UNITIZED GLAZING SYSTEM DESCRIPTIONS, SPECIFICATIONS, ADVANTAGES AND INSTALLATION DETAILS
Currently, we are doing the prestigious, the New Supreme Court Building, at Port Louis, Mauritius 1,25,000 Sq Ft (INTERNATIONAL FACADE PROJECT under execution by "GLAZIERS FACADE ). The items covered in the project includes ACP Cladding (49000 sq ft)), DGU unitized systems Glazing (56000 sq ft), automatic Glass Door, Louvre, spider, railing and punched windows. About Glaziers Façade:
"GLAZIERS FACADE “with over a decade of operational experience is a vertically integrated consortium co-owned by three entities, namely; Arihant Constructions & Developers, the facade projects execution division, at Pune & Phronesiz Marketing Ventures Pvt. Ltd. with its own factory at Aurangabad, & SATORI CONSULTING (Façade Design),
We are planning to locate our factory to MIDC Shendra, Aurangabad, with an area consisting of 40000 Sq Ft, the machine specifications available with us are as under-
* Built-up area 40000 sq ft
* Assembly areas *6 nos
* Pre bonding area *1 nos
* Bonding area *1 nos
* Crane *5MT overhead travelling crane
* Loading crane *2MT forklift
* Production capacity *45-55 panels per shift/250 *325 sqm per shift
* Skilled operators *18 nos
* Helpers *On contractual basis (as required)
With addition of unitized glazing machinery expansions, it’s possible to fabricate for us, 40-45 Unitized Glazing Panels, per shift, totaling a production of 250-325 Sq Mtr of glazing, It may be noted that in conventional semi unitized glazing system, almost 80% of the work is done on site while as, in Unitized Glazing system, 90% of the work is done at factory, which means there is greater control, greater efficiency, greater utilizations, neat planning of the resources at factory itself.
There is nothing close to a well-designed and correctly executed façade to enhance the looks of a building. From a squat single storied building to the highest of high-rises, if there is one thing which turns heads and makes people head towards a building, it is the latter’s looks which comes in the form of a well-executed façade.
India is undergoing a revolution of sorts on many fronts one of which is to do with construction. Everywhere you look what you get to see are newer and ever taller and larger buildings with the latest amenities and facilities.
One area which is getting increasing prominence with each passing day is that of a building’s façade. With looks taking over centre-stage from yesteryears thoughts of utility, a lot is getting done here though a lot also needs to be done.
Creation and installation of façades continue to be an exercise which is a mix of art, science and correct timing in execution. Even one element missing from this mix and what you get is much lesser than what you could possibly get. With the size and complexity in construction increasing with every passing day, creation and installation of façade too are getting increasingly complex.
Today we tell you all about some of the oft-encountered complexities in the world of façade creation for high-rises and some possible suggestions to overcome them.
Challenges encountered when designing and installing facades for tall buildings
Facades aren’t like a coat of paint which can be peeled and another layer painted in its place. Firstly, for the best effect and to make it long-lasting, facades need to be installed right at the stage of construction which means there ought to be perfect co-ordination between the architect, builder, façade executor, and the latter’s contractor. It is then left to the façade executor to create a plan of installation which is both feasible and timebound under which every element of building construction gets its share of façade basics in place. It also falls on the façade executor to keep the final user of the building in the loop with regard to looks and feel.
Getting all the above elements in place is anything but easy given that it involves different actors and their individual action. Flexibility within a timebound framework is of material importance here.
Difficulties a façade executor goes through with respect to the execution and installation of facades on high-rises.
With each floor being added to a building, the level of complexity as regards façade creation increases exponentially with some of the usual challenges being:
- Kind of material being used
Anything installed at arm’s length is never an issue as regards safety and maintenance. The same can’t be said of installations 300 feet off the ground. The level of planning, material quality as also the systems used to reach such points undergo a quantum change. It’s with experience that one understands the steps needs and the level of quality to be maintained. A façade Contractor’s job thus has to take into account planning projects while being very, very sure of material quality, including the quality of machines used in lifting men and material.
- Quantity of material being used and their storage
Unlike building construction itself where material is used in bulk, in façade installation, it’s every bit about the façade’s design which decides its success. Never-the-less, a façade too calls for its share of raw materials like steel for the installation and glass for the cladding. A proper plan is thus needed to avoid excess stocking or stock-outs which can hinder the speed of project execution besides blocking resources. Excess stocking more so in cramped sites & locations runs the risk of damage to both the installation parts as also the façade itself. It is thus the job of the façade contractor to know exactly what is needed and when, and then plan his next move. There could be a need for multiple vendors for material to avoid stock-outs.
- Material-related logistics and storage above ground
Facades come in all shapes and sizes. Lifts, cranes, gantries, masts, and winches, unfortunately, don’t. The latter sometimes have to be customized to pick and move materials of various shapes and sizes which can be a challenge. Staying clear of hindering construction, they run the risk of increasing project costs as things may have to be customized, sometimes to the extremes.
- Weather-related issues
Facades close to the ground while being installed (and in some cases later also) don’t run the risk of being affected by winds whose effect becomes very pronounced when one continues to rise above the ground. This may have to be tacked in multiple ways including the judicious use of gantries and winches loaded with façade material when functioning against winds of specified speeds. A careful observation of wind patterns needs to be done before execution so as to avoid problems during execution. In some cases, execution may have to be done either at a predetermined time(s) of the day or at predetermined times of the year when wind speeds are conducive to such installation. In doing so, there is always the chance of the project getting delayed and friction developing between the various parties to the project which can be avoided where the builder/ contractor explains these factors to the satisfaction of the party/ client well in time along with the likely implications where caution is not exercised.
- Last-minute changes
When it comes to looks, there is no saying when things and requirements might change. And when they do, irrespective of whether they add anything to the original plan or otherwise, they do add to costs. This is one aspect which needs to be put across to the client by the builder in simple terms. In addition to cost over-runs, last minute alternations/ changes add to time over-runs with the final product sometimes not conforming to the original thought(s).
It is said that even the Taj Mahal had to undergo a special “mud-pack” to get its resplendent color back, what to talk of facades which resolutely face the weather gods throughout the year! Like everything else, their life too gets shortened with time and the effect of the elements- more so in the Indian context, given our often extreme weather patterns. The challenge here is to maintain them year after year which gets heightened with the dimensions of the building, especially its height. Special equipment and personnel have to be brought in which only add to their cost.
- Scaling up
India wants more. Of everything including buildings. A 15-storey building may need additional floors which means the façade may need to be extended or redone altogether. Depending upon the existing conditions and client’s needs, things may need to be worked out. Scaling up can sometimes be more difficult than new executions especially when a perfect match is asked for. In the absence of the same materials/ designs, the need could extend to a complete re-do.
Experience & efforts have helped bring forth a new technique to reduce façade costs, time and efforts while enhancing their looks and functionality. The “Unitised Structural Glazing system” of which the “Curtain Wall” is its main component, is one where the entire edifice of the façade takes care of its own weight in relation to external factors including wind without in any way affecting the structural unity of an existing structure. The “Curtain Wall” had two variants further, the “stick” system or the “unitized” system. We tell you something about the “unitized” system of curtain walling, its USP and its advantages.
- Unitization of façade! Like the pixels of a digital camera, the façade can be broken down to standard sized panels which makes production, handling, and QC much easier!
- Reduced on-site work !Just 30% of the work to install the façade is done on-site. The rest with respect to producing the façade itself takes place in the factory which means quality is maintained, production losses are reduced and the speed of execution remains high.
- Better quality control! With a majority of the work taking place in automated factories, quality of façade fronts both in terms of looks and material can be maintained – right up to 100%!
- A “Just-in-time” approach is possible where the façade material is brought to the site at the same time that the building comes up. This reduces costs associated with storing material on-site as also losses in storage.
- Lesser dependence on scaffoldings, cranes, winches, and tackles with openings in the new construction being used to install façade- especially useful in high-rises where space can be an issue
- Lesser use of specialized toolsand tackles which can be replaced with standard tools
- Customization of façade! With installation not being an issue, façade design and ideas can vary from ventilated facades to insulated, sun-protective, automated to even solar-power generation!
- Size of installations no more an issue. With unitization of the façade now being a possibility, the question is not “How to install it” but “Where to install it” with the “where” denoting the place where the building is coming up!
With prefabrication & unitization being the two main USPs of the Curtain Wall, endless possibilities exist to create facades which look good, serve multiple purposes and remain economically priced!