The future of facades in the Middle East

Picture of the Soumaya museum of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, in Mexico City, taken on January 21, 2015.   AFP PHOTO / RONALDO SCHEMIDT        (Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Technology, materials, design, safety and cost are all factors in a vital part of the architectural landscape of the Middle East, the facade sector.

As each new skyscraper rises, building forms continue to evolve aided by factors such as increased use of BIM technology.

Design trend across the UAE emphasise that the future is green and factors such as cooling, airtightness and insulation are becoming more important.

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Recent techniques include Recent techniques include extreme cold bending for curtain walls by developing in-house parametric modelling that considers all aspects of cold bend glass, including structural and fabrication limitations, as well as appearance.

Monumental awning windows can be used on residential buildings to improve natural ventilation. This saves costs on air-conditioning but needs to be considered in tandem with wind directions

Factored into this are architects who also want larger and larger glass size panels and for clearer and clearer glass, pushing the boundaries in terms of glass selection criteria.

As buildings go to greater heights issues become magnified such as a greater variation in wind loads. So optimising frame sizes will increasingly test facade engineers.

Another factor which is becoming more commonplace is greater coordination between the design consultants, not only with the architect, but also the structural engineer the MEP engineer, the specialist lighting consultant and the client.

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