Products | facade planning
The desire of architects and customers for landmark buildings can be accommodated not just by the building's structure but also and especially by the selection of materials and the design of the envelope. The facade hence becomes a complex issue if design requirements are to be implemented in the context of structural, energy-related, thermal and financial interests. Since the facade determines future operating costs and account for around 25% of construction costs in large-scale projects, many customers and architects have come to appreciate the support of an independent facade consultant.
Prof. Michael Lange Ing.-GmbH
An interdisciplinary approach as well as direct access to specialist know-how in the various technical disciplines involved in facade design are prerequisites of state-of-the-art facade planning and fundamentals of the work by the Prof. Michael Lange engineering firm. With a track record of more than 25
years in the field of facade engineering and design, the firm employs civil engineers, mechanical engineers and physicists and is hence capable of offering comprehensive consultancy for the building's shell throughout the entire planning, design and construction process in all fields related to facade design, structural analysis of facades, building physics and building climate.
The area of building physics not only has a role to play in planning and design, it also has a control function, with solutions to complex problems in the fields of building physics / building climate being one focal aspect.
Facade planning and design
- Determination of fundamentals
Building physics / building climate
- Thermal insulation / thermal building
PHAENO SCIENCE CENTER
The Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany, is one example of the portfolio Prof. Michael Lange Ing.-GmbH has to offer. The design of the sculptural figure foregoes the concepts of material-orientated architecture and is not primarily modelled with a view to energy efficiency. The implementation of the design specifications hence calls for considerable calculatory and structural effort. For example, the design principle of the exterior, massive supporting shell in conjunction with the requirement for fairfaced concrete surfaces inside and outside the building demands solutions and calculatory verification of a host of facade connections and thermal bridge situations. The Lange firm took over general responsibility for facade planning and design, building physics and building climate at an advanced stage of the project.
Facades that "think" –
Suppose you are the customer of an office building which you want to market with a good return – what is important to you?
You will require an attractive appearance in order to offer your customers optimum workplace quality. Needless to say that the building is to operate with high energy efficiency whilst complying with all statutory requirements and generating the lowest operating costs possible. But: who can tell you how to achieve your aims within a short construction time and at a reasonable cost? The architect recommends a double facade, arguing in favour of "natural ventilation". However, if the windows remain closed at night, the positive effect is foregone. Should the opening and closing of the windows then be controlled centrally, or are decentralised air handling units the answer? What about the planned fairfaced concrete? Or should one use concrete core temperature core control and central ventilation instead? What are the pros and cons of the different solutions, and what does this mean for the costs? And what about the cleaning concept?
"Intelligent facades" are en vogue. Forward-looking customers expect a facade which does more than just look nice. In short, what it is needed are facades that "think". This claim has its price: Up to one third of the capital invested in new construction projects is today be spent on the facade alone. The facade has hence experienced an enormous increase in value within a construction project. Not least because of growing energy requirements, the facade is understood, together with the roof, as the building's breathing shell. This building shell has important functions. It controls all the exchange processes between the inside and outside. The selfregulating building shell performs part or all of the heating, cooling and ventilation functions. Integrated control equipment does not activate the technical building systems until needed. The same holds true for lighting where the use of daylight is a top priority.
Innovative materials and a well-conceived sun protection design ensure glare-free light, reducing the use of artificial light sources to a minimum. Although modern facades do not render technical building systems superfluous, technical building systems and facade are combined to form a system which is connected by the appropriate control systems. This increases the feeling of comfort in the building and at the same time saves significant amounts of energy. Finally, a facade fitted with photovoltaic modules also covers part of the building's energy demand.
In this way, the "intelligent facade" is also a visually perceived
element of sustainable building. What two decades ago still
was a clumsy and unattractive "eco"-building and deterred
architects from a design perspective, is today an aesthetically
interesting and multi-faceted solution. After the engineers,
architects then also discovered the attraction of the technical
sophistication of thinking facades and embarked on
sustainable building. In the design of new buildings, the
"sustainability" aspect is today particularly popular – and the
facade returns to its initial purpose of representation: Bold,
transparent and sustainable architecture can today be
implemented without conflict.
The only way to avoid such unpleasant surprises is a design and planning approach which brings all the engineers and specialist planners together from the very beginning. The traditional approach is no longer sufficient where the individual planning and design disciplines, i.e. architecture, bearing structure, technical building systems and building physics, were handled by the individual specialists without interaction. From the very beginning, i.e. from the point of idea development on, the architect needs the support of the engineers assisting him in the implementation of his design concept. There is no other way to rule out serious planning and design mistakes which eventually cost the customer a lot of money.More information...
New Hennigsdorf city hall
Jacob-Kaiser-Haus, Berlin (formerly Dorotheenblöcke)
European Central Bank, Frankfurt/Main Photograph: Architekten COOP HIMMELB(L)AU
New Troposphere Institute, Leipzig