New Developments in Façade Engineering for High-Rise Buildings – Dubai Case Studies

Agnes Koltay
Facade Consultant, Founder
Koltay Façades, Dubai

Iconic buildings are identified and recognized by their external appearance. The building envelope is the ultimate separation in between harsh external environment and comfortable interior, filling a complex performance role. With the wide use of parametric design and ease of 3D design information processing, traditional manufacturing methods and installation methods struggle to keep up. Designs that lack repetition have generally been perceived uneconomical to build, however this is slowly changing as we enter into computer instructed manufacturing methods and computer model driven installation processes.

On large scale developments, such as high-rise buildings, economy of scale makes custom designs especially sensitive. Individual care of each facade panel - instead of mass production provisions- increases production cost as well as procurement time, which may render the budget out of reach and prompt painful value engineering exercises and necessitates compromise of the aesthetics. Facade engineers play a critical role to provide feasibility information during the design process, while constantly challenging the industry.

We live in historic times, when technical limitation boundaries are pushed and architecture has gained larger freedom in realizing more complex designs within time and budget constraints. The presentation will lead the audience through practical high-rise facade system types, recent industry trends, and provide some examples of facade case studies to demonstrate how customized designs can translate to reality with the help of computer driven manufacturing methods. In addition to these developments, the use of custom shaped glass, bent metal members, freeform composite elements - the industry also benefits from utilizing higher efficiency in simpler geometries.