A1 Facades – Functional Integration Into the Building Envelope

A1 facades allow a wide range of functions to be integrated into the building envelope while offering a high level of freedom for design. They can be used to integrate ventilation, lighting, heating and AV equipment. They can also be integrated with life-saving systems and fire protection solutions. Functional integration into the building envelope reduces the need for additional building service installations, saving installation space, weight and costs.

For example, the facades of a new parking garage in Amsterdam by XVW architectuur were designed with vertical tubes in a diagrid pattern to accentuate the structure. The tubes have a perforated steel mesh that reflects the street level activity below, helping to keep the street alive and free up space for events, markets and other civic activities. The facade also incorporates RGB lighting to add further character and ambience.

Another recent development is the introduction a1facades.co.uk of a new steel standing seam cladding system for residential applications. Tata Steel’s Colorcoat Urban Facade offers a contemporary metal standing seam aesthetic while achieving an A1 fire rating to meet the latest UK building regulations. The facade is suitable for buildings over 18m in height and a residential use. It is easy to install and requires minimal maintenance, making it a practical solution for new build residential developments and refurbishments.

The facades of a new office building in Amsterdam were also realized using A1 elements. The fire performance and the ability to create large shapes and a lightweight design made the material the obvious choice. The project was a pilot study to demonstrate the feasibility of using A1 for functionally integrated facades.

During the fire test, the external facade claddings were subjected to severe thermal shock and mechanical stresses. The tests were performed in two areas: the glazed part of the building, located above the fire opening, and the non-glazed part, located below it. In the first few minutes, both types of claddings showed some stability. The fire-resistant claddings detaching from the aluminum grates did not fall off and were retained by steel perforated tapes mechanically attached to the claddings. The claddings in the non-glazed part above the opening were more heavily damaged than the ones below it.

In the later stages of the test, the claddings were found to be stable. The temperature increase in the glazed area of the building was lower than that in the non-glazed part. The large-slab ceramic tiles in the glazed section above the fire opening were quickly destroyed, while the fiber cement boards in this area remained intact.

The Facade A1 CONCEPT design fan allows for a simple colour decision process and supports the selection of harmonising colours. Harmonious colours are classified into the three most common residential styles to make it easier to find a matching colour concept for your facade.