What are the essential factors in choosing a facade system?

September 04, 2017

undefinedThe Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), as opposed to Life Cycle Analysis, LCA, which deals with all environmental aspects, has proven to be an invaluable tool for the early studies in large projects that are budget critical.

Used by financiers, architects, cost analysts and developers, this tool is essential to determine the true costs incurred throughout the life of a building or material.

This study not only includes the initial costs of a project, such as construction and soft costs, but also the operational and maintenance cost, user related costs, and other costs that are not easily quantifiable, through a determined period of its life, usually all of the expected life, or the expected financing period.

According to Francis, the LCCA of the facade of a building looks at how the initial selection of the type of facade is critical in curbing costs on the long term.

“The façade initial costs themselves may be elevated in many instances but will contribute to reduced operational costs through the life of the building. These cost mainly relate to energy costs. For example, a well-insulated façade will ensure lesser loads on HVAC and this determines the costs incurred by utility companies for electricity.”

Another example that Francis provides, is code compliance. “Although code determines how a façade is supposed to behave during an emergency, it does not tell the architect how to exactly design it, or what materials to use. A comparative LCCA of various options may help determine the best weighed solution for the project at hand.”

Francis explains that some factors essential in the selection of the façade and that are at the core of its LCCA include how daylight radiation affects the interior, such as import of UV, or the useful daylight that helps reducing the use of electric light, but must not import too much glare.

He says: “Other factors include how light is reflected on the outside and affect the surrounding, how daylight affect the productivity of people in the building and so on.”

Francis will present a workshop entitled Comparative Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Façade Systems on 26 September 2017 at 10AM during Windows, Doors and Facades Event, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.


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