Role of Façade Management Consultant :
Day by day increase in demand for facades has brought up lot of challenges with Architects aiming for complex designs catering to demand in façade Management professional.
- Approvals of Installation drawings.
- Quality auditing of raw materials coming at site.
- Quality of Installation.
- Safety Issues of Labour.
- Final Handing Over & Certification.
Approvals of Installation drawings –
- This stage is most important stage for the Professional to know what is going to be done on site understands the Façade systems, shop drawings & methods of fixing.
- Figure out the wall types & their detailing for fixing on site.
- Approve the right drawings or ask for corrections in the same.
Quality Audits of Raw Materials coming at site –
- For any façade to perform for cycle life of building this is the most important aspects as materials need to ensured for quality checks randomly.
- Aluminium extrusions, coatings on Aluminium, bracket quality, Glass processing, Anchoring on site, Glazing process, EPDM quality audits & various other quality processes needs to be documented.
- ASTM / AAMA / Australian/ EN/ BS standards are various international standards which clearly mention how to carry out process of checks of raw materials. These test needs to be done in order to have right materials on site.
- One can have random checks because glazing system failures starts from materials failures only.
Aluminium extrusion –
No one can keep on checking all the supply coming from factory, but one can bind the vendor with either rejections or penalty in event of poor quality materials. Basic checks like thickness of materials, diagonal inspection of hollow materials, Twist & bow along the length are mandatory checks need to be done.
Glass Inspections –
There are various instruments now available to check surface compressive stress on glass without breaking the glass, these checks must be documented. Rest issues such as diagonal size mismatch, edge arising, improper grinding needs to be checked as any of could be the reason for onsite breaking of tempered glass.
To avoid quality issues a inspection of factory of the vendor is must so that he can supply right glass.
Double Glass –
Hardly few contractors get a prior approval of Silicone byte size used in the making of double glass. In some cases even not mentioning the work in PO Silicone sealant itself might create a quality gap where processor might use Poly sulphide sealants.
EPDM Gaskets –
These gaskets are on the low cost items in the whole façade materials but these are the important barriers one has to look into. Without gaskets façade fails in thermal transmittance of heat & prevent air & water leaks.
Buying a low quality PVC, EPDM gasket could lead to disaster as failure of joints cost a lot. Hence before selecting a Gasket understands its Thermal conductivity properties so that it has to perform over the life of façade. Once cannot replace these gaskets easily as it is integral part once fixed cannot be accessed.
Structural Sealants –
We always emphasize on Contractor asking for warranty from the silicone supplier & document it. All materials are inspected by the sealant supplying company & a compatible test is conducted. After this test it comes to physical inspection
- Onsite deglazing process must be followed in guidelines of sealant supplying company.
- In case of single part silicone compatibility between open cell tape & silicone must be done.
- In event of 2 part sealant proper butterfly test needs to be conducted so that mixing of sealants is done properly for better adhesion once applied.
- Sealant applicator must be trained with respect to guidelines of sealant training manuals.
- Finally after carrying out the process get the final onsite warranty from the Suppliers.
Application of weather sealants is more risky affair as lot many people I have observed tend to use General purpose silicones which is ready across the counter in many small projects & in the event joints fail in the very first year of application. Before considering weather silicone following steps need to be understood
- Get the application manual from silicone sealant suppliers in order to understand the properties of the same.
- A proper byte size must be derived in proportion of 2:1 guidelines in the manual ( Ex It Width is 12 mm then depth needs to be minimum 6mm so that the joint is properly formed)
- Also use proper bonding primers as specified by the silicone sealant manufacturing guidelines in order to get best adhesion.
- Cleaning of surface is must & always ensure application of backer rod is done properly to get the byte size.
Similarly all the raw materials coming to site needs to be checked & their application methods need to be followed as per standards.
Quality of Installation –
This is most important element in the façade construction & needs lot of expertise. I have seen despite high end factory manufacturing if the product is not installed properly it ends up in disasters.
In the past 2 to 3 years we have got lot of projects for rectification the largest being a 40 storey high rise at Mumbai, where lot of areas were subject to water leaks & client being a hotel was irritated with the façade.
We conducted lot of inspections & also suggested the clients with external capping in order to prevent the water entering the groove, but due to looks we stayed with a glazed façade & rectified it using our team on gondola sealing the biggest façade.
I would say always plan your installation & understanding of fixing systems is most important. Water levels, Plumb & respective gauges needs to be inspected periodically on site to ensure product is rightly installed.
We have done many projects in India, Mauritius where the extent of wind loads ins up to 3 KPa, working conditions are breezy throughout the year .
One has to ensure proper site supervision & document inspection dates & time so in event of any issue can reach the person & understand why failure happened.
Safety issues of Labour –
Glazing is a field where I have observed despite lot of complicated designs on paper our whole future lies in the hands of labour as their work will bring you the credit of better workmanship.
Labour safety rules must be followed begins with Helmet, Safety belt, Shoes , Proper access space on site needs to be provided. You cannot take any uncalculated risks on site because safety of labour is most important for you.
We also need to get the insurance for labours so that in event of any mishaps the costs are covered by the company.
Final Handing Over & Certification
After all the work is over on site one has to properly clean the site & hand it over to the clients. We also have practised a method where we document all the test certificates of materials supplier & Silicone warranty Certificate & Hand it over to the
Clients for documentation. These also contains phone numbers of the vendors so in event of any failures once can be easily reached.
written by: Satish Jadhav (Director Mascon Facades)
Satish Jadhav, having 20+ years experience in the façade field worked with leading companies like Sp Fab, Alufit, Ajit India, FCD consultants & presently works independent in Façade Management Consulting.
He has worked on Various Indian Projects Siemens Bangalore, Oracle Bangalore, IT Park Mauritius, SD Towers Mumbai & more than 100 projects where he completed. Recently he is doing a rectification work at a 40 storey building at Mumbai to prevent leaks & rectify some façade elements.