just containers of space. Buildings that have fantastic forms. Certain buildings don’t even have to swoop and swerve to be crazy – they are just so far removed our original understanding that we look at them and say – surely that can’t be a hotel – wow, how did they do that? Of course, the counterpoint to this is the sheer wastefulness of facades that are simply pretending to be something or convey something that they really do not represent. Is that really what architecture should be looking to do with itself? Have architects become so self-serving that their only concern is how to make their buildings somehow ‘look different’?

Amit Khanna is the Founder & Design Principal at AKDA, a design firm that integrates the disciplines of architecture, interior design, furniture, lighting and product design. He graduated from the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi in 2002. He heads the design studio at AKDA, combining day-to-day involvement in design with his primary responsibilities for the strategic direction of the practice.

Established by Amit Khanna in 2004, the studio philosophy is to make regional specificity and sustainability intrinsic to the design process and product. Every object produced at the studio, be it a 60,000SF Ever since the turn of the century, the facade of a building has been free to do more office building or a 0.5SF light fixture, undergoes the same scrutiny of process and than support the structure of the building. Traditionally built buildings relied on the exactitude; A process that is founded in suitable materiality and innovation, irremass of the external walls to support their weight. However, with the promulgation of spective of appearance. reinforced concrete over a 100 years ago, the supports required to hold up a building have been getting smaller. Free from supporting the load, it now has to be almost Amit Khanna teaches at his alma mater, the School of Planning and Architecture, alive with responsiveness to the environment. It needs to react to occupancy, weather, New Delhi with diverse responsibilities related to design, research and theoretical erosion, pollution and even generate the energy required to run the building it covers. exploration. Through his initiatives in education, he engages in research as a tool Are we prepared to give the façade of the building greater responsibilities than just for design innovation to craft buildings that work with the local environment, both prettiness? Can we look forward to buildings that not only look good, but do a lot at the school and the studio. of things that transform buildings from simple containers of space to meaningful contributors to human life? There are several examples of modern buildings that He is an acclaimed photographer, writes extensively for both online and offline have combined many virtues in the facade and these must become the new paradigm media. He has been recently featured in Indian Architect and Builder- Young Designers’13 and DesignxDesign, 20 Under 35 Exhibition, New Delhi (2013). rather than the exception. www.frontale-india.com

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Issue VII | November 2014 | Page 7

Windows & facades for passive houses and plus energy houses - ift Rosenheim

Requirements and construction principles for energyefficient building elements and facades suitable for passive houses. Future-oriented construction is invariably aimed at the criteria of energy conservation and sustainability. In practical construction, criteria have been established that exceed the minimum standard of the Energy Savings Ordinance. The most important are specifications laid down for passive houses, Minergie constructions and the funding criteria for KfW efficiency houses. In the future, these standards shall be supplemented by the requirements for plus energy houses, which are currently being defined as “Efficiency Plus Houses”, which produce more energy than that required for heating water and providing domestic electricity. The standards mentioned above serve as an orientation aid and product comparison, and will be supplemented by an energy label in the near future. However, an energy-efficient building shell including summer heat protection is necessary for all energy-saving houses. Transparent building components such as windows, facades, glazing and exterior doors play an important role in the process, since net energy-related gains are possible from the east, west and south sides of buildings.

Figure 1 : Large areas of glazing use solar energy for plus energy houses as well (Photo: BMVBS)

requirements for the U value of the overall construction and the surface temperatures in the border areas of the glass, this glazing is commonly combined with a “warm edge” edge spacer, so that a linear thermal transmittance of ψ ≤ 0.06 W/K-m can be achieved. A temperature factor of ƒRsi ≥ 0.73 is defined for the area of the glass edge and for cross members.

Figure 2 : Bandwidth of technical parameters of triple insulated glazing

FACADES Facades suitable for passive houses can be built as window walls /casement windows combined with attached panels, as post-and-beam constructions made of aluminium, steel or wooden profiles or even as facades with structural glazing. In comparison with windows, as a rule, the surface areas of the glazing and the panels are significantly greater than those of the profiles. Nonetheless, the importance of the profiles and the connections to the building structure should not be ignored since these have a direct impact on the thermal comfort and the formation of condensate. Suitable insulation for the glazing rebate and modifications of the insulation geometry are also some potential supplementary measures. As far as the panels are concerned, the thermal bridges in the edge area must be considered more accurately, especially for smaller surface areas.

This is why the ift Guideline WA-15/2 also defines criteria and boundary conditions based on standard formats (1200 mm x 3500 mm) and fixed surface areas for the In addition, aspects of comfort (temperature factor fRsi in winter and a mean room glazing and panels in order to enable product comparison. The thermal characteristics temperature in summer) as well as the suitability for use (watertightness, resistance (heat transfer coefficient U, linear thermal transmittance Ψ, temperature factor ƒRsi) to wind loads, air-tightness and resistance to impact) should not be neglected. This is are restricted as follows: why ift Rosenheim has developed the ift Guideline WA-15/2 “ Suitability of windows, external pedestrian doors and curtain walling for passive houses” in which the relevant • Facade UCW ≤ 0.70 W/(m²K), including the connection to the building structure requirements have been defined and verified based on EN and ISO standards. • UCW,Einbau ≤ 0.85 W/(m²K) Energy-efficient facades must always be seen as a holistic product in the interaction • Glazing Ug ≤ 0.7 W/(m²K) between all components such as glazing, panels, glass installation / glass frame, frame • Panel Up ≤ 0.25 W/(m² • K) profiles, connection to the building structure and even the shading. However, the individual functions (the radiometric characteristics as well) have to be adapted and • Edge seal glazing Ψg ≤ 0.060 W/(mK) weighted in a property-specific manner. Nonetheless, there are basic characteristics • Edge seal of the opaque infill panel Ψp ≤ 0.040 W/(mK). and target values that characterise energy-efficient building components and facades. • Temperature factor ƒRsi ≥ 0.73 for facade profile/glazing or facade profile/panel • Temperature factor for the connection to the building structure ƒRsi ≥ 0.73.

GLAZING Table 1: Target values for windows, facades and glazing suitable for passive houses [2]

Glazing suited for passive houses must have a heat transfer coefficient of Ug ≤ 0.7 W/m² K. For this purpose, triple glazing with SZR ≥ 12 mm (argon gas filling) and two Low E coatings that are commercially available in the market are being used at positions 2 and 5. To be able to use the solar heat recovered at the same time, the minimum requirement for the g value must also be met to ensure that solar gains are not reduced considerably [2]. This value can best be defined as a ratio of the U value and g value (see table 1), since both parameters depend on each other technically. This results in a minimum g value of 0.44 for Ug = 0.7 W/(m²K) for triple glazing. However, modern triple glazing units already reach g values of 0.6. To comply with the

Figure 3 : Potential for optimisation with the improvement of individual components Suitable frame profiles and spacer systems are to be used for this purpose to meet this requirement. For the determination of the Ut and the Um values, the influence of the screw joints is considered in accordance with EN 13947. For lump-sum consideration, the U value of the profiles is taken as 0.3 W/(m²K); good constructions achieve a value of 0.11 W/(m²K) when measured. The influence of the glass supports on the heat transfer coefficient of the facades is not taken into consideration.


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Figure 5 : Optimisation potential for plastic windows Windows made of metal composite profiles Figure 4 : Parameter and reference facade (ift Guideline WA 15/02) // Division of the representative facade element for determining the UCW value

Metal composite profiles can be characterised with respect to the b/B ratio of the width of the thermal barrier to the overall width of view as well as with respect to the space between the aluminium shells. Typical Uf values for the frame range from Apart from thermal parameters, a certificate for the suitability of use in a passive around 3.5 W/(m²K) for simple systems in Southern Europe to about 1.4 W/(m²∙K) house must also include verification for the suitability of use, since optimal thermal in Central Europe. This is why supplementary measures need to be adopted at the insulation is of no use if the other performance characteristics (EN 14351-1 for profiles that must be done in a combined manner in most cases. windows, EN 1383 for facades) are not met. Thus, a facade should at least comply with the requirements for air permeability and the classification (min. class AE/750 Pa • Optimisation by additional insulation materials in the chambers of the thermal according to EN 12152), the watertightness and the classification (min. class R7/600 barrier and the glass rebate, Pa according to EN 12154), resistance to wind load and the resistance to impact • Use of facing framework consisting of insulation materials that cover the outer (minimum class E3/I3 according to EN 14019). During testing at ift Rosenheim frame and sash on the outside, what becomes evident time and again is that in the course of thermal optimisation, • Optimisation of the rebate seal system (middle seal), adequate attention is not paid to the constructional basics, for example, to the sealing • Increasing of the glass thickness/adapting the filling thickness. of necessary drainage perforations in the hollows of the profiles by foam or insulating materials.

With falling thermal transmission losses, the thermal losses must be reduced as well. Central and decentralised ventilation systems (with heat recovery as far as possible) in windows and facades as well as in automatic windows are suitable, and which are also suitable for user-independent cooling during the night in summer. Especially in industrial construction, high-performance solar protection and lighting control systems are deployed to avoid or to minimise technical equipment for cooling and to reduce the energy for artificial lighting. Sunshade and glare protection as well as light control must be planned separately for this purpose. Variables systems such as segmented and perforated blinds of differing geometry or electrochrome compound glazing with electrically with a conducting oxide coating (TCO) are interesting alternatives to traditional half drawn curtains.

WINDOWS The target specifications for the heat insulation of windows in passive houses are Uw ≤ 0.80 W/(m²K) for the entire window and around Uf ≤ ≈ 0.92 W/(m²K) for the profiles (depending on spacer and glazing). This means that in comparison with the level of requirements of the reference building in accordance with EnEV 2014 (Uw = 1.3 W/(m²K), there is significant increase in the stringency of the thermal insulation level and this must be achieved with the help of appropriate supplementary measures for the frame compared to the designs commonly used today. To simplify handling for commerce, product marking and tenders, the U values are determined with the help of standard sizes (1.23 m x 1.48 m for windows < 2.3 m²), whose result of which can be transferred to other sizes. This means that the actual values may deviate from the standard values. For property-specific calculations, size-dependent U values may be calculated. This leads to lower U values for larger windows, if the u value of the glazing is better than that of the frame.

Figure 6 : Optimisation potential for metal windows Windows made of wooden profiles Thermal insulation in wooden profiles can be improved with the help of greater installation depth. Thus, for wooden profiles (softwood) – which have an Uf value of around 1.4 W/(m²K) for a standard cross-section – an improvement up to around 0.9 to 1.1 W/(m²K) can be achieved with an installation depth of 90 to 100 mm. For further improvement in the thermal insulation, layers of insulation material (rigid foams) may be used in the scantlings or as external insulation [3]. Doing this yields improvement potential with Uf values in the range of 0.4 to 0.8 W/(m²K).

Plastic windows The average plastic window with 4 to 5 chambers has a typical Uf value of 1.6 to 1.2 W/ (m²K) for the frame. Window profiles with Uf ≤ 1.0 W/(m²K) can be achieved with 6 (or more) chamber profiles together with the following supplementary measures: • Modification of the steel reinforcement in the profiles: Without steel stiffening (with and without insulation in the respective chamber, bonded glazing) or with thermally isolated steel stiffening respectively, • Applying additional constructional insulation materials (rigid foams) in the chambers of the profiles or the glass rebate, • Increasing the glass thickness/adjusting the insulation thickness.

Figure 7 : Optimisation potential for wooden windows www.frontale-india.com

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Issue VII | November 2014 | Page 9

Connecting building components During the planning and execution of passive houses and plus energy houses, the connection of windows and facades to the supporting building structure must not be ignored. For the suitability for a passive house, the U values of the building components after installation must be verified. This is why the thermal bridge coefficient should be ψ ≤ 0.08 W/m-K. KfW funding criteria specify that the influence of constructional thermal bridges on the annual requirements for heating in accordance with the rules of technology and the economically acceptable measures in each individual case must be kept as low as possible. Additional loads of thermal bridges must be calculated and verified in accordance with the rules of technology.

Figure 8 : Optimisation potential for connecting building components

CONCLUSION Compared to common constructions, windows and facades for energy-saving houses must have significantly better thermal insulation properties. To this end, measures for improvement and supplementary measures are necessary, which, at times, call for considerable intervention in the construction. To utilise solar heat recovery, the best possible g value for the glazing must be planned as well. The overall situation including the structural fittings has to be considered for the property-specific evaluation. Info box Energy Label The energy-related consideration of transparent building elements depends on a reasonable and realistic description of the products, which incorporate energy losses and energy gains in its evaluation. An energy label based on ISO 18292 “Energy performance of window systems for residential buildings - Calculation procedure” can support builders, planners and the real estate industry with the selection and tendering of suitable building elements. The procedure specifies two parameters for the energy performance (EP)

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Literature and Standards [1] Leaflets of the KfW banking group for the programme no. 153 and no. 430 [2] ift Guideline WA-15/2, Suitability of windows, external doors and facades for passive houses, ift Rosenheim, February 2011 [3] Research report “Sustainable optimisation of profiles for wooden windows to achieve the requirements of EnEV 2014”, ift Rosenheim, June 2011 [4] EN 673 and EN 674, “Glass in building – Determination of thermal transmittance (U value) - Calculation method” [5] EN ISO 10077 and EN ISO 12567, “Thermal performance of windows and doors – Determination of thermal transmittance by the hot-box method” About the Authors

M.BP. Dipl.-Ing.(FH) Manuel Demel is a product engineer of “Windows and Facades” at ift Rosenheim with focus on structural topics. He represents ift Rosenheim in several standardisation and expert committees as well as in seminars.

Jürgen Benitz-Wildenburg is the Head of PR & Communication at ift Rosenheim. He has been active in various capacities as a carpenter, timber construction engineer and marketing expert in the wood and windows industry for many years. He shares his experience with others as a lecturer, speaker and author. www.frontale-india.com

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Page 10 | November 2014 | Issue VII

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53Silver Oaks G

- Akshat Bhatt

light directly into what is almost an ephemeral space, consisting of translucent and reflective surfaces, multiplying the light by reflecting.

urgaon is often cited as a shining example of India’s growth story. Replete with tall glass skyscrapers, wide roads and millionaire-worthy housing estates, it has manifested almost overnight, with vast swathes of the city almost impossible to differentiate from one another. Most of this modernity, however, is just a façade, with poor urban planning and regressive construction systems creating deeply unsustainable living patterns. The glass facades hide ordinary concrete framed structures, often with services designed as an afterthought, negating most of the benefits to be reaped from a frame/skin system of construction.

Deep within this context of banality lay the rectilinear project site and a complex brief of requirements. The client wished to accommodate a large public space and a combination of several kinds of guest rooms, on a site that mandated that no windows could overlook either of the long sides. Having lived in a climate responsive and an inward looking house made in exposed brickwork and concrete, he also wanted the building to imbibe the unique qualities of the mid-century modernism that put postindependent Indian architecture on the global map. As a unique parti, it was decided to create the main public areas below ground level and thus, the principal entrance leads to a generous subterranean space. The glass walls of this light-filled space are set in, detached from the peripheral retaining walls, eliminating the sense of being underground by creating deep horizontal views and negating any impact of possible dampness. On the upper floors, an efficient combination of suites and rooms are organized around a central vertical movement core, emphasized by the stark geometry of the stair. Skylights and atriums bring

The overall intent begins from the need to express the architectural concerns within space and not just leave them to the exterior massing/public spaces; hence the structural system and construction techniques being expressed clearly (as opposed to practice wherein most internal surfaces are concealed by cladding, plaster etc.) A uniquely symbiotic relationship has evolved at 53, between the design of the structural system and the exterior skin. For centuries, architecture in the Indian subcontinent has battled the sun, the dust and the heat. The screen (or the Indian jaali) is a marvellous architectural device, reduced somewhat unfortunately to a mostly decorative element in the contemporary scenario. Adapted to a contemporary interpretation, here, it is used to keep out the glare of the sun, moderate the interior temperature, whilst all the while providing a uniform subtle light quality in interior spaces. The objective was to wrap the structure in a thin, light, perforated screen so that the structure itself could be lighter and free from supporting the weight of unnecessarily heavy interior and exterior partitions. This porosity and transparency has been one of the recurring themes of architectural investigation in our studio, evolving constantly through many of our projects, notably in Mana Ranakpur. The pattern of the perforations are not simple repetitive modules; instead they are seemingly random until viewed together, when they coalesce into an overall composition. Further, the mesh creates a Uniform envelope around the building, whilst creating a dynamic play within by enabling a play of shadows internally, yet ensuring privacy from the road by creating a significantly clear architectural product. The skin also facilitates a peak into the outside world, while bringing in filtered views of the trees inside through corridors, creating a controlled engagement for the occupier vis-Ă -vis the neighbourhood.


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Issue VII | November 2014 | Page 11

By limiting the use of concrete to the basement retaining walls and roof slabs, the resultant building is remarkably sustainable in its life cycle, maximising the use of recyclable materials. Nearly all of the walls are made of double insulated glass units, eliminating privacy concerns with respect to noise. The steel frame itself was designed for maximum lightness, with bracing provided by diagonal members, their geometry expressed through the glass. Not only does this allow maximum flexibility, it enables easy maintenance by nearly eliminating repeated painting. The metal frame is finished with aircraft grade non-VOC paint. The steel joists that hold up the deck slabs are visible within the guest rooms. The main load bearing columns are expressed through the public spaces as slender elements.

maintenance. A professional kitchen situated in the basement caters to the entire building. An insulated roof increases the thermal mass of the building, while the glass walls allow it quickly cool in the evening. The interior furniture in solid oak wood, stained in a Scandinavian fade is designed to complement the interiors and reflect the environmental concerns of the property. The boundary wall, otherwise a banal necessity in the urban context of Gurgaon, has been transformed into an animated part of the building by incorporating a retractable planted screen, enabling a dynamic expression of the plants from the back to the basement.

India’s construction boom means that labourers are often not professional craftsmen, and in the local context, it is a constant challenge to produce a quality building. Over-reliance on site built finishes inevitably mean higher costs and a greater uncertainty over the final finish. By using mostly dry materials and highly articulated material transitions, the building can be assembled quicker and with a greater degree of precision. Locally sourced materials have been used throughout the building. Eschewing the popular Italian marbles that adorn bourgeois Indian homes, a deeply veined Indian marble was deployed in an asymmetrical pattern to complement the cool tones of the interior glass partitions. This understanding, that materials that need to be touched should be warm, continues in the design of the staircase that is enveloped in wood, acting as the dissonant piece in the composition, making it whole.

retractable blinds animates the ordered elements, while during the day, the shadows of the surrounding trees play out on the façade, reflecting their movement. A single material used in the façade, not in the manner of the local context, but one that fully exploits the abilities of composite glass to act as a sustainable peripheral skin.

Since the building would eventually be used as a transitional space for most guests, it was imperative to design the services to take decades of wear and tear without needing costly maintenance or routine supervision. Plumbing, lighting and air conditioning were conceptualised within the framework of the building at an early stage including systems like pressurized water supply, solar hot water generators with recycling pumps, rainwater harvesting etc. As Gurgaon is prone to long power cuts, the use of split power generators aid in the reduction of running costs. Every mundane decision was re-examined, whether it was the room lighting, where single dimmable fixtures were chosen for the efficiency, user customization or the common areas, and backlit architectural fabrics are used for dramatic effect. This fabric also finds use in the headboards of the rooms and the ceilings, minimizing

The resultant aesthetic is one of elegant simplicity. At night, the varying pattern of the

About the Author Architecture Discipline is a multi-disciplinary design studio that explores architecture through the scales of Urban design, Architecture, Public art/Installations, Furniture and product design. The studio is engaged in the design of building typologies such as town halls, hotels, schools, offices, residences, sound/ video production studios and the public realm through installations. The result of every commission is determined by a series of critical design processes that result in an architectural expression that is contextually charged & contemporary. Buildings are integrated from conceptual framework to the tactile experience. The Studio innovates formal arrangements, engineering, m.e.p. services and building physics parameters in order to advance the principles of Sustainable Design that are visible in the overall expression of the projects. Architecture Discipline believe in the advancement of regional forms of expression, In order to achieve this they engage in full scale mock-ups & long term material investigations. The practice is process guided & strives for programmatic & technical flexibility for the resulting construction. A small award-winning practice that has been allowed creative independence by its clients, Architecture Discipline was established in 2007 by Akshat Bhatt. Akshat believes that true advances in regional expression can only be achieved through critical intimacy with the subject.


Page 12 | November 2014 | Issue VII

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Computational Technology for Smart Building Façades


- Sushant Verma

acades and building envelopes determine visual identity, character and expression of architecture. Design and aesthetics of building skins impart a character to a place, externally, and is a major parameter for performance of buildings, internally. Historically the nomadic lifestyle did not have any concept of a facade; they would use any available cover for their shelters. With the transition from nomadic to sedentary lifestyle, facades became important because of a multitude of functions they need to perform, out of which protection from the harsh environment was the most important. The variation in development and evolution of building skins across time and geographies exist majorly due to climatic variation, followed by cultural and social typologies. As building facades lie at the intersections of exterior and interior environment, they form an integral part of building aesthetics as well as building performance and an integrated practice of rational and intuitive approach is followed as a design & engineering process. This is where disciplines merge and science meets art.

Interactive prototype of adaptive[systems] at MAK Center Mackay House, Los Angeles

A building envelope consists of vertical (facade) and horizontal (roof) components which protect the building from direct external environment and helps in maintaining comfortable interiors along with providing structure and stability to the building. A traditional building skin thus provides stability, regulates air pressure (fenestrations) and protect the interiors from direct environmental factors (sunlight, rain and wind). Building skins are a vital component to resolve issues of responsive architecture as they are a medium through which intelligence can be imparted to a building system to respond to an environmental stimulus. Thus key characteristic of an effective intelligent building skin is its ability to modify energy flows through the building envelope by regulation, enhancement, attenuation, rejection or entrapment. At rat[LAB], a London-originated research network, we started the project adaptive[systems] with a sole vision of challenging the static built environment against the dynamic natural environment, where numerous layers of architecture have to come together to operate a building in negotiation with changing environmental parameters such as sun, rain & wind. Initiated as an academic thesis project at The Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture, London, the research has taken a series of iterations from 2012 to 2014, with the latest developments shaping up in Los Angeles, CA at The MAK Center. A dynamic façade system is designed as a proposal for MAK’s Exhibition Space at the site of Mackey Apartments, which was originally designed by one of the pioneers of Modernism – Rudolph Schindler in 1939.

Interactive prototype of adaptive[systems] at Maker Faire 2014, New York A series of parallel research based on smart geometric systems and smart material systems is carried out in a non-linear way, with continuous feedback networks. Genetic algorithms are used to deal with high degree of complexity of the multi-parametric problem while developing a component based system. Genetic algorithms are used to create a strong feedback network in the algorithm where real-time evaluations inform the initial stages of the algorithm. For embedding real-time evaluations in the algorithm new tool sets are created by integrating some of the state of the art computational tools to have a single interface where gene pool formation, evaluation, development, feedback, re-development and re-evaluation is carried out. This is done by creating a work-flow of digital simulations in a computational environment, which is able to simulate physical forces, integrated with physical tests based on materiality, leading to a material computational methodology, which is specific to the project.

Proposal for dynamic façade at MAK’s Exhibition Space in Los Angeles, California The project questions the static nature of architectural spaces, encouraging dynamism and motion in architecture via movable building skins. In an exhibition at MAK Center Los Angeles in September 2014, the research lab presented a prototypical interactive installation made of tensegrity components embedded with sensors that responded to human movement. This was tested as a potentially suitable building type for Southern California and other semi-arid locations.


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Issue VII | November 2014 | Page 13

Proposal for MACBA in Barcelona, Spain : Interior View showing the light quality in atrium About the Author Sushant Verma is an architect & computational designer, currently leading research organization rat[LAB] Research in Architecture & Technology. Former architect at Zaha Hadid Architects London, he is a senior editor at Arch2O, holds teaching positions at a number of universities & involved in education for computational & parametric design internationally. Recipient of MAK Schindler Award from Austria & a finalist for AIA Emerging Leaders Fellowship from Chicago, his work is widely published and exhibited in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco & Taipei, among other places.

Digital experiments for study of dynamics in the tensegrity system

A previous iteration of the interactive system uses Nitinol, a shape memory alloy in the form of compression springs that respond to heat from sun to actuate the system passively, regulating heat & light that permeate through the building skin, in the process. It is a prototype for investigating architecture that moves passively, without use of any external electrical energy. It exploits materiality and structural potentials of the system that responds to heat from the sun and gets self-actuated during the hot hours of the day to automatically move and provide controlled shading, heat gain & lighting conditions in any space. rat[LAB] - Research in Architecture & Technology, is an independent research organization and network of designers & researchers specializing in computational design or similar technology-related domains. Operated as a cloud-based organization with an international network of researchers & computational designers spread across UK, USA, Europe & Asia, the research cell functions as a global collaborative and multidisciplinary laboratory facilitating design research that leads to novel spatial tectonics and smart built environments. Experiments with shape memory alloy springs The research agendas broadly focus on the use of computational design in architecture, with intersections between design & technology spread across scales and disciplines. rat[LAB] offers collaborations to architecture and design firms to develop systemic models using advanced computational techniques and carry out project-specific or agenda-specific research in all fields of design.

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Prototype of 3-strut tensegrity façade system Complex algorithms are coded while designing the system to study the emergent dynamic behaviour of the system with respect to angular changes, axial shifts and force transfers that take place when the system actuates with heat. This type of a building skin can potentially be used as free standing roof structures, building facades, window panels or installations that can be pre-programmed and configured in a way that it responds to the environmental conditions of any place, while using the potentials of shape memory alloy and structural principles of tensegrity, and without needing any electrical source to operate. Computational technology is used extensively throughout the development of this project in a way that challenges the conventions of computation in architecture.

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Proposal for MACBA in Barcelona, Spain : Exterior View of dynamic facade www.frontale-india.com

Page 14 | November 2014 | Issue VII

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“Aluminium Fenestration Systems: Future Trends for Building Industry” - Industry Meet, Kolkata

fensterbau/frontle India organised an Industry Meet in Kolkata on 13th November 2014 Kolkata in collaboration with Aluk – Innovative Building Systems and Technoform Bautec India. The topic for the meet was “Aluminium Fenestration Systems: Future Trends for Building Industry”. The highlight of the event was the interactive Panel Discussion, moderated by Mr Ruchir Panwar. The key speakers – Mr T K Bhattacharya, Mr Anjan Mitra, Mr J P Agrawal and Mr Dibyendu Chakrovarty belonged to the Architectural fraternity. The discussion enlightened the audience about the advantages of Aluminium fenestrations and its impact on building designs. This meet was an attempt to indulge people from various fields of façade industry and architecture to come together and process a platform for networking and planning a way forward for the future projections. The intention was to make the façade and fenestration industry realize its potential and discuss the latest trends and technologies from India and around the world to reiterate the fact that there is a lot to explore and innovate. Architects, consultant, developers and fabricators discussed how aesthetic and design trends can be reconciled and make path for the future trends. Rejoicing the success of this Industry Meet, we would look forward to your participation in the next event at Bengaluru on n26th-28th February 2015.

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