Volume 1 | Issue 6 July - August 2019
GUEST ARTICLE Testing & Certification Importance and Necessity
FLOURISHING ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION INDUSTRY IN THE MIDDLE EAST Discussion on the status and benefits of aluminium as a building material in the Middle East
PROJECT WATCH Supply of Fresh Air & External Solar Shading for High-Rise Buildings
PREFACE Extruded Aluminium - Transforming the Architectural and Construction Industry Aluminium is a widely used material in the architectural and construction industry. It is the second most used material in the construction of buildings. In today’s era, aluminium is considered as one of the most sustainable materials to be used in buildings, since it is 100 per cent recyclable. Moreover, aluminium offers versatility, lightness, cost-effectiveness, flexibility and energy-efficiency, which makes it a widely used material for construction. The extrusion process of aluminium allows to take advantage of the qualities of aluminium and offers a larger number of design options. Extruded aluminium products are increasingly used in end-user sectors, such as construction, transport, electricity, machinery and consumer goods due to the strength, flexibility, durability and sustainability they offer. The construction sector consumes about 62 per cent of the global extrusion production. In buildings, aluminium is used for making roofing, spandrels, window and door profiles, railings, etc. It is also being used in building façades, as cladding systems, to improve the appearance of the building and to make it durable. Its reusability makes it a most demanding material to be used in a building to get LEED certification. Aluminium offers countless benefits to the building as well as to its occupants by saving their energy costs. In the cover story of this edition, we have interviewed a few key players of the industry to know how this most abundant metal has revolutionised and transformed the architecture and the building sector in the Middle East. In this edition, you will also find the articles by industry leaders on fire safety, energy-efficient façades, etc. We welcome your feedback and suggestions, look forward to hearing from you. Team WFM
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CONTENTS Two Effective Measures which Enable You to Increase the Energy Efficiency of a Building
Johann Vranic, Regional Sales Manager, Eastern Europe & the Middle East, Ensinger
Innovation in Faรงade Design Mathieu Meur, Director, DP Faรงade
Testing & Certification - Importance and Necessity
Gopikrishnan TM, Head of Business & Vignesh Aadhithya, Technical Engineer, Vetrotech India, The Middle East & Asia, Saint Gobain
Steve Daniels, Technical Director, Faรงade Service Leader, Aurecon
FACE TO FACE
Robert Stephens, Executive Director & Founding Partner, Inhabit, the Middle East & Europe
FACE TO FACE
Subraya Kalkura, Director, John R Harris Partners, the Middle East
Getting the Most Value from Your Faรงade Engineer
Flourishing Aluminium Extrusion Industry in the Middle East
Supply of Fresh Air & External Solar Shading for High-Rise Buildings
Frank Goudman, Export Sales Director, Renson Front Cover Credit: Ales Photography for Inhabit Back Cover Credit: Ensinger
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ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS Two Effective Measures which Enable You to Increase the Energy Efficiency of a Building
Johann Vranic Regional Sales Manager, Eastern Europe & the Middle East, Ensinger About the Author: Johann Vranic has been with Ensinger for the past six years and has broad industry experience, having previously worked for a door and window hardware company. What he likes about working with customers in the Middle East is the local dynamics based on a growing positive attitude towards environmental protection. Being associated with Ensinger has made him proud to be a part of the movement supporting energy saving. Profiles for thermal separation in different geometries enable to precisely meet individual customer requirements, and this has been his main objective.
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Insulating profiles and spacers made from engineering plastics provide thermal separation that ensures energy-efficient windows, doors and façades. With high-rise buildings in particular, architects and planners are keen on using aluminium windows. Aluminium profiles have very high execution accuracy, they enable customised design possibilities and are extremely lightweight. In addition, aluminium as a material naturally has high chemical resistance and is mechanically resilient. The disadvantage of aluminium, however, is that it is very good at conducting heat. According to the standard DIN EN ISO 10077-2, aluminium has a thermal conductivity of ƛ = 160 W/mK. As a result, thermal separation of the aluminium profiles becomes necessary. HOW DOES THE THERMAL SEPARATION WORK? Heat is energy which, by means of thermal conduction, convection and radiation, always flows in the direction of the lower temperature. The energy transport can be reduced by: • Using materials with low thermal conductivity, e.g. thermal insulating bars made from engineering plastic in the interior of the aluminium frame and thermally optimised spacers in the insulating glass.
• Designing the components in such a way that there is minimal circulation of air, for example through flags on the insulating bars or by means of insulating bars with hollow chambers in the interior of the frame. • Using surfaces with low emissivity, e.g. a low-E film on the flags of the insulating bars in the frame. There are two effective measures for achieving the thermal separation on aluminium windows, doors and façades: Measure 1: Insulating Profiles from Engineering Plastic in the Window Frame In order to reduce the thermal transmission coefficient of the frame (Uf value), it is necessary to insulate the window frames and thermally separate their outer and inner shells from each other. For this purpose, insulating bars made from thermally insulating plastic are recommended for thermal separation. This insulating profile is made from glass fibre reinforced polyamide 66. The glass fibre proportion is 25%. The material used for this insulating bar stands out for its low thermal conductivity value ƛ = 0.30 W/mK and its good mechanical properties - even at higher temperatures.
insulbar® insulating profiles from Ensinger ensure optimum thermal separation of aluminium windows. This makes buildings more comfortable to live in and saves considerable quantities of energy, CO2, and heating and cooling costs
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Figure 2 - Window system without thermal separation
ÂŠAstana Property Management LLP
For example: A non-thermally-separated frame from an aluminium window has a thermal transmission coefficient Uf of 6.8 W/m2K (see Figure 2). If this system is thermally separated with an insulating profile with a width of 42 mm (see Figure 3), then the thermal transmission coefficient can be reduced to 1.3 W/m2K - the energy efficiency of
Figure 3 - Window system with thermal separation, here e.g. with insulbarÂŽ insulating profiles
the aluminium frame is therefore improved by over 80%. The calculation is based on the following assumptions: Glass area of 5.1 m2, frame proportion 30%, temperature difference of calculation 20 K. This means, therefore, that the more effective the insulation, the smaller the thermal conduction
Talan Towers in Astana, Kazakhstan (Ensinger product applied - LEED Gold)
is known as “Warm Edge” spacers have substantially lower thermal conductivity, as a result of which heat losses at the glass edge are significantly reduced. As a result, the window edge on the room side remains warmer in cool climates and cooler in warm climate zones. Warm Edge spacers consisting of a bond made from high-performance plastic and stainless steel, for example Thermix®, have a thermal conductivity that is several times lower than that of aluminium. An ultra-thin diffusion barrier made from stainless steel ensures lasting gas-tightness. The stainless steel used by Thermix®, for example, has a thermal conductivity value that is 10 times lower than aluminium. By using these spacers in the glass edge bond, the Uw value of the window is improved by 0.1 to 0.2 W/m2K. But it is not only the energy, CO2 and costs for heating or cooling are also reduced through the insulation. In cooler climates, the higher surface temperature of the window also makes the building more comfortable to live in and minimises the risks of condensation and hence mould formation. SUMMARY Figure 4 - Illustration of heat flows in the insulating area of the window frame
(transmission), heat convection and heat radiation (see Figure 4). Here, the individual types of heat transmission can be minimised in a targeted way. For example, a reduced heat flow can be achieved by making the hollow chambers smaller. The reduction can be brought about by means of what are called hollow chamber profiles or by means of profiles with inwardly directed flags. Another, very effective method for minimising the losses through heat radiation is the use of thermal insulating bars with an inwardly directed flag covered with a thin low-E film. This film ensures a high level of reflection of the heat radiation.
The requirements concerning the sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings are exacting. This affects the providers of windows, façades and doors. They need better, thermally optimised products so that less heating and cooling energy escapes “out of the window”. It is vital to consistently minimise thermal bridges on windows, doors and façades. By this means, the consumption of heating and cooling energy and the associated CO2 emissions can be considerably reduced. Thanks to Thermix® Warm Edge spacers, thermal energy losses at the glass edge are significantly reduced
Measure 2: Warm Edge Spacer in the Glass Edge Zone With insulating glass, it is vital to minimise thermal bridges in the glass edge zone: Spacers between the panes of glass - as part of the edge bond - are traditionally made from aluminium. They are also known by the name “Cold Edge”. By contrast, what
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BIM MODELLING Innovation in Faรงade Design
Mathieu Meur Director, DP Faรงade About the Author: Mathieu Meur provides the strategic and technical leadership for DP Faรงade, the specialist faรงade consultancy arm within the DP Architects Group of companies. He was heavily involved in the construction of the Changi Airport Terminal 1 Upgrading, Resorts World at Sentosa, Grand Hyatt Gurgaon and The Dubai Mall, amongst many others. Through his training as a multi-disciplinary engineer and subsequent years of experience, Mr. Meur has developed extensive knowledge of all types of building envelope systems in terms of design, engineering and related codes of practice.
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A century ago, in 1918, the first generation of cars looked much like a wooden cart with an engine mounted onto it, steering wheels were just starting to replace the tiller, and 50km/h was considered breakneck speed. When compared to the latest Tesla or BMW electric sports cars, these early automobiles simply pale. Similarly, the Curtiss NC-1 biplane of 1918 had a maximum speed of 144km/h and a range of 2,500km, while the modern Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor features a top speed of 2,500km/h in addition to a host of other high-end capabilities unimaginable back in 1918. Perhaps even more striking is the evolution of Information Technology. Only fifty years ago, a computer that was capable of performing only the most basic of tasks would have filled a very large room. Today, most of us have smart phones in our pocket that can perform the same tasks a billion times faster. Looking at construction technology one hundred years ago compared to the present day, the differences between concrete- or steel-framed buildings of now and then may not be immediately obvious to the untrained eyes. On the other hand, façade technology has evolved and improved by leaps and bounds in that same period. There isn’t much in common between the early days of small hand-blown glass panels in steel frames to the modern fully aluminium unitised, pressure-equalised and fully drained curtain walls with low-emissivity double-glazed units. It thus seems appropriate to carry out a systematic review
of the various new and upcoming techniques in the design of building envelopes. BIM DOCUMENTATION Just a few short years ago, BIM technology started its unstoppable ascension, even becoming the de facto method required to be used for submissions and applications to local authorities in some countries, including Singapore and the UK. The benefits of BIM are clear: closer coordination between various disciplines, detection and avoidance of clashes, 3-dimensional modelling of buildings, as well as a host of other advantages, depending on the savviness level of the design team. Yet, as is often the case with drastic changes, strong resistance to the progression of BIM could be felt throughout the façade industry. I should confess that I was one of those that could not see its advantages through the hurdles linked to its implementation. Now, two years after our team has made the leap into full BIM implementation and documentation of the building envelope, I feel that there is no turning back, and it is all for the better. Clearly, shifting to BIM design of façades requires strong commitment, since the training and mindset need to evolve. However, once the initial investment is made, it pays off quickly. The whole documentation process is much faster and accurate as compared to traditional CAD drawings. More importantly, because the façade is designed
BIM modelling fosters better quality and higher efficiency in the design process
The integrative design allows for faster and better coordination between various disciplines
comprehensively in three dimensions, revisions and amendments are very easy to implement, and section, plan, elevation and detail drawings are always consistent. The adoption of BIM effectively eliminates the risk of discrepancies between different sets of drawings and between different disciplines. INTEGRATIVE DESIGN Buildings are becoming increasingly complex, with more and more components and disciplines making their way into new developments. Coordination between these various disciplines by traditional means is a major source of problems and inefficiencies in the design process. The integrative design aims at ironing out such issues by allowing the various actors involved in the design process to work concurrently, in parallel, and on the same platform. This makes this whole very efficient and ensures that the works of various designers is fully coordinated at all times, and avoids multiple iterations and backtracking. When it comes to the design of building envelopes, through this integrative approach, the façade designer is able to work in tandem with the sustainability consultant, for instance. The latter can carry out building physics study in real-time, as the façade
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is being designed and documented. Similarly, the structural analysis of the façade elements and the incorporation of night lighting components can both be realised in conjunction with the model-building process on the BIM platform. PARAMETRIC MODELLING One of the buzzwords that has hit the construction industry in recent times has to be “parametric modelling”. While many talk about it, few actually implement it. The idea of parametric modelling is simple: set a certain number of variable parameters in relation of the component being designs (e.g. window-to-wall ratio, panel modulation, building orientation, visible light transmittance, etc.), assign a certain range to these parameters, then have the design software work out the resulting designs for each incremental variation of these variables, and finally, extract the ideal solution (it could be the one offering the slimmest members, the best thermal performance, or the lowest cost, for instance) from this collection of possible design approaches. While often associated with highly organic and complex geometries, this technique can actually be applied to virtually any type of development or
building component, regardless of its complexity. It allows building designers to make highly informed decisions rather than guesstimating the ideal situation. REAL - TIME RENDERING Architects and designers who are in their forties and above surely remember how painstaking the rendering process used to be not so long ago. It took extremely careful planning before starting the production process, as the latter would take several hours, if not more, and any mistake would take the same amount of time to correct. This is all changing at a rapid rate with the arrival on the market of real-time (or near-real-time) rendering software. As the designer builds the BIM model, adding, removing and shaping components, the rendering software updates the visualisation instantaneously. The benefits are clear. Architects and designers are able to view the rendering immediately, for comparison with their mental picture of the project. Similarly, clients can navigate the project at all stages, enabling prompt decisionmaking, and speeding up the approval process. In terms of façade design, in particular, many material suppliers (glass, cladding, paints, etc.) are hopping onto this bandwagon, allowing the software producers to make the results as close to reality as possible. This means that the visualisations generated are highly photo-realistic. Since it is possible to test multiple combinations of materials and finishes in real-time, I would not be surprised if VMUs, which currently stands for Visual Mock-Ups of façades, eventually turns out to mean Virtual Mock-Ups. VR/GAMIFICATION The newer generation of designers, who belong to the Gen Z or Millennial generation, have a Real-time rendering used for verification and approvals
completely different approach to the design process. They are much more tech-savvy, and rely extensively on computers. In parallel, they tend to have shorter attention spans and become more easily bored than previous generations. These are generalisations, obviously, but they highlight the need to adapt work methods to these younger designers. Queue in virtual reality: using dedicated goggles and other accessories, designers can fly through the model and interact with it, literally building a model while being visually immersed into it. This approach is reminiscent of video games, whereby the creation process is much more fun and interactive, thus the nickname of “gamification” of the design process. Beyond the creation process, virtual reality is increasingly appreciated by developers and investors, as they can experience the completed product even before the start of the construction works on site. AI PREDICTIVE DESIGN A term first coined in the early 1940s, artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans. The term “artificial intelligence” is commonly used when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that are typically associated with the human mind, such as learning and problem-solving. In the context of building design, AI refers to emerging design approaches, where dedicated systems are fed very large amounts of information from existing projects and other sources, this information is digested and “learned” by the system, such that it can then assist designers in making very quick, informed decisions regarding the best possible design directions to adopt. Using the 80/20 principle (80% accuracy based on 20% of the effort), architects can obtain answers from AI systems regarding optimal building orientation, site layouts, window-to-wall ratio, sunshade arrangements, material properties, and an incredible array of other information. This is all produced within just a very short time (typically one or two hours, depending on the size of the development), and backed by proven facts and experience. FINAL WORDS In summary, there exists a host of new technologies that are starting to make headways in the design of façades, improving both the quality and the efficiency of the design process. Resistance to change is inherent to human nature, but embracing these advances is essential for façade designers who do not want to be left behind.
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FIRE SAFETY Testing & Certification Importance and Necessity About the Authors: Gopikrishnan TM has been working in the building material industry for about 29 years now. He has been associated with Saint Gobain group since 2000. He was initially with the architectural glass division including the pan India retail sales. He was moved to setting up the fire resistant glass division (Vetrotech Saint-Gobain) in 2008. He is responsible for the business for Asia and the Middle East - Topline and bottom-line. Gopikrishnan TM Head of Business, Vetrotech India, The Middle East & Asia, Saint Gobain Vignesh Aadhithya has been associated with Vetrotech SaintGobain for the past 6 years as Technical Engineer working for India, Asia and the Middle East markets. He is responsible for testing and certification activities for fully glazed fire rated systems. His work involves testing fire rated glazed systems as per several global and local testing standards. He has been directly involved in conducting more than 100+ fire tests for the past 6 years and 25+ certification projects.
Vignesh Aadhithya Technical Engineer, Vetrotech India, The Middle East & Asia, Saint Gobain
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Test specimen just after start of fire test
In a fast world where urbanisation is the only way of improving the growing needs lifestyle and the comfort of the mass population, one cannot disregard the alarming factor of providing a safe environment without compromising the latest evolution of architecture. Considering the above scenario, we are now using various new materials which were not seen in the past decades. The architecture is evolving at every step and the materials used to realise the architecture should also ensure a safe environment for the people inhabiting the space. This brings us to the very need of standard testing procedure and certification process in order to ensure the materials that are used in our daily space are safe and can protect us in the event of fire. Building fires are increasing partly because of unregulated use of materials that are not fit for use in a compartment which required to contain or stop fire from spreading further.
To sum up what a fire standard means, Wikipedia more or less nails it! â€œA fire test is a mean of determining whether fire rated products meet minimum performance criteria as set out in a building code or other applicable legislation. Successful tests in laboratories holding national accreditation for testing and certification result in the issuance of a certification listing. The listing is public domain, whereas the test report itself is proprietary information belonging to the test sponsor.â€? In a country like UAE, where over 200 nationalities reside, commute and co-habit, defining the fire resistance test standards for building elements that will best suit the local regulations is quite a difficult task. However, the UAE life safety code has embraced the challenging task and has devised an approval system which allows manufacturers/ fabricators to test as per the 3 globally accepted and
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popular standards - British, European and American standards. The latest version of the UAE life safety code acknowledges all three testing standards and the involved classifications as per these standards. In a market, where the influence of European and American standard based specification is quite commonly seen, there is always a confusion which is the better standard to test to. However, we need to understand that these standards were developed and revised over years, they are based on two different ideologies and each of them have to be respected. The key difference in details involved between the standard itself needs a separate article! However, to just summarise the key differences between both the standards - furnace temperature conditions are similar, but the pressure conditions are not. The location of the unexposed face thermocouples (to measure insulation performance) between American and European is significantly different, which makes classifying the performance of the specimen a difficult job as per European standards compared to American standards. Aside all these factors, the standout difference between the American and European standards is the important non-negotiable â€œHose Stream Testâ€?, which is done right after a fire test is done as per the American standards. The European standard, however, doesnâ€™t require a hose stream test. Considering the mix of influence of ideologies involved inside the UAE Life Safety Code, UAE has rather developed a robust system for approving fire rated products, building elements (passive fire protection materials and systems). Following the trends in the fire rated glazing system over the past few years, we would be inclined to place our opinions over the evolution of procedures involved for approvals of fire rated glazed doors, partitions, floors, etc. Test specimen details: 120-minute fire resistance rated curtain wall partition system Framing system: Forster Thermfix Vario 60 from Forster Profile Systems Pvt. Ltd. Fabricator: Al Abbar Aluminium Glass: Contraflam structure 120, 52mm Test lab: Thomas Bell Wright International Consultants Test standard: UL 263 Fire rating: 120 minutes
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Test specimen right after fire exposure (exposed face)
UAE has evolved from a point where approvals were made just on test report evidences to the point where the approval system is based on: the skill of the fabricator and his ability to fabricate, install and qualify his systems for different fire ratings, factory inspections, certification listings for the entire system and the factory in which it is being produced from, labeling of every single system that leaves the factory for installation on a site. If someone needs a CD approval, one must not only test but also get certified. There is a lot of difference in testing and certification. Testing is done to check whether a system is good enough to resist fire with all its different components achieving the level of protection as required on the standards and codes. Certification is given to ensure that the tested products/systems are produced from a factory/ fabrication unit which is audited, where quality control procedures are met and the same level of quality products are produced and supplied post testing through periodic factory audits and certification schemes. All systems/products leaving the facility in which it is being produced must have a unique label that identifies the system under the certification scheme of the certifying body. UAE has approved a list of 50+ testing and certification bodies that are considered competent for testing and certification works for the UAE market. This is foolproof way of ensuring that what we see
Test specimen towards end of the fire exposure
on sites is of the same quality and grade that was put forth while testing. UAE has done an excellent job in integrating the different practices seen across the globe and putting together a cohesive approval process to obtain the Civil Defense or CD approval from Emirates. While UAE has established a strong base for its approval processes, their neighbours are also catching up to the game. Qatar: To install a fire rated system in Qatar, one must seek for Qatar Civil Defense (QCD) approval. Qatar Civil Defense has a strong approval system where they have also listed qualified international labs/certification bodies that can work for the Qatar market. Qatar Civil Defense insists that certification listing is a must and it should be online traceable. QCD makes a visit to the online certification portal and checks this before granting a QCD approval. Historical test evidence is acceptable, and the certification body will audit the fabricator facility
and provides certification listing for the systems they have test evidences with. Oman: To install a fire rated system is Oman, one must seek for Royal Oman Police (overROP) approval. Obtaining the ROP approval is not complicated, one requires the test reports and certification which will be reviewed by ROP. However, historic evidences are allowed even for fabricators. Kuwait: To install a fire rated system in Kuwait, one needs the Kuwait Fire Department approval. Kuwait has a special rule - the testing body and the certification body should be the same. For e.g., if a system is tested in “X” test lab and certification is made by “Y”, then there is a chance that your application will be turned. So, in effect, if the testing body is X, then the certification body should also be the same “X”. KSA: The local civil defense is working to establish a strong approval system in order to build the approval
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Test specimen during application of hose stream
process like their counterparts, where approvals are centralised and not localised. Currently, a test evidence would prove enough to get the product/ system approved for to be used in a building. Even though all the local markets have their own certification procedure, there is always room for improvement when it comes to life and fire safety. Materials keep evolving and so the standards and the ways/methods to certify them will also evolve. In many cases, one overlooked practice is the need to certify the manufacturing/fabrication unit from where components are sourced. This practice will build the system and will ensure that all the components are labeled and the instructions to handle/use them are followed correctly. For e.g., if we take the case of an everyday building element, we use glazed door at once a day. We have at least 10 different components in glazed doors including: profiles, glass, gaskets, glazing tapes, hinges, locking and movement restriction hardware, perimeter insulation, locking screws, anchor and fasteners, etc. Every single component used in the door plays a role in keeping up the integrity of the door in the event of fire. Compliance documents need to be ensured by the body in charge for the certification and the approval in order to ensure that the components are manufactured/sourced from an audited facility that ensures quality compliance. Europe is preparing one another big change in the ways doors are certified. They will be certifying
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Test specimen after application of hose stream
the entire door as product based approaches. This means that a door will now be certified on the basis of product approval standard EN 16034 and doors will be sold as a complete unit including all the components which are certified and covered by EN 16034. While we are having advancements in the field of technology that are popular for social life, we should also be aware on the advancements that happen around us in order to ensure that we live in a safe environment. Sustainability and well-being is one of the most discussed and sought after aspects while designing a building. It is also necessary to ensure that all the fire rated systems that are used in the building are tested and certified to the relevant standards and are up to date. The current rules and regulations in UAE have taken care of all the requirements to ensure that a reliable and sturdy system should be in place in the fire risk areas - exit doors, horizontal exits, lift lobbies, compartmentation, etc., ensuring fire safety in our everyday well-being is a collective responsibility!
FAÇADE Getting the Most Value from Your Façade Engineer
Steve Daniels Technical Director, Façade Service Leader, Aurecon About the Author: Steve Daniels, Aurecon’s Global Façade Leader, has an extensive track record in façade management and consulting. He has 30 years of international experience and has worked on some of the worlds’ great façades including the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, Swiss Re and City Hall in London, and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Aurecon is an engineering, design, and advisory company. With an office network extending across 27 countries, Aurecon has been involved in projects in over 80 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Daniels discusses some of the things that need to be considered to get the best out of your façades engineer.
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It is the façade of a building that brings an architect’s vision to life, however a building’s skin not only contributes to architectural expression, it also plays a large role in the performance of the building as a whole. Globally, clients are becoming more demanding concerning the solutions they want from their buildings and façades. They want better-performing, more aesthetically pleasing façades and these requirements have to be delivered quickly and costeffectively. A façade is one of the key influences that determine the value, commercial success and project risk of a building, but it is also one of the most common sources of building failure. Few people realise how complex a façade system can be. In a typical 30 storey building, for example, there will be approximately 18,000 sq m of façade. This will consist of approximately 3,000 panels, with each panel having approximately 300 parts that are constructed from various materials. This example adds up to nearly a million parts for the façade alone, so it’s no wonder that things can go wrong if proper control isn’t in place. Some of the diverse conditions that a façade needs to accommodate include wind speeds that can go above 100 k/ph, temperature differences, and associated thermal expansion of up to 80°C, plus they must resist rain, humidity, mould and even seismic activity and lightning.
so that the engineers can assess different solutions and determine what performance requirements are needed for the façade. In this way, the project proceeds smoothly with all parties fully informed. A façade engineer’s obligations extend much further than delivering a technical service. An engineer must understand the entire development process and the fact that delaying a building project will have financial implications for a developer. The engineers therefore have an obligation to provide good technical advice and keep a project moving forward. Make sure that the façade engineer has appropriate experience, understands the project’s aspirations and understands how a project is developed. No developer will ever be thankful for achieving a small, non-critical technical win if the result is that the project is delivered late. CROWN PLAZA HOTEL, SINGAPORE Designed and built in only 17 months, Aurecon was engaged to advise on the design of the Crowne Plaza Hotel’s façade. The façade screen, set
Besides being designed for all of the above external conditions, a façade on a tall building also needs to be able to accommodate a structure that moves and deflects all of this while continuing to look good. In short, it is a complex machine and should not be trusted to inexperience. Within the boundaries of the fees available, façade engineers need to be smart with the solutions they offer. It is the job of a façade engineer to find the technologies and systems to make the client requirements possible. As a very minimum, they must offer safe, buildable, durable solutions that fit into the client’s budget. Sometimes delivering optimum service means delivering difficult messages to the clients. As with any type of highly technical engineering solution, one gets what they pay for when it comes to façade design and installation. Façade engineers need to be brought in at the early stages of a project to understand what the client’s aspirations are and what they can afford,
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Crowne Plaza Hotel, Singapore
against the Changi Airport terminal buildings, was conceptualised as three-dimensional lace screens resembling orchid petals that could provide shade and texture for hotel rooms and public spaces. Designed to provide a sense of peace and tranquillity for travellers, and to meet shade requirements, the material selection was key to achieving this outcome. The lightweight screen concept required Aurecon to undertake accelerated testing of possible façade materials to verify weathering and compatibility with interfacing materials. Ultimately, a polymer modified glass fibre reinforced gypsum compound was used to create the petals, with screed elements sculpted from visual and CAD animations of scaled samples. The modular units of screen petals were factory assembled into full floor height partitions to allow for fast on-site installation. The resulting building ‘floats’ on a filigree floral cage that filters and softens the surroundings, providing 60 per cent shading for the building. SOUTH AUSTRALIAN HEALTH AND MEDICAL INSTITUTE (SAHMRI), ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA The AUD 200 million South Australian Health and Medical Institute (SAHMRI), located on Adelaide’s North Terrace, Australia was opened to public in November 2013. As a member of the Integrated Design Team, Aurecon collaborated with project architects, Woods Bagot, to deliver to the community a world class medical research facility, which is at the cutting edge of design. Aurecon’s SAHMRI Project Director, Niko Tsoukalas, said that one of the key features of the project’s design was the creation of what has been colloquially termed as flower columns. An approach used to reduce the required 36 column locations to the upper floors to just six main support locations at plaza level.
The integration of architecture and structural engineering was brought together in the early stages of the design process, ensuring a clear pathway to the construction of a functional and iconic building that reflects the creative vision for the project. The innovative column system removed the need for a forest of columns and reduced the support steelwork to around 250 tonnes. Critically, the design solution enhanced the architectural vision of ensuring the building did not turn its back on any part of the city by creating the illusion of it floating above the ground. Aurecon undertook the structural, civil, façade, traffic, geotechnical, wind, specialist vibration, electrical, vertical transportation and fire engineering for the project. Another key feature of the project’s design is the integrated structural façade. The collaboration of architect and engineer enabled Aurecon to finesse the geometry of the aesthetic form using simple Euclidean theory. A regular polygon base (a hexagon) permitted the integrated structural façade system to use efficient long spanning lightweight roof (stadia roofs) technology. This made it possible to use an efficient form-active structural load distribution system and small rectangular hollow steel members to free span the large distances demanded by the out there design. The integration of Aurecon’s knowledge of glass and lightweight architectural structures realised the overall vision for the SAHMRI skin of spiky, triangular windows that contain 6290 glass panels that dazzle in the sun, reminiscent of a crystal palace. Covering 26,000 sq m, the institute is home to up to 675 of the world’s foremost scientists looking at ways to foster innovation and improvements in health services, leading to improved health outcomes for the whole community. South Australian Health and Medical Institute (SAHMRI), Adelaide, Australia
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FIRE SAFETY A Passive Route to Fire Safe Faรงade Construction
Mayank Sharma Technical Specification Manager, Siderise Insulation About the Author: Mayank Sharma is the Technical Specification Manager at Siderise Insulation and oversees the Middle East and South Asian Market. He works extensively with contractors, architects and developers in the region, assisting and advising them on matters relating to applicable code compliance and completion of projects. Holding a degree in Mechanical Engineering with experience working with firms like Knauf Insulation, Proleed Engineering Consultants and Carrier Corporation, he understands what drives businesses and how to spread best practice within the Industry.
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When you consider that asphyxiation from smoke and noxious gases accounts for more than 40% of fatalities (according to the DCLG) and that most deaths happen to people who were not in the room where the fire originated, it is easy to see why firestops are critical to prevent the passage of flames and noxious gases from one floor to the next. The risk of fire spread through articulated elements of the façade or vertically around the façade via the mechanism of flame leap, poses new concerns for the newest class of super high-rise structures. The concerns revolve around the issues of fire department response capabilities, reliability of sprinkler systems and associated water supplies and the characteristics of the building and building occupants. More importantly, as architects develop a new and leading edge creative curtain wall designs, it becomes more critical to consider the risk factors that can impact the building’s overall level of fire safety. The risk factors that may influence issues of curtain wall fire safety design should be considered and it should be discussed that what building system and features can factor into an analysis to validate a specific curtain wall design detail. Curtain walls are a relative complex combination of components that include aluminium frames, vision
glass, metal back pans, insulation, gaskets, and anchors or connectors of steel or aluminium. Given a fully developed fire exposure in a room or space bordered by a building’s curtain wall system, it can be expected that vision glass failure will occur within minutes. Once the failure occurs, the flames are extending to the exterior, the various curtain wall components and the perimeter fire system is then subjected to thermal forces and degradation that can result in fire spread to the floor above. FIRESTOPPING IS COMPARTMENTATION
It is the building of fire, smoke, and other resistancerated assemblies into “boxes” in buildings. These boxes are built to keep the fire from spreading from the room of origin to other parts of a building. Compartments are formed when the area or fire walls separate one space from another, allowing the collapse of one side without the other sides being structurally affected. They are also formed when resistance-rated walls are constructed in corridors, when resistance-rated floors are built for floorto-floor protection, and when spacing between buildings is added to protect against fire spreading from building to building.
Curtain wall systems
Fires in high-rise buildings generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to only one room. Smoke travels at up to 130 metres every minute and whilst most people can easily move at this rate in normal circumstances, the majority of survivors of fires stated that smoke restricted their ability to see to no more than 4 metres. When the linear gap at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke will spread vertically to higher floors. Addressing these linear gaps by properly installing firestops, maintains the floors fire compartmentation of the building. This delay vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smokerelated deaths in the upper floors of the building. SAFE SOLUTION
When the linear gap at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke will spread vertically to higher floors
The perimeter barrier firestops seal the linear gap between the edge of the compartment floor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project design and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable, so the firestop system used needs to have a degree of
EN 1364 - Part 4
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‘dynamic’ movement capability - compression and recovery - in order to accommodate serviceability movement. What is critical - is the firestop system must do this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartment floor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – integrity and insulation (EI). • Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system
EN 1364 - Part 3
to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through, around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rise above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features - density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression, which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with the minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, the Certifire approved SIDERISE CW-FS perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits. The principal function of the Siderise CW system is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the linear gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls both horizontally and vertically.
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that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill linear gaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors. Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support, including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance.
Typical perimeter firestop system
Siderise’s perimeter barriers and firestops for curtain walling uses a patented method of manufacture that provides a resilient lateral compression. This facilitates installation, ensures the requisite tight fit and enhances fire integrity (E). Throughout the range, the materials comprise a one-piece product with a pre-compressed non-combustible stonewool core. The products also have integral aluminium foil facings to provide an overall Class A1 rating and excellent resistance to the passage of smoke. SIDERISE CW-FS perimeter barrier and firestop systems also offer an unrivalled combination of independent third party Certifire approved performance data for both horizontal and vertical applications, Certifire Certificate No. CF563 refers. The systems can offer tested fire rating options ranging from 30 minutes to five hours and can accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. SEALING THE VOIDS At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers, recently completed at the Dubai Marina in the UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development that includes hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor Cladtech with a one-stop-shop solution
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Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important. Contractors installing life saving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place. When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well designed and installed system can make the difference. We believe in effective compartmentation as a major measure to protect life safety in buildings. The properly designed, installed, inspected, and maintained, effective compartmentation components should provide reliable protection. Top questions to ask when purchasing firestop systems that have insulation as a component: • What tested and listed systems are the insulation tested in? • Is the insulation part of a tested and listed system? • Is the insulation specified by name in that tested and listed system? • Show me that system! • For more information about products, materials, systems and selection, testing, visit certification database. Firestopping is a matter of matching the tested and listed system with conditions as they exist in the field exactly. There are no ‘construction tolerances’, ‘make it fit’ or other variations allowed, unless specified in the tested and listed system. Once a contractor understands that philosophy, makes it part of the corporate culture, from office to field, then successful firestopping projects can take place.
FAÇADE ACCESS EVOLUTION The Advancing Complexity of Façade Access
Mohamed Merchant Associate Director, TÜV SÜD Dunbar Boardman About the Author: Mohamed Merchant is an Associate Director at TÜV SÜD Dunbar Boardman, Europe’s leading elevator, escalator and access consultancy. Operating throughout Europe, the Middle East and India, TÜV SÜD Dunbar Boardman is part of TÜV SÜD, one of the world’s leading technical service providers, which has more than 24,000 employees located across over 1,000 locations.
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If the façade access equipment (FAE) is not designed appropriately during the pre-construction phase, or incorrectly installed, it can have a significant and escalating financial impact, such as a requirement for additional maintenance staff and training. For example, for non-rectilinear façades full building coverage presents a particular problem, as a nonstandard reach requirement demands bespoke FAE.
Façade cleaning and maintenance has evolved
Architectural design is evolving rapidly, with ever more elaborate building envelopes creating iconic buildings the world over. But of course, for the outside of a building to maintain its iconic status, it must be regularly maintained. Safe and efficient access to all of the external and internal areas is therefore vital to maintain longevity of the building envelope and structure. However, despite its growing importance within the construction industry, façade access remains highly specialised, with very limited expertise on a global scale. Façade cleaning and maintenance has dramatically changed and has evolved to meet the demand for bespoke systems, alongside the challenges posed by increasingly tight operating spaces and the evergrowing demand for replacing façade panels and MEP plant components. Economical and effective façade maintenance is therefore now a prime consideration within the overall design development. FAÇADE ACCESS – BASE PRINCIPLES As the global demand for complex building designs introduces a wealth of challenges, the development of a façade access solution must be part of the early design phase, and also cover the expected life of a building. If façade access is treated as more of an afterthought, trying to work around inappropriate planning decisions can be inefficient and it may even end up not complying with industry standards. A Façade Access system must therefore perform as expected from the outset, without any health and safety risk to operatives, and take minimal assembly time.
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Façade access design and challenges should therefore be co-ordinated and resolved in an integrated manner throughout the project. In this process, it is important for designers to engage the relevant stakeholders such as regulators, suppliers, specialist contractors, facility managers and endusers. By early consideration of the extent, nature, duration and frequency of work to be done at height, appropriate equipment and techniques for cleaning, maintenance and repair can be identified. Specialist design input can help to resolve aesthetic, access to and from the equipment and loads impinging on the building structure. This will enable accurate costing and planning for the provision of access equipment, its inclusion into the building and its lifetime use. The diagram below illustrates key considerations to be factored during the façade access equipment selection criteria: Designers must assess and manage many competing factors while preparing their designs. The concept phase, when the form of the building is at an embryonic stage, is influenced by several
Façade access development must be part of the early design phase
factors such as function, location, aesthetics, cost and planning. In addition, there are other factors such as building and fire regulations, sustainability, buildability and maintainability to be addressed. The best time for designers to consider work at height is during these early stages of the design, reviewing how it can be minimised and carried out in a manner that provides an appropriate level of safety. The image below suggests the appropriate design flow from the planning stage to final handover. PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS On a practical level, FAE also needs storing when it’s not in use. So, visibility & garaging problems can also arise if this element is not considered during
Efficient access to critical locations (double skin facade, shading devices, etc.)
the building design phase. Permanently installed Suspended Access Equipment (SAE) should, whenever possible, be stored in a weatherproof environment, or parked FAE must not be along the line of sight. Maintenance zones and clear space for periodic inspection and testing of FAE should also be considered. As the equipment may well spend much of its time idle, the impact of the environment on its lifespan is also an important factor to take into account, this includes long term corrosion, pitting, rotting and degradation. An environmental study at the early design stage should therefore specify the minimum required level of protection and finishes, such as waterproofing, galvanising, paint, etc.
Safety considerations, statutory regulations, codes & standards
Client brief, FM and occupier’s scope, standard of cleaning
Equipment operating environment, contact with building surface (impact loads)
Manufacturer’s capabilities (buildability) operator/ end-user’s skill, ergonomics
FACADE ACCESS EQUIPMENT SELECTION CRITERIA
Capital and Life cycle costs (on-going, maintenance), cleaning costs
Development type, number of buildings, building height, ratio of glazed and non-glazed facade
Aesthetics and visual qualities, site constraints, planning conditions
Building location, facade and roof geometry, ground condition Secondary access requirements (facade/plant lifting, routine and longterm inspection)
Facade material, cleaning time, maintenance frequency (min. warranty)
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Pertinent statutory requirements
Brief / Documentation
Planning & concept design
Tender & construction
Site and climatic considerations
Detailed façade design - co-ordinated architectural, structural and building services proposals
Façade design concept
Maintainability requirements, including safety considerations (e.g. provisions for tie-back restraints or lifelines)
Anticipated maintenance requirements (e.g. computer cleaning cycle duration)
Device maintenance regime
Façade access and maintenance strategy, including material hoist requirements for glass or façade lighting replacement Types of access system and equipment available with consideration of maximum operating height
Finalise façade access and maintenance options, with consideration for parking/ storage location for maintenance equipment Detailed design access systems and equipment
Hando over & occupation
Commitment of contractors to maintainability requirements
Maintenance regime in place
Construction and installation as per specialist contractors’/ manufacturers’ details
As-built records, including façade access and maintenance strategies information
Testing and commissioning of access systems and equipment
Reliability and availability of parts
Specialist contractors’/ manufacturers’ requirements
Preparation of operation and maintenance (O&M)
Updated O&M documents and Design for Safety register
Building lifespan/ lifecycle cost considerations
Anticipated business costs and inconvenience to building users
As-built records, including façade access and maintenance strategies information
Operational procedures and training for maintenance personnel
Feedback to/from developers and building managers
Review and validate with developer and building managers
Review and validate with developer and building managers
Urban design (building mass, façade treatments, lighting, signage etc) and landscaping requirements
• Buildability • Environmental sustainability
• Design for Safety • Fire Safety
Feedback from occupants/building of future projects •
Workplace Safety and Health (WSH)
by Professional Engineer • Workplace Safety and Health (WSH)
This chart lists some suggestions for different tasks to be achieved at different stages of façade access design. © Redrawn by TUV SUD, original image data courtesy of Building & Construction Authority, Singapore
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As multiple aspects of the design process will impact the final façade access solution and its long term viability, experienced façade access designers should be involved in the early stages of the building design process, and have direct discussions with the architect. This will help to ensure that the ultimate permanent access equipment solution minimises operational and cost-related hazards. REAL WORLD EXAMPLE - NATIONAL BANK OF KUWAIT Located on a prominent site in Kuwait City, the 300-metre-high headquarters tower for the National Bank of Kuwait has a distinctive presence. The design combines structural innovation with a highly efficient passive form, shielding the offices from the extremes of Kuwait’s climate. The form of the tower is equally driven by the needs of the bank. The spatial arrangement is tailored to the bank’s organisational structure, while providing the flexibility to anticipate and respond to future change and growth. The crescent form maximises cellular office space at the perimeter, and the tower’s sixty floors are punctuated by three doubleheight sky lobbies, which provide a social focus and meeting facilities for staff. These communal areas are complemented by the chairman’s club with panoramic city views in the dramatic 18-metre-high volume at the tower’s apex. TÜV SÜD Dunbar Boardman provided façade access design services from the initial concept to the completion on site, which includes a highly complex building maintenance unit (BMU) located on level 52. This is used for periodic access to the external elevation, including the ‘crown’ of the building, in order to maintain warranties and support the glass lifting strategy during replacement. This is believed to be the heaviest and longest BMU in the world. Several access options were explored during the design stages to suit around the building geometry and services at roof level. The BMU unit has been designed to clear the unique crown structure whilst achieving correct orientation of the suspended platform parallel to the façade to maximise reach efficiency. The façade required highly bespoke platform restraint system to guide the platform along the envelope geometry. Special provisions have been included to guide the façade panel along the platform drop path. The Upper Level Crown is served by a 32m telescopic and extending BMU. The BMU unfolds from its parking
Inside façade view of National Bank of Kuwait
and storage area between the two halves of the core at Level 54 and 55. Once deployed the jib of the BMU sits 30m above the parked position clears the top of the crown allowing full access to the façade from the pinnacle of the crown to level 41/41M. A second BMU with 27 extending jibs serves the Upper Level at 52/52M. The BMU functions similar to the Upper Crown unit i.e. with folding jib mechanism. The internal area of the crown is accessed with a permanent bespoke hydraulic articulating arm to reach the areas above the level 56 Chairman’s Club Floor. The arm is permanently mounted and concealed below floor level when not in use. The lower section of the tower from level 41 down to ground level is served by two machines. The machine serving the north façade articulates to allow access to the full façade through a series of door openings. The internal tracks for the machine is located at the 41st Mezzanine level, supported from the floor below on a structural steelwork frame and shared with the BMU serving the downward section of the building.
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COVER STORY Flourishing Aluminium Extrusion Industry in the Middle East Aluminium extrusion, being a cost-effective material, has become one of the most preferred choices in construction. The extruded aluminium materials are known to be the most versatile in the application as well as in production. Aluminium is one of the most malleable materials and allows complex shapes, hence it can be used in various structures. It also allows more options in design without sacrificing the strength and durability of the end product.
There are numerous benefits the aluminium can provide to a building. The Middle East's construction and building industry have adopted the aluminium extrusion as an important material for their buildings. In this cover story, a few of the big players from the Middle East Extrusion industry have shared their views on aluminium extrusion as one of the most sustainable and versatile building materials in the region. Read on...
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Aluminium is 100% recyclable and can be repeatedly recycled
BENEFITS OF ALUMINIUM EXTRUSIONS USED AS A BUILDING MATERIAL Whether aluminium arrives on-site as part of a building element produced by façade contractors, or as a custom component designed to create a unique statement, aluminium extrusions find a wide range of applications in buildings. Fenestration, energy management, skylight and canopies, structural domes, and interior elements are some of the common applications for aluminium building products, says Hilal Mahdi, Commercial Manager, TALEX LLC. There is a plethora of uses and benefits of aluminium extrusions in architectural applications. The malleability and corrosion resistance quality of aluminium along with its low density (about 1/3 of copper and steel) and high strength makes it an ideal choice for building applications. Moreover, aluminium extrusions can be produced in a vast array of shapes, colour finishes (powder coating, anodising, and wood finish) and its ease of fabrication with fewer tools makes it the more favourable and economical. Due to its long-term durability and high structural integrity, it offers several applications in commercial buildings, such as windows, doors, curtain walls, sunshades, storefronts, handrails, kitchens, etc., says Ibrahim Al Ghas, Managing Director, Arabian Extrusions. He adds that aluminium is a very sustainable and environmentally friendly material, and it is the third most naturally abundant element in the earth’s crust. Aluminium is also non-toxic and non-combustible.
Hilal Mahdi Commercial Manager, TALEX LLC.
Ibrahim Al Ghas Managing Director, Arabian Extrusions Factory
SUSTAINABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF EXTRUDED ALUMINIUM BUILDING PRODUCTS Mahdi says, with this highly workable material, architects can create and choose shapes that yield functionality and aesthetics, while providing superior cost-effectiveness and sustainability (recyclability and high recycled content potential). Aluminium is 100% recyclable with high scrap value and can be repeatedly recycled, retaining the same material physical properties. 73% of all the aluminium ever produced is still in use today, and these figures are increasing as more segregation and public awareness is created.
Sukoon Tower, Bahrain
Al Ghas has listed some of the sustainable characteristics of extruded aluminium building products, which are: • Wide choice of alloys: Different alloys have the physical and mechanical properties that can be varied in a wide range to satisfy the requirements of a large number of different applications.
• Design flexibility: The extrusion process offers an almost infinite range of forms and sections, allowing designers to integrate numerous functions into one profile. • Long service life: Aluminium building products are made from alloys that are weatherproof, corrosion-resistant and immune to the harmful effects of UV rays, ensuring optimal performance over a very long period of time. • Hundreds of surface finishes: Aluminium can be anodised or painted in any colour to meet a designer’s decorative needs. • No release of dangerous substances: The alloys and their surface treatments (either coating or anodising) and the materials used are all neutral.
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• Air tightness: Aluminium products are ideal, as they are not porous and their mechanical stability secures the highest performance throughout the years. • Fully recyclable: Aluminium scrap can be repeatedly recycled without any loss of value or properties UPSCALE TECHNOLOGY FOR BETTER EXTRUSION PROCESSES Highly automated and flexible extrusion plants are capable of responding quickly, cost-effectively and energy-efficiently with the production units. More precision-engineered products are coming into the region to fulfil the ever demanding specifications. "TALEX has the fully automated, integrated extrusion facility, which ensures traceability of all TALEX production stages. The facility provides aluminium products for the GCC and global market", says Mahdi.
According to him, there are many changes happened in the past few years. He says, we have seen a plethora of changes in the recent years, which has positively enhanced the quality of aluminium products for various industries like automotive, aerospace, engineering and architecture. He believes that the use of aluminium alloys in the extrusion sector has grown in the last decade. Aluminium extrusions are increasingly used in end-user sectors, such as construction, transport, electricity, machinery and consumer goods due to the strength, flexibility, durability and sustainability they offer. Extrusion plants are betting on modernisation and use presses with higher pressure forces, and integrated machinery for pre-finished products. CHALLENGES FACED BY THE INDUSTRY AFTER THE UAE FIRE & LIFE SAFETY CODE
NEW TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS AND ADVANCEMENTS IN THE ALUMINIUM INDUSTRY
The UAE Fire and Life Safety Codes aim to raise the standards for supplemental materials and reduce the cladding’s flammability to zero. Buildings completed prior to the strict regulations should be audited individually to identify the risk specific to each building and must meet the new code requirements when it is time for their maintenance, says Mahdi.
Mahdi says, the extrusion process allows to take advantage of the qualities of aluminium and offers a large number of design options.
Mahdi opines that there are a variety of other fire safety issues that must also be considered, including non-flammable solid aluminium cladding.
Al Ghas notes that there is continuous upscale in terms of technology in an extrusion process, improving quality and recovery.
Aluminium-framed products can meet the thermal performance requirements of the building
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The Challenges Faced by the Industry, Post the UAE Fire & Life Safety Code • Accountability: There is plenty of information in the new code documentation, but what matters is the enforcement of it. The idea behind accountability is trying to solve that enforcement issue. • Design: All issues can be pre-empted with good design and good design can come from a consultant. • Budget: Some maintenance contractors will quote a very low price as compare to others, but it all depends on the quality of work they will do in assessing fire safety. ©Arabian Extrusions
• Over-engineering: As far as overengineering is concerned, there is too much content available in the market from the developed nations or the developed economies in terms of regulations and standards. We are just adhering to the best possible solution. Over-engineering and supplying a product that is not commercially viable or is over-specified for the building, does not serve the purpose. (Ibrahim Al Ghas, Managing Director, Arabian Extrusions) Burlington Tower, Dubai
BENEFITS OF GREEN BUILDING IN BUILDING DESIGNS Mahdi says that the aluminium elements in construction can contribute widely from design to full life cycle of building, integral PV strips, and PV-faced louvers and sunshades (which can be angled to generate power equivalent to rooftop panels). Aluminium-framed products can meet the thermal performance requirements of green building codes in every zone with the increased use of thermal barriers. Aluminium is the versatile, recyclable, and sustainable material that makes it one of the important materials to be used in buildings to get the LEED rating. Aluminium also offers high energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, hence it is also known as a greener building product.
THE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION APPLICATIONS AND INNOVATIONS USING ALUMINIUM EXTRUSIONS Mahdi highlights some of the building and construction applications and innovations that can be done by using aluminium extrusions: • Fenestration: Window and door applications (including hurricane, forced entry, tornado and blast-resistant systems), and storefronts and curtain walls • Energy management: Sunshades and louvers, light shelves, photovoltaic (PV) panel framing and mounting, and rain screen mounting • Skylights and canopies: Sunrooms, atriums and enclosures, observatories, gates and archways
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• Structural: Bridge decks, space frame systems, garages and parking covers, and geodesic domes & structures • Interior elements: Panel systems and cubicles, elevator cab framing, light housings and grids, demountable interior walls, railing systems, and decorative screens. According to Al Ghas, aluminium extrusions can be used in various building and construction applications, such as: • Commercial windows & doors: Aluminium windows and doors provide energy efficiency, structural integrity, resistance to air & water infiltration, aesthetics and long term durability. • Curtain walls & storefronts: Aluminium is used for making of curtain walls and storefronts due to high strength-to-weight ratio, glazing and wind load capability, maximal indoor daylighting, design flexibility, ease of fabrication, maintenance, finishing options, thermal capabilities, etc. • Skylights & sunrooms: Aluminium extrusions are also commonly used in skylights and sunrooms. • Photovoltaic cells: Due to high strength and lightweight, resistance to humidity and temperature, corrosion and thermal conductivity, they are used in framing hardware of photovoltaic cells. HOLISTIC APPLICATIONS OF EXTRUDED ALUMINIUM PRODUCTS TO THE WHOLE BUILDING DESIGN CONCEPT Al Ghas believes that the concept of whole design
Aluminium offers a large number of design options
Al Ghas adds that the whole building design allows design flexibility, for example, thermally broken aluminium window frames may be used in combination with increased insulation, HVAC efficiency, ambient lighting, high-tech glazing, ventilation and shading devices, providing many more options in designing energy efficiency in the overall building envelope. Architects, designers and building engineers are now striking a new balance between performance and aesthetics. The sun-tracking aluminium extruded shadow voltaic louver system helps in contributing to the building’s electricity requirements. CHALLENGES FACED BY COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS IN TERMS OF SUSTAINABILITY & INCREASED SECURITY Mahdi says that there are various architectural challenges faced by commercial buildings, which includes: reducing energy and resource consumption, increasing code adoption and enforcement, increasing stringency of the energy codes, and growing demand for sustainable buildings. He adds, a greater focus on occupant health, LEED® certification and impact resistance requirements are also the major challenges faced for commercial building performance.
Aluminium extrusions can be used in various building and construction applications
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combines the synergies from an integrated design approach and an integrated team process to work together throughout the project, to evaluate the design cost, quality-of-life, future flexibility, efficiency, overall environmental impact, productivity, and how the occupants will be enlivened. All the integrated components work together to provide the benefits of reduced energy consumption, cost savings, improved indoor environment for occupants, and a sustainable high-quality building that performs for decades.
According to Al Ghas, today’s architectural and design challenges involving overall commercial building performance are: • Reducing energy and resource consumption • Energy codes and guidelines are becoming more stringent. Each state or city has building codes that also include requirements for building energy efficiency. This include requirements for the thermal performance of windows, doors and skylights, etc. • The demand for commercial green buildings is increasing globally to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increasing overall energy efficiency while lowering heating and cooling costs. • Compliance with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) specifications continues to grow • Many states mandate the use of impact-resistant products in wind-borne and earthquake-prone regions. • Achieving high security, i.e. bullet-resistant glass, high-security entrances, etc. IMPORTANCE OF THERMAL BARRIER SYSTEM FOR EXTRUDED ALUMINIUM Thermal breaks are typically employed in applications such as exterior windows, doors or supermarket coolers to insulate the "cold" space from the "warm" space. The thermal barrier system reduces the heat transfer significantly and per capita energy consumption will be less for buildings. It allows design flexibility with greater structural integrity and combines dual finish options, says Mahdi. According to Al Ghas, thermally separating extruded aluminium windows greatly improves thermal efficiency in the sash and frame, and vastly reduces thermal conductivity to energy-efficient levels. Thermally separating extruded aluminium windows allow aluminium’s many key properties to be utilised. Al Ghas opines, when thermal barrier materials, such as polyurethane and glass fibre reinforced polyamide are used in conjunction with extruded aluminium framing, the resulting thermal efficiency in a window sash and frame are greatly improved.
Manufacturers have been able to reduce thermal conductivity to a fraction of the original value. The thermal barrier makes an extruded aluminium window, skylight, or door highly energy efficient, reducing heating and cooling costs substantially. The thermal barrier material acts as a barrier to heat flow from a warm interior to a cold exterior in winter, and blocks heat entering a building in the summer. CURRENT STATUS OF DOMESTIC AND GLOBAL ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION INDUSTRY The performance of the aluminium extrusion market in a region is observed to be closely associated with the GDP per capita of the geography. The increasing economy of a country leads to the development of a nation, urbanisation and results into the rise-in demand for infrastructure along with demand for vehicles, says Mahdi. Mahdi adds, as building & construction and automotive industries are two of the prominent end-user industries for aluminium extrusions, the GDP of a geography has a strong impact on the aluminium extrusion market. There is a good potential for the aluminium extrusion industry in the domestic and global market. Construction activities are continuously in the upper trend in the domestic and global market, believes Al Ghas. UPCOMING CHANGES EXTRUSION SECTOR
According to Mahdi, the aluminium industry will penetrate more into new verticals like industrial, aerospace, automotive, engineering and solar sector in coming years. Façades and fenestrations will be more energy-efficient and sustainable in the future. These factors will bring a number of changes in the aluminium extrusion sector. CONCLUSION The Middle East region offers a huge potential for the aluminium extrusion industry to flourish. In the Middle East, the architectural and building industries are the major consumers of the aluminium extrusion materials. The construction and building applications account for 87 percent of aluminium extrusion market. They are the key drivers of aluminium extrusion and they are also expected to fuel the growth in of the industry in future.
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“Aluminium Extrusion Material Compliments 50-100 Years Design Life of Building Façade”
Christian Witsch Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Extrusions LLC
Please elaborate on the use & benefits of aluminium extrusions used as a building material, with a focus on whole building design, sustainability and application possibilities. The architectural building façade uses a wide range of aluminium extrusions. Architectural aluminium is mainly produced by an extrusion process, which provides nearly unlimited freedom in designing of simple to complex shapes suiting to the building requirements. This gives a great freedom to the architect to design pleasing elevations and forms by keeping functionality and sustainability intact. Modern designs can be produced in 3 to 4 weeks’ time through die cutting and extrusion process. Aluminium extrusions being non-corrosive in nature, provide highest surface finish and possibility to enhance with the exotic finish applications like anodising and powder coating. Aluminium extrusion material compliments 50 to 100 years design life of building façade requirements. Also, being non-corrosive in nature, it is lightweight, easy to handle and provides the strength to the steel. The material is completely recyclable for a number of times, highly durable, strong to
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withstand high wind loads and dead loads, and highly sustainable. Anodising of aluminium extrusions also allows additional surface appearances, even the gold like shining is possible - the Dubai Frame is an excellent example of it. The stiffness of aluminium doors, windows and façade solutions deliver the highest possible classes with respect to wind and water tightness. As a thermally broken solution, it also provides the excellent thermal as well as acoustical isolation performance. Please outline the sustainable characteristics of extruded aluminium building products. Due to its excellent formability and everlasting stiffness, aluminium windows, doors and façade solutions grant excellent tightness during longest utilisation times. This makes a direct impact on the energy balance in cooling or heating of buildings. The modern thermally broken aluminium building products meet top performance values with respect to thermic and acoustic requirements. Aluminium can be recycled endlessly with little
effort and no loss of its excellent properties. The excellent corrosion resistance, especially of painted or anodised aluminium extrusions eliminate further repainting or maintenance during the usual lifetime of a building. How has the industry upscale in terms of technology in the extrusion processes? This is the time for the market to become increasingly important in our industry. To reliably meet even the tightest deadlines, Gulf Extrusions has spent lots of effort on optimising the utilisation of advanced material flow simulation. These simulations help us in cooperation with die suppliers to significantly optimise the die design even for the most complicated shapes. In this way, Gulf Extrusions is able to deliver these complex shapes to the customers in shorter time. The surface hardening process of dies has been further developed, which allows the significant longer production runs with less re-treatment efforts. As the years pass by, are there any changes in the certifications for an extrusion company to function
more efficiently? There has been a harmonisation between ISO 9001, ISO TS (which is now an IATF), ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18001. This streamlining has led to a fully integrated management system. In parallel to this development, Gulf Extrusions has been implemented in accordance to the same structure, a new â€œINTELEXâ€? quality, safety, environmental reporting system, which makes it very easy to register and manage any incident in a most efficient way. Please share new technological innovations and advancements in the aluminium industry to meet the expectations of modern designers. As mentioned earlier, the flow simulations for aluminium extrusions is a revolution offered by Gulf Extrusions. It is used to realise even for the most complicated shapes successfully in the shortest time possible. This gives nearly unlimited possibilities to the designer and shortens the project development time significantly. Are there any challenges faced by the industry, post the UAE fire & Life safety code? Gulf Extrusions is in the process of certification of
Alusleek entrance glazing for high span
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Double skin unitised system
fireproof doors and windows, including partitioning walls. The requirements for this certification process became more demanding. We appreciate this development since it has lifted the quality and capability standard of these fireproof systems. Please present solutions on how to address some of today’s building design challenges in light of the increasing demand for green buildings. Aluminium with its high strength and low-weight makes the entire building lighter. The properties of aluminium façade elements do not change over time and in this way, they maintain the excellent sealing performance over the entire life of the building. With the utilisation of recycled aluminium (green billets), the lifecycle assessment performance of a building starts right from the beginning with a lower initial production charge. At the end of its lifecycle, any aluminium based
Bomb blast resistance glazing
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building material can be endlessly recycled without any loss of its excellent properties. Solar panels can be integrated with aluminium support constructions, which also improve the overall energy efficiency of the building, but does not significantly increase the weight of the building. Smart shading solutions prevent the sun related overheating of the building, which lowers the energy consumption for air-conditioning. Please elaborate on various building and construction applications and innovations using aluminium extrusions. Our partner Façade ONE Systems has come out with the highest level of innovations in lobby glazing using vertical aluminium extrusion fins. This innovation is replacing the use of bulky steel structure, making the lobby looks amazingly clean and vertical. The
Swiss clad 3-D wall cladding
Swiss clad wall cladding
use of aluminium extrusion in dynamic façades make them very interesting architectural façade spaces. Double skin unitised aluminium system brings highest architectural, thermal efficiency and acoustic efficiency. The Swiss clad aluminium wall cladding system is completely non-combustible and most modern technology also provides 3-D architectural shapes. How will you relate the holistic applications of extruded aluminium products to the “whole building design” concept? As mentioned earlier, reduction of weight, better formability and shape-ability allows to develop better design solutions. As an example, Façade One entrance glazing, which allows bigger elements with no steel support construction. This allows a more elegant design with no steel support and higher performance! Double skin unitised glazing solutions provide highest aesthetics, thermal and acoustic performance. Use of 3-D screens in double skin lobby glazing makes it highly attractive and energyefficient. Are there any specific challenges faced for commercial buildings in terms of sustainable buildings & increased security? The new requirements are to be met for buildings with respect to the fire safety. Swiss clad wall cladding system is a 100% aluminium based cladding system and the non-combustible fire class A makes it safe for building. The bomb blast resistant façade solutions from Façade ONE for high blast pressure, ranging from 15 kpa to 120 kpa pressure, provides high life safety to
Skin with screen
the building occupants. How do you see the current domestic and global aluminium extrusion industry? Due to the light-weight and excellent strength relationship, the use of aluminium is significantly increasing. In the building and construction industry, a wide range of smarter solutions have been developed, and they are contributing to a steady increase of aluminium extrusions in building and construction industry. Also, electronic appliances are using more and more aluminium. This trend was initiated with the Apple I phones and Mac books, but it has been taken over by some more other brands. What are the upcoming changes that you foresee in the sector? Big changes are coming from the increased utilisation of aluminium extrusions in the automotive industry. This has been triggered by the need for emission reductions and increasing range of electrical cars. In the construction industry, the smarter solutions with better overall performance (ecological and energy) are gaining importance. Also, the better designs to minimise the fire risks are on the way. Please brief on per capita industry wise consumption of aluminium extrusion. Which sector consumes more & why? Whether it is construction – real estate, infrastructure, automobiles/pre-fabs, etc. Traditionally, the building and construction industries are our biggest customer segment and will always remain very important for us. In Gulf Extrusion, we have strongly developed our capabilities to deliver automotive products. The automotive share will grow from the 10% to 40 or 50% in 2 years.
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FACE TO FACE Digital Printing will Revolutionise the Façade & Fenestration Industry
Robert Stephens Executive Director & Founding Partner, Inhabit, The Middle East & Europe
Robert Stephens is an Executive Director for Inhabit, responsible for group operations in the Middle East and Europe. He has over 20 years of façade construction experience in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. For the last 15 years, he has been heading up specialist façade teams servicing projects in the Middle East and U.K. Stephens has broad experience in the field, working with both concrete and steel construction. He has worked on a wide variety of projects - large-scale and multiple-plot retail projects to singular mega high-rise projects. He has developed particular expertise with regard to the design and construction of lightweight steel façade structures and warped geometries. His articles were published in the Steel Construction Institute U.K. and the Institute of Structural Engineers U.K. on sustainable design. He has also presented at technical conferences around the world. In conversation with the team of Window & Façade Magazine, Stephens talked about the activities of Inhabit, what are their strategies and future plans. Here are the excerpts…
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Please brief us on the history and objective behind the formation of your company? Inhabit is a unique, multi-disciplinary team of professionals who are passionate about making a positive contribution to our built environment. Sky Venture, Abu Dhabi
Established in 2010, with offices across Asia Pacific, the Middle East and UK, Inhabit has developed a diverse international body of work that includes partnerships with some of the most creative and celebrated architects around the world, resulting in a wealth of experience in different project types and scales. Please highlight briefly about your services. We are a collective of experienced architects, designers, engineers and contractors who work both independently and in partnership to form a holistic approach to the services that we offer including façade consulting, lighting design, acoustic engineering, logistics, building physics and sustainability consulting, façade diagnostics and remediation. We believe that our respective areas of expertise can be integrated to allow seamless interdisciplinary synergy to create buildings that are more relevant to our evolving society. Could you please tell us about a few of your latest prestigious projects? In terms of prestigious projects in the region, we have been involved with the key/core components of Expo 2020. These projects are centrally located at Al Wasl Plaza hotel and residence buildings, The Sustainability Pavilion and the UAE Expo Pavilion. The Sustainability Pavilion employs a unique pretensioned cable wall design with patch fittings which do not penetrate the glass. The patch fittings have been conceived, engineered and developed
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Sustainability Pavilion, Cable Facade, Dubai
by Inhabit based upon Grimshaw Architects intent. To achieve this new and unique design, we worked closely with specialist façade contractors “JML”. The UAE Expo pavilion has very complex, 3-dimensional warped geometry with 30m operable wings constructed in high performance GRP. We are assisting market leaders WME (local multidisciplinary consultants) and international architects and engineers “Calatrava” to deliver the project. Special
attention has been given to materials and geometry of this project. Al Wasl Plaza is constructed using a very high performance, fully unitised stepped construction to get the LEED platinum certification. We are also working on the iconic project “One Zabeel” at Trade Centre. One Zabeel is designed and constructed for Ithra, the development arm of ICD.
Sustainability Pavillion during construction - Expo 2020, Dubai
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ICD is the principal investment arm of the government of Dubai. The building consists two 50+ storey towers, which are interconnected by way of a mega structure cantilever link. The link straddles a 4 lane highway and is said to be the largest cantilever in the world. We have been involved with the project from concept to construction, working with internationally renowned architects Nikken Sekkei, project managers Mace, main contractor Alec and façade subcontractors Al Abbar. We have provided the coordinated inputs for this project, such as the design, construction and maintenance of the soffit link and providing an integrated façade design in terms of movement, structure, lighting and energy performance for the building envelope. What benefits can Inhabit bring to a project? Inhabit’s approach is centred on finding innovative solutions that provide quality and efficiency cost effectively. We are committed to collaboration with other like-minded designers, with the experience
and knowledge to understand that successful collaboration will lead to a successful outcome. Our experienced global team works seamlessly across many geographies to deliver a better built environment. What strategies is Inhabit implementing to ensure continuous innovations? Inhabit is continually engaging with the market leaders for products and technologies as well as engaging with progressive design thinkers in architecture, engineering, industrial design and related fields to keep the emerging technologies and development at the forefront. To ensure continuous innovations, we employ the following strategies: • An open company culture where ideas can be freely exchanged between disciplines and geographies. Communication between staff from all levels of experience is encouraged
Bluewaters Island, Dubai
‘DIFC GATE RETAIL’, DUBAI
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• A commitment to invest and try the latest technologies and equipment in order to allow our staff to experiment and investigate new possibilities. What is your view on the future of façade and fenestration technologies as well as materials? My view on the future of façade and fenestration technologies is that digital printing, in either metals and/or high performance plastics, will likely revolutionise the industry in the near future. What are Inhabit’s expansion plans? In June 2019, Inhabit entered in a partnership with Egis, Europe’s leading consulting and engineering firm, to form a design-led consulting group with a global capability. This will allow the team to become one of the world’s leading specialised engineering firms with an uninterrupted service chain, ranging from early conceptual design, right through to delivery and construction guarantees. This will see the continuing growth of services to provide ambitious environmental and low-carbon design at both city and building scales. What do you see as the main challenges faced by
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your industry? In this region, I think the main challenge is the development of the industry in terms of quality, and cost, which has suffered due to loss of knowledge. The loss of knowledge in the past has been largely due to the transient expat base for the industry. Hopefully, with some of the new residency initiatives the Dubai Government is implementing, we will see more expats settle permanently here and with more local people being employed in our industry. We will also see a better retention in knowledge which should lead to improved cost and quality of construction. What were the biggest milestones for 2018? In Dubai, the biggest milestones for us were some of our previously done prestigious projects, UAE Expo pavillion and One Zabeel. We also managed to grow in a challenging economy, which I think is a testament to our care, dedication and reputation in the region. Where do you see your company in 2020? In 2020, I would see our company continue to work with new and established forward-thinking clients to deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions across the region.
FACE TO FACE “Façade Integrated Intelligent Shading System & BIPV are the Latest Trends in UAE”
Subraya Kalkura Director, John R Harris Partners, The Middle East About the Author: Subraya Kalkura is an experienced Architect having worked in a wide range of projects in the UAE and the ME region over past 18 years. An avid academician, gold medalist for academic excellence in architecture discipline from Mangalore University, India in 2001, he has secured MSc in Sustainable Design of Built Environment from Cardiff University in 2012. Subraya currently leads Architecture and Engineering Studio of John R Harris Partners in Dubai, which is part of Aukett Swanke group UK. With a passion for sustainable design, he has contributed to several large projects of the practice as a sustainability advisor. Notable projects that he has worked/led includes HSBC Bank refurbishments across UAE, Deutsche Bank refurbishment - KSA, Retail Developments in Dubai Festival City, Hill Side Housing - Dubai Festival City, Sharjah English School, Safa School and various ultra-luxury private villas in Palm Jumeirah and Emirates Hills - Dubai.
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Tell us about your practice and design approach? John R Harris & Partners is one of the first European practices to operate in the ME region with the founder of the practice late John R Harris establishing the practice in UK in 1949. In 1960s, John R Harris & Partners were invited by then Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum to develop a master plan for the rapidly growing city of Dubai. Since the establishment of Dubai offices in 1960s, the practice has been delivering several significant projects in the region, which include Dubai World Trade Center, Ruler’s Diwan, Dubai Hospital, Al Baraha Hospital, and recent landmark projects including LOB Tower 17 & 18 in JAFZA, Mirdiff 35 Mall, and currently the under construction Sports Society Shopping Centre. The practice has recently joined forces with Aukett Swanke Group Architects - UK, which has greatly increased our ability to deliver large, diverse regional and international projects.
it deals with design of the indoor & outdoor built environment in which we live, work, commute, socially and culturally engage with others further reinforced my decision to take up architecture.
Our design approach for each project is a response to its unique, brief, social, cultural, climatic and economic context in which it is sited. We do not have a house style as such, therefore each project is unique in terms of the architectural character.
Please tell about your projects featuring very innovative and different kinds of façade and fenestration designs. Early projects of the practice in the region clearly reflected the ethos of the practice - climatic and cultural response expressed through distinctive façade treatment. Careful orientation of the windows in the Trade Centre Building, Dubai ensures minimum direct solar exposure from southern, western and eastern sides. The double skin façade consisting of concrete external skin ensures that the external windows are well set-in and are adequately shaded. Reference to Islamic
Samanea Mall, Dubai : Feature skin spanning across façade and the roof is inspired by the form of sand dunes in the desert
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What inspired you to become an architect? The notion that architecture is an integration of art and science appealed me during the early years of my education, which subsequently led to my decision to pursue a career in architecture. My realisation that architecture not only deals with the design of buildings but at its macro level,
I presume you connect a lot of art and architecture in your projects. Founder’s Memorial - Abudhabi is a recently completed project where we collaborated with an Artist, which resulted in a very novel Architecture. The project was conceptulaised by the American sculptor Ralph Helmick as an artwork held and framed by a minimalistic stone pavilion. The artwork, one of the largest of its kind, created a three-dimensional image of Sheikh Zayed out of suspended geometric shapes known as ‘Platonic Solids’ held in position by steel cables. We designed and engineered stone clad frame around the sculpture that would act as a foil to the intricate sculpture.
condition, we have successfully used timber framed windows with weather resisting aluminium external covering in few luxury residential projects. The large private villa that the practice was commissioned at the Palm Jumeirah Island used glue laminated timber framed curtain walls upto 10m high, further high quality glazing used in the project brought down the overall U-value to 1.1 W/m2K while maintaining a high visual transmittance to ensure good quality daylight in the interior spaces. Use of timber framing for the windows was consistent with the biophilic theme of the project, which involved large scale internal green walls installed in the central atrium of the residence well-lit through the large skylight above the atrium.
Samanea Mall is another project currently under design development stage, which incorporates a feature skin spanning across the façade and the
Matrix Tower, Dubai Sports City
arches in the windows is a testament to regional architecture. Mirdif 35, a community mall located within the precinct of Mirdif, Dubai is one of the examples where we well integrated concept of the “wellness” in the community oriented projects. The unique strategies that we adopted in the project pertaining to façade & external envelope include - articulation of the glazing on the façade to maximise daylight penetration into retail and community spaces, use of green roofs, feature metal screens on façade adopting Biophilic forms.
Dubai World Trade Center ©John R Harris & Partners
©John R Harris & Partners
Our recent project, Sports Society mall in Mirdif, Dubai, features a dynamic LED façade that will showcase popular sports events as well as being used for advertising.
DIMC Boat Store : Otherwise, a normal boat storage facility , due to its prominent location in Dubai Marina, imposed the need for a vibrant façade treatment. Ripple in the waters of the Marina was replicated on the façade using angled, randomly sized aluminium panels which shimmer in the sunlight, while carefully designed façade lighting substantially enhances the façade at night. Though the use of timber framed glazed windows are relatively rare in this region due to extreme climatic
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roof inspired by the form of sand dunes in the desert providing a second layer of shading to the building. Could you please tell us about the latest façade and cladding technologies and materials available in the UAE market and those you used in your project? Among the latest façade and cladding innovations which the UAE market has adopted in the recent past, the notable ones are façade integrated intelligent shading system, building integrated photovoltaic and façade integrated digital display system. Our upcoming project “Sports Society in Mirdif” showcases large sized digital display screens integrated with the façades which is a good example of retail aspect integrated with the building design. What are the key factors to consider while designing and installing fenestration? Location & size of the fenestrations in a building depends on the level of daylight intended in the indoor spaces, orientation with reference to sun path and prominent views and vistas around the
building. The technical aspects to be considered while designing and detailing the fenestrations include characteristics of the glazing such as thermal transmittance value, shading coefficient, visual transmittance, active and passive shading devices to adequately shade the window and to control the glare. Could you please brief on the technological benefits of the well-managed façades? Well-designed and managed façades optimise the energy use of the buildings by minimising the heat gain through the façade, while providing adequate daylight in the interior spaces to minimise the requirement of artificial lighting. A well-maintained façade also ensures total airtightness, minimising any chances of infiltration losses, which becomes crucial, especially during the hotter months of the year. What are your views on the future façade and fenestration technologies as well as materials? With the sustainable design gaining wider
©John R Harris & Partners
DIMC boat storage facility, Dubai Marina: Randomly sized aluminium panels forming a vibrant façade
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Highly efficient and high-tech materials used in the façade are expected to minimise heat gain/ loss and generate partial/full energy required for the functioning of the buildings - essentially turning buildings to energy neutral.
Clarion School, Dubai: Use of bamboo screen on the façade
©John R Harris & Partners
acceptance by developers, authorities and the public, the building façades are also expected to reflect the same principles of design. The building façades which adopt biophilic principles are being favoured with the use of natural material such as stone and timber, green roofs, integration of plating and vegetation on façades. One of the fundamentals of the sustainable design is the adaptability to accommodate changes. Building façades & fenestration technology needs to accommodate the same principles - adaptability to change as per change in the building functionality.
Sports Society Mall, Mirdif Dubai: LED display integrated façade
©John R Harris & Partners
Mirdiff 35 Mall, Dubai: Façade integrated metal screens adopting Biophilic forms
©John R Harris & Partners
What is your advice for young and upcoming architects? For the young architects, I would strongly recommend obtaining an all-round exposure to the design industry prior to choosing one’s specialisation. For architects, a first-hand experience of the full life cycle of a project from first sketch on the tracing sheet up to execution of the full project at site can be a very gratifying and great learning experience. I would suggest young architects shall strive for such enriching experience.
How do you go about choosing materials for façade and cladding? The selection of the material for façade and cladding depends on a number of criteria, including functionality, aesthetic consideration, commercial imperatives, thermal performance and often on site context. We often try to identify the overriding criteria to select the façade and cladding materials.
Rulers Court, Dubai: Distinctive arched windows, traditional metal screens of façade & wind towers - a contemporary reinterpretation of the regional architecture
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PROJECT WATCH Supply of Fresh Air & External Solar Shading for High-Rise Buildings
Frank Goudman Export Sales Director, Renson About the Author: Frank Goudman is a Belgian engineer in civil building, graduated in 1988. In the first years of his career, he was the R&D Manager for Reynaers Aluminium and since 1994, he worked as the Export Director for the same company. He was involved in developing new export markets in CE Europe, the Middle East, Asia & Oceania. Since 2012, Frank Goudman has been active as the Export Sales Director at Renson, a Belgian family owned company specialised in natural ventilation, sun protection and outdoor systems over 110 years. He is responsible for developing the export markets. In the Gulf, Renson has been active worldwide through a network of appointed dealers and faรงade builders in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Manama and Doha.
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In renovation or new construction, the emphasis nowadays is very much on advanced insulation and airtight construction. Not only these technologies are beneficial in energy consumption, but also pays a special attention to the quality of the indoor air and the indoor temperature. Continuous and controlled supply of fresh air and outdoor sun protection together ensures a healthy and comfortable indoor climate, even in high-rise buildings.
Black Forest Project, Shanghai, China Preventing Overheating by Providing External Sun Protection Large glass panels ensure that there is sufficient daylight, but at the same time, the direct incoming sunlight often disturbs the visual comfort and increases the risk of overheating during hotter periods. The better insulated high-rises definitely include external solar protection to deflect the sunlight before it has a chance to reach the glass, which helps to avoid increasing costs for active cooling. To achieve optimal comfort, it is important to take into account - the orientation of the building, the influence of the different seasons, and the lifestyle of the people who live or work in this environment. It is important to evaluate the different systems during the design phase and incorporate the most suitable elements in the design.
by using minimalistic window systems. Which means that the main surface of the façade is glass and there are nearly no actual walls. Because of these large glass surfaces, we knew that overheating and glare might heavily influence the comfort of our residents. So we made the decision to use external sun-shading, which was not yet very common in China. As the buildings are all at least 25 floors high, and Shanghai sometimes incurs typhoons, the wind resistance was a very important aspect for us.”
Fact File Project Name: Black Forest Building Location: Shanghai, China Client: Shanghai China Eagle Home Co Architect: Juyvan Architectural Design Co Other Consultants (structural and façade): Huadi Construction Engineering Co Ltd Materials used for façade & fenestration: Sun Protection Screens Commencement Date: 2015 Completion Date: 2017
In high-rise buildings like the Black Forest apartments in Shanghai, wind resistance is a very important aspect for sun protection screens
According to CEG (contractor): “For the Black Forest project, we decided to work with large glass surfaces
In the Black Forest Project in Shanghai (China), the external sun protection screens have been integrated into the façade construction of this 100m high apartment block. The bottom profiles of the screens were made extra heavy to ensure that they can withstand the wind loads at that height.
External sun protection prevents from overheating in the Black Forest apartments in Shanghai
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Odukale Business Center, Istanbul, Turkey Managing Continuous and Controlled Supply of Fresh Air Basic ventilation guarantees good air quality. Selfregulating ventilation louvres ensure the supply of fresh air that replaces the polluted indoor air.
Fact File Project Name: Odukale Business Center Location: Istanbul, Turkey Client: Istanbul Industrial Chamber Architect: KG Mimarlik Other Consultants (structural and façade): Orhan Aydin Materials used for façade & fenestration: High-rise window vents Commencement Date: 2016 Completion Date: 2017
The renovation of a 70s office building in Istanbul (Turkey) meant that it is now mandatory to ventilate the building for a healthy indoor climate. At the same time, the supply of fresh air could not have a visual impact on the protected façade of the highrise building.
At the Odukale Business Centre, it was important that the supply of fresh air did not have a visual impact on the façade
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Bringing in fresh air directly through window ventilators is a new trend in Turkey, says Mutlu Ergün, Senior Field Operations Engineer at TURKCELL. “The only problem is, a lot of standard windows ventilation is unable to meet the requirements in terms of acoustics, waterproofness, fire protection and architecture, especially when it comes to highrise buildings.’
In this case, the government did not want the appearance of this high-rise from the 1970s to be the same as it was before. And it is difficult to reconcile with the mandatory provisions that needed to be made to provide those who live and/or work there with continuous fresh air. So window ventilators not only had to fulfil the acoustic, waterproof and constructional requirements, but should at the same time barely have a visual impact on the architectural details of the building.
Self-regulating ventilation louvres ensure the supply of fresh air in the Odukale Business Centre in Istanbul
Plot 16 Apartments, Moscow, Russia Natural Ventillation in High-rise Building
Plot 16 at Moscow, Russia
Natural ventilation in this 300 m high tower was not that simple to integrate, as in Russia, it is not allowed to have any opening parts in the façade starting from a certain height. Studies have shown that no less than 80% of people in high-rise office buildings or apartment buildings still want to feel like that they can bring fresh air inside. But opening a window is not always an option in this case. We at Renson, have customised ventilation louvers that always provide a great alternative to supply the necessary fresh air in the curtain walls that are so often characteristic of high rises. The ventilation louvers are aesthetically integrated and are compliant with the requirements for acoustics, wind-resistance, airflow, rain, insects, security and you have the possibility to regulate these by yourself.
Studies shows that no less than 80% of people in high-rise buildings still want to feel like they can bring fresh air inside
Fact File Project Name: Plot 16 (Oko Tower) Location: Moscow, Russia Client: Capital Group Architect: SOM Other Consultants (structural and façade): Aygun Materials used for façade & fenestration: Self-regulating ventilation louvres Commencement Date: 2011 Completion Date: 2015
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PRODUCT WATCH Emirates Glass Launches Anti-Reflective Glass - ARMAX in the UAE & GCC Market ARMAX anti-reflective glass from Emirates Glass is a new product for use in the architectural glass, façade, retail and entertainment industry. ARMAX reduces the effect of reflections and allows an undisturbed and crystal clear view through glass even at night. LEADING TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FROM THE HEART OF THE UAE Rizwanulla Khan, Executive President of Emirates Glass LLC says, “Through the introduction of ARMAX in the UAE and GCC market, we are able to deliver a truly innovative, high-performance anti-reflective glass. It reflects Emirates Glass’ commitment to continue bringing exceptional and innovative glass solutions to the market by utilising our cutting-edge technology and talented team.” EMIRATES GLASS SOLVES THE PROBLEM WITH REFLECTING GLASS Aside from letting sunlight into the interior of a building, one of the main reasons for using glass in so many applications is that it allows us to see through it. However, everyone has been taunted by unescapable reflections - of one’s own mirror image or the various light sources, such as the big chandelier while trying to enjoy the view through the window of your favourite restaurant. Similarly, everyone has used their hands to block out reflections while trying to look at an item of desire in a shop window or examining an artifact in a gallery or museum. Emirates Glass solved this problem with ARMAX - vision perfected.
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IMPRESSIVE SPECIFICATIONS OF ARMAX CATER TO NUMEROUS INDUSTRIES AND APPLICATIONS With an overall reflectance as low as 1.7% - in comparison to 8% for regular clear glass - and a visible light transmission of 97% ARMAX-coated glass appears almost invisible and is suitable for all applications where high transparency and clarity are important. Impressive use of ARMAX ranges from luxury apartments and villas, over viewing decks and platforms of iconic skyscrapers, to shop windows and display cases for retail outlets, museums and galleries. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
The development work for this special purpose coating started in 2016. In order to achieve the required optical performance, it was important to design the layer stack such that the combined effect of individual microscopic layers resulted in reduction of visible light reflection from the glass surfaces and therefore, an increase in visible light transmittance through the glass surface. This enables the viewer to see through the glass rather than see at it. The product has been tested to ensure durability and weather resistance even in the harshest of climatic conditions.
Innovation on decoration with PVDF coating
AkzoNobel Offers ‘Texture’ Trinar® PVDF Exterior Finish System AkoNobel Coil & Extrusion Middle East has launched Texture Trinar® PVDF, described as a tough and durable factory-applied, two-coat or 3-coats exterior finish based on the company’s Poly Vinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) paint systems in the Middle East. AkzoNobel recognises the versatility of PVDF coatings in mimicking the effects of popular alternative finishes. Through constant innovation, we have created a range of specialty PVDF coatings, which can be used as an often greener and more cost-effective or safer alternative to other finish options. The soft-touch, look and finish are applied as a twocoat system or a 3 coats system - high-performance primer, offering durability and resistance to moisture and UV exposure. It also offers excellent flexibility and abrasion resistance, and the highly durable topcoat with a high degree of colour stability and gloss retention. The chemistry based on proprietary resins and special additives create a durable textured coating surface. The product was formulated in ME and is
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designed for durability in the most extreme ME climates. The coating meets the application and performance standards specified in AAMA 2605High Performance Coatings. Texture Trinar® PVDF is an ideal solution for the monumental projects as well as any residential or low-rise projects that requires lasting durability and beauty. One of the secrets of Texture Trinar®’s superior durability lies in the molecular structure of its 70% polyvinylidene fuoride (PVDF) resin. This unique carbon/fuorine bond is the key to its unsurpassed thermal, chemical and ultraviolet resistance properties. When coupled with the proprietary acrylic resin and premium ceramic and select inorganic pigmentation, this system demonstrates remarkable resistance to weathering, fading, cracking and chalking. Texture Trinar® is available in a wide array of preformulated colours, which blend well with most collateral construction materials. Anyone can request the special colourmatched formulations for a more exact match. For more enquiries, contact: prescilla.dsouza@ akzonobel.com.
BUZZ Coca-Cola Arena Opens in Dubai
Populous designed Coca-Cola Arena has been opened in Dubai. It is known to be the only venue of its kind between Istanbul and Singapore that can host events throughout the year. Populous worked with one of the world’s largest entertainment group - AEG Ogden, to prepare the concept design of this newly opened arena. The Coca-Cola Arena will transform the face of the entertainment and events scene in Dubai, helping to cement the city’s position as a major global destination for tourism and trade. The arena has the capacity of 17,000, which makes it the largest multi-purpose indoor arena in the region. It has the ability to incorporate climate control, which makes it the only arena of its kind between Istanbul
and Singapore to support a year-round programme of events, even in the hotter summer months. The façade of the arena is covered with LED strip light system, which creates a dramatic effect as the building becomes illuminated with changing colours at night-time and animating the surrounding area. Owned by Meraas and operated by AEG Ogden, it will host international touring artists, world-renowned comics, family entertainment, sports events, gala dinners, exhibitions and conferences. Populous completed the concept design for the Coca-Cola Arena. Contractor ASGC Group, with DAR Group, completed design development, interior design, way finding design, and construction information.
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BUZZ Saint-Gobain Attends the 2nd Emirati-French Business Forum Saint-Gobain’s UAE team has attended the “2nd forum for the future of energy and innovation” organised by French Business Council Dubai and Northern Emirates and Business France and Dewa. The forum was co-chaired by MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. After the successful 1st edition in 2015, DEWA and the French stakeholders agreed to organise the 2nd Business Forum in 2019 to pursue the French/Emirati dialogue on energy and sustainability. DEWA’s 2021 strategy is aligned to the UAE Centennial 2071, the UAE vision 2021, and the Dubai Plan 2021 to secure a happy future and a better life for future generations. The event’s motives are to:
• Strengthen the business links between DEWA and the French business community. • Work on potential fields of mutual cooperation that are of immediate interest to DEWA. • Call for innovative French talents in the Energy, Environment and Water industries to propose smart innovations, new technologies and business models. • A workshop on energy efficiency was conducted during the forum based around the topic of retrofitting through which SaintGobain could bring a lot of its expertise in this field.
GEZE Introduces Automation System for Window & Smart Doors at Zak World of Façades GEZE has introduced GEZE Cockpit, the first building automation system for smart door, window and safety technology at ZAK World of Façades Cairo, Egypt. The GEZE Cockpit building automation system: smart, secure and efficient control of building technology. With this innovative control unit, automated system components from the fields of door, window and safety technology from GEZE and other manufacturers can be networked, monitored centrally and controlled – even via smartphone or tablet. Via the IO 420 interface module, GEZE products can be integrated into network solutions
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with BACnet, and be networked with each other via BACnet MS/TP. Zak World of Façades is an International conference series on the subject of façade design & engineering. In its 59th global edition and the 1st edition in Egypt, the conference discussed the latest innovations and challenges in the construction industry pertaining to the building envelope and showcased the latest technological solutions. Over 300 delegates including architects, designers, consultants, façade builders, contractors, authorities, façade engineering experts and global building material brands’ representatives participated at this strategic event in Cairo, Egypt.
BUZZ C-Bond Systems Signs New Distributor in UAE to Market Products in the Middle East C-Bond Systems has signed an agreement with Dubai-based MEWS General Trading, LLC for distribution of its products. In the Middle East, MEWS markets a new variant of C-Bond technology, a patented, hydrophobic solution that repels water and dirt from all types of glass surfaces, to improve the installation of window film, keep building façades clean, and protect solar panels from sand and dirt while increasing their performance. These applications are particularly important in the GCC, where solar energy companies work consistently to keep solar cells clean for optimum performance, and facilities management companies look to reduce cleaning costs and minimize manhours spent on cleaning and maintenance. MEWS markets C-Bond BRS, a ballistic-resistant film system that increases safety by deterring forced
entry. C-Bond BRS is validated by an independent third-party laboratory to provide National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Level I, Level IIA, Level II, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 752 ballistic-resistant protection. MEWS General Trading L.L.C is a United Arab Emirates Company based in Dubai, trading and distributing revolutionary & unseen technologies for security of cars, homes and retail outlets in the region. C-Bond Systems, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a nanotechnology solutions company that improves and strengthens glass. It is the sole owner, developer and manufacturer of the patented C-Bond technology. According to a company press release, C-Bond is the only patent-protected nanotechnology product that is scientifically tested and commercially proven to significantly increase the strength, safety and performance levels of glass and window film products.
WGES to Showcase Dubai’s Global Green Achievements The World Green Economy Summit (WGES) 2019 will be held on 20th-21st October at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Innovative Technologies for a Sustainable Economy’, in conjunction with the 21st Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) and the 4th Dubai Solar Show as part of the sixth Green Week. It will be held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The summit will focus on three pillars: global
international cooperation in a green economy; cooperation and international partnership to overcome global challenges, and achieving sustainable development goals. WGES is organised in Dubai to support its efforts to become the global capital of green economy and sustainable development. Dubai has received the Platinum Rating in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Cities certification awarded by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This makes Dubai the first city in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to receive this accolade.
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Window & Facade Magazine, Middle East is a technical journal published by F and F Middle East FZ-LLC.
Published on Aug 19, 2019
Window & Facade Magazine, Middle East is a technical journal published by F and F Middle East FZ-LLC.