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The facade is fundamental to the successful performance of a building and is a climate moderator that improves comfort levels for occupants. Its role is to reduce energy costs and to create a healthy, secure and safe environment while significantly contributing to the architectural design of the building.


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Sector

Service

  • Audiovisual Systems
  • Building Acoustics, Noise and Vibration
  • Building Information Modelling BIM
  • ­(View all)

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The facade can amount to around 25% of the overall construction cost and is therefore seen as potentially high-risk element in successful building delivery. The engineer's role is to balance visual and performance requirements in order to create an economically viable solution that can be built safely and efficiently.

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Performance and Aesthetics

Our facade engineers work on the highest calibre projects, providing innovative solutions that meet both performance and aesthetic requirements. Our expertise covers all phases of a project, from inception to completion. We work both on new buildings facades and on existing buildings for restoration, analysis and evaluation of impacts of HVAC systems, heat, air and moisture on the building enclosure. Our experts understand the risks related to facade engineering and construction and we provide the best possible risk mitigation solutions to our clients.

Our vast project experience ranges from high-rise developments such as Dongguan International Trade Centre in China, to award-winning cultural buildings such as National Music Centre in Calgary and ground-breaking projects such as the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi and the Royal Atlantis in Dubai.

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Engineering The National Music Centre, Canada- exterior view-facades

National Music Centre, Canada

Sustainability and Comfort

As the primary barrier between the occupants and the elements, the facade system must be strong, fire, water and windproof, but also energy-efficient. Our designs include solutions that make facades more responsive to climate and our experts work closely with building services designers to optimize the whole building performance, reduce energy costs and improve comfort levels.

Multidisciplinary Approach

Designing a facade system encompasses structural engineering, building physics, materials science, weatherproofing technology, architectural detailing, production engineering, construction management and buildability. Our facade experts collaborate with architects and other parties, including structural engineers, MEP engineers, fire engineers, acousticians, lighting designers, interior designers, security consultants and sustainability experts, in order to develop the right solution and to solve all interfacing problems, while maintaining high sustainability standards and cost-effectiveness.

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111 West 57th Street, New York

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Facade Engineering for High-Rise

The facade is by far the most significant component of a tower. High-rise facades are increasingly complicated as architects design more intricate forms, including details such as multi-sloped surfaces, cantilevers, chamfers, lanterns and canopies. WSP has extensive experience with complex facade systems for tall buildings, allowing us to provide the best possible advice to developers and architects.

Additionally, regulations governing energy use and environmental sustainability are forcing a huge shift in the way that facades are designed. Improved passive solar control, with a strong emphasis on external shading, together with active measures to make facades more responsive to the climate are no longer just desirable; they are legal requirements.

Design of Building Maintenance Units

An obvious problem in tall buildings is the accessibility of the facade for cleaning, maintenance and repairs. The expertise of our facade experts includes the design of Building Maintenance Units (BMU) for buildings exceeding 400 m. We advise that facade access be considered within the design process to ensure the best possible solution, while controlling capital and operational costs.