What is Façade Engineering?

Posted on July 15, 2016
Written by Brian Hubbs
Telus Garden, an RDH facade engineering project located in Vancouver, BC

Building façades, envelopes, or enclosures—by whichever name you call them—are a key element in a building’s design. Largely responsible for a building’s performance in energy efficiency, airtightness, and water resistance, these building “skins” are undeniably complex systems, but more than that, they are the part of a building seen by the world.

By their very definition, building façades are the public face of a building, making them the perfect canvas for the vision of developers, the creativity of architects, and the innovation of building scientists and engineers.

As the manifestation of a project’s goals, the design and construction of the perfect façade requires the work of specialized engineers who can balance buildability and cost through innovative solutions that allow creativity to thrive and turn visions into realities. This is façade engineering.

River Green, an RDH facade engineering project located in Richmond, BC

River Green, Richmond, BC

No Challenge Too Great

For most in the industry, façade engineering refers only to the specific niche area of structural aspects in curtainwall consulting. At RDH, the focus is much broader, concerning everything to do with the performance of the building enclosure systems from the below-grade assemblies, through the curtain wall and skylights; the precast concrete, stone, or masonry walls; to the heavy timber or any other variety of façade systems and materials being used.

Our Façade Engineering team considers all aspects of building enclosure performance including material selection and compatibility, water penetration control, airtightness, structural adequacy, energy efficiency, cost, buildability, and maintenance requirements. For nearly 20 years we’ve provided consulting services that span the full range of materials, systems, and performance requirements.

Through expert technical advice, RDH is making architectural ideas and concepts come to life, pushing the limits of what’s been done before, and dotting our skylines with innovative and inspiring buildings.

Wood Innovation & Design Centre, an RDH facade engineering project located in Prince George, BC

Wood Innovation & Design Centre, Prince George, BC | Photo by Ema Peter

Connect with Us

We’ve had a hand in many amazing projects. You can find examples of our work on our new Façade Engineering site, along with the stories behind each of these unique buildings and the challenges they presented.

Have your own façade engineering challenge? No idea or question is too small or too innovative. Connect with our experts and let us help turn your vision into reality.

 

Learn More about Façade Engineering at RDH

 

 

Brian Hubbs

Brian Hubbs

Brian is an industry leader in Façade Engineering, including the design of fenestration systems, investigation of failures, and development of solutions for complex repairs.