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Blending Aesthetic And Sustainable Design Through Facades

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Blending Aesthetic And Sustainable Design Through Facades

As an element that sets the tone for the building, the facade exhibits the identity of a built structure. Its contribution to building functionality has also evolved over time. While in yesteryear facade was just a design distraction for providing shade to the building envelope, today it plays a significant role in the energy efficiency and sustainability of a building. Striking the balance between beauty and sustainability, an ideal facade ensures that a building is both easy on the eye and easy on the environment. This has led dominant facade materials to change often over time. Ar. Amit Gulati, zsuggests some of the trending materials that blend aesthetics and sustainability in facade design.

1. Wooden Cladding: An Organic Beauty
This natural material is super-adaptable in that it comes in different forms and textures. The natural, exposed wood cladding on the exterior enhances the aesthetic appeal, adding an earthy feel to the building. Architects and designers make use of wooden beams that act as structural elements as well as create beautiful facades. The wooden facades have greater sustainability with the renewable properties of wood. It translates as a material with low energy consumption, and high capacity for natural thermal insulation material. Much less energy is invested in the production of wood, which contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of the planet. And obviously, when the aesthetics of the facade is gained from the persona of wood, it reflects sensations of warmth, elegance, and nature. 

2. Glass and Sustainability
Glass has been the primary material for façades since the past century. Fully glazed façades became most popular not only because of their aesthetic appeal but also because of their efficiency. Glass is a material with many functions like bringing in natural daylight, outdoor view and chic aesthetic appeal. These functions when combined with the excellent facade design give a modern identity to the building. Appropriate use of a glass facade can prevent UV rays,  heat absorption, and glare, thus making the building more sustainable and energy efficient. Glazing makes the building beautiful, provides a modern look, and enhances the image and identity of the building. Parametric designs are currently in trend to enhance building performance through geometry optimization and simulation. It compels architects to create innovative designs which are no longer composed of a plain sheet of glass.

3. Metal facades | Facades of the Future
Metal facades flaunt an air of sophistication and modernity in buildings. They bring a clean look to the facade, with their precise fabrication, and well-resolved connections between other building elements and materials. Modern homes predominantly feature perforated metal screens, because of their aesthetics and efficiency. These screens allow adequate natural light to the interiors and restrict the thermal heat while providing alluring aesthetics and a distinct image to the building.  Galvanised steel sheets guarantee robust durability while ensuring thermal insulation and fire protection. Mineral rock wool that is used as insulating material in these sheets makes them suitable for "green buildings". Facades made of steel, aluminium, or any other metal allow a wide range of shapes, patterns, and visual effects to be expressed on the façade for dramatic and creative results.

4. Green Facades | Sustainability at its Best
A green facade is created by growing climbing plants in the soil that are spread across the facades of the buildings. Green facades cover all the points of sustainability from providing thermal insulation and minimizing energy to reducing heat transfer, besides aesthetic enhancement. They are vital in promoting cleaner air and cooler temperatures. Noise pollution that is detrimental to health can be tackled by green facades that help in an overall sound reduction inside the building. The green envelope also provides insulation from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Thus, green facades remain a sustainable aesthetic feature of modern buildings.
Sustainable Aesthetics is the new trend that is rising all around the world in the built environment, especially in home facades. Therefore, with the suggestions from Ar. Amit, let us make future facades highly efficient, adaptive, and at the same time appealingly aesthetic.

5. About the author:
Amit Gulati has extensive project handling experience in architecture in Europe and India, taking overall responsibility for design and drawings and client interactions. Through years of experience in large-scale projects varying from exhibitions, offices, and amusement parks to a wide range of hospitality projects, Amit brings with him a detailed understanding of the management of the project, client and consultant coordination, and vendor evaluation.