(2013 June) Project Vendor

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The days when glass or actually color determined the building design have ended. Reza Kabul explains that whether it is glass, concrete or brick - today facades are being designed with a lot of care and study.

Identity of today’s construction industry rchitecture is always about projecting into the future. When we build, we shape not only the environment, but also our lives and the lives of future generations. India has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world which has led to an immense growth in infrastructure development, increasing emphasis on delivering world class architecture has resulted in the development of new and innovative façade designs. In India, the only option left is to now go vertical across all major cities and towns. The demand for not only curtain wall but also special energy efficient envelopes with a combination of special glass, double skin and rain screen facades is on the rise in various cities across India.


WHY FACADES? It gives the building its identity. In this time today, it’s not just about designing the creative best looking façade itself but designing with keeping in mind our future. The bigger challenge in terms of designing facades in India is our environment (dust, pollution etc) - it’s all about using efficient facades that can PROJECT VENDOR june 2013 I 38

provide insulation, energy saving and aesthetics. Buildings around the world consume 40% of primary energy and generate 33% of carbon emissions. Consumption of heating energy could reduce up to 70% through the use of effective thermal insulation. In our mixed used development project Shreepati Garden (image. 1); located (Image 1)

Shreepati Gardens

in Parel, Mumbai, early studies have been done along with climate analysis, wind studies to improve the proficiency of the building life. We can lengthen renovation cost cycle. Water is one of the greatest enemies of plaster and structures. Frequent driving rain, for example, not only damages plaster, but the moisture can also penetrate through plasters into the building fabric and trigger mildew formation. By proper choice of materials and paints we can lower the water absorption, get outstanding resistance resulting in cost effective and high durability façade. In our residential project, Zephyr (image. 2) located in Bandra (W); considerations are taken for the quality and durability of the materials to ensure comfort of living. We can achieve zero emissions. We need to use the paint which contains low-VOC paints that have no solvent or plasticizer content, but combine high resistance to dirt pick-up and good weathering properties with an excellent price/performance ratio resulting in healthy living. Until recently most of building facades in India were of traditional construction and glass usage in building was limited to glazed

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windows constructed along with conventional exterior concrete/brick envelope. Architectural glass was used mainly for day lighting internal spaces without other technical requirements and thus it was considered as commodity product. The trend has slowly changed to cope with modern architectural designs and an awareness of building design and energy consumption. As a result there is increasing focus on glass selection and in high performance glasses. Improved availability has been a factor with wide range, bigger sizes available, increased local production, ease of imported glass and reduced lead time. These have driven current trend and added flexibility. Owners are showing strong commitment to deliver advance design with increased budgets to achieve their aims. This has also caused owners to start looking for more ways to differentiate their development in the highly competitive business. Therefore more developments have started to go with unique iconic buildings where facades play a major role to achieve their desire. The advancement of façade glazing on these projects includes: complex glazing system, difficult façade geometry, more functional requirements, green building requirements an ecologically sustainable design. In our next project, complex glazing system has been used for Dheeraj Corporate Park (image. 3). The façade used optimization techniques to arrive at an optimal arrangement of glazing and blinds to refine the design and to

Shreepati Arcade

Shreepati Gardens (Image 3)

Dheeraj Corporate Park (Image 4

Relaince Guest House

maximize its thermal comfort performance while minimizing construction and operating costs. In our next project Reliance Guest House (image 4) we have considered the green building requirements to ensure good building design for the people and the environment. The Indian glazing industry is developing at a phenomenal rate

which increased construction activities and an aspiration for better quality. Current trends are improving the industry with upcoming large scale and complex projects, some of them with unique designed facades as well, but in terms of output quality and technical expertise available in India are limited and this creates some capacity problems. Therefore the local industry at all stages of the projects from post processing through to implementation is required to sharpen its technique, adequate investment on facilities, improve their expertise and quality to face these challenging projects. Whether it is glass, concrete or brick, today facades are being designed with a lot of care and study. Gone are the days when glass or actually color determined the building design. Today sun path analysis is done to ensure selection of right type of glazing. Spandrel panels are designed in such a way to avoid glare. In some cases sunbreakers are integrated in the façade to cut out the heat and allow diffused light to pass through the glass. Double Skin façade can also be seen in few projects. Parametric facades, LED facades, rain screen facades are in some buildings already. A façade is a signature of the building owner / architect / developer. We have to create a demand by educating people about our modern facade systems for healthy and better living. The author is Director - Reza Kabul Architects Pvt Ltd. He is one of the foremost talents in the realm of Indian architecture.

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