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Facades – Future Activity


Deconstruction, re-manufacturing and reuse of facades

The construction of façades lends itself to a sustainable practice not commonly employed in domestic construction. As each component of the façade is often fixed to the structure using fasteners rather than bonding agents solely, façades can be deconstructed or dismantled. Deconstructing in place of demolition allows immediate reuse of components, extending their service life and minimising the impact of the embodied carbon. With a healthy de-construction and re-manufacturing industry some of the previous limits on glazing service life may be negated.

This presents an interesting opportunity, as glass must be heated to 1500oC, its manufacture is inherently energy intensive. However, during use, if designed well, glazed sections can save energy by reducing lighting demand, and in cool climates, through solar gains. So with thoughtful construction, long use and reuse, glazing elements could recoup much of their embodied carbon, making it a much more sustainable material.


Lifecycle assessments of the façade

The longevity of a façade, the embodied carbon of materials, the ability to de-construct, re-manufacture and reuse components, are considered in a ‘cradle to grave’ assessment of a façade to determine its sustainability. This life cycle analysis would gauge the different impacts of the element at various stages in its use, such as energy use, pollution, resource use, and produce a set of figures to help judge the sustainability of each material or process that constitutes the façade.


Novel materials for future developments

Glass has long been the only commercially viable material that allows outdoor views. But glass may find itself superseded in some applications by the process of main-streaming polymers in construction. One polymer is ETFE; a transparent polymer that is often installed in double or triple ply pillows, and is radically lighter than glass. As a further advantage, on multiple ply pillows, intelligent fritting can be used so that user controlled, variable shading is possible without the addition of extra equipment.


Another material group gaining traction is the composites, and though they are not yet mainstream in commercial buildings, they provide many advantages over traditional materials. Composites offer a cladding material that requires little maintenance other than cleaning, is extremely lightweight, does not act as a thermal bridge or encourage condensation, and as a result achieves a long service life. An example of well designed composite cladding is that of Mondial House in London. Mondial House was clad in Glass Reinforced Plastic in 1975, providing good thermal retention and protection of the building structure, and upon demolition in 2006, was still in very good condition. More manufacturers are beginning to offer Fibre Reinforced Plastics as a cladding material, largely justified by its reduced cost, and this may provide the boost needed to increase the market penetration of composites in façades.


A significant problem with cement is the emission of CO2 from essential chemical reactions during its manufacture, undermining attempts to reduce CO2 emissions by changing fuel type. Novacem – a company based on research from Imperial College London – uses different raw materials based on magnesium oxide. Novacem’s use of these materials allows a lower heating temperature, but more significantly, takes up CO2 during manufacture, making it possible to make carbon negative cement, should it prove to work successfully when applied practically.

In a slightly different direction, two technologies present new applications for an old material. Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) and Cross Laminated Timber laminates multiple sheets of wood to produce a much stronger building material. Glulam laminates multiple, rectangular sheets to form strong, lightweight beams that can be used in place of steel beams. CLT laminates multiple sheets, each perpendicular to the next, to create strong panels suitable for use as load bearing walls, floors and ceilings.

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Building Transformation’s unquestionable honesty and enthusiasm for ensuring the client receives the correct whole-life solution (rather than a quick fix) resulted in us being able to ensure the building was not only returned to its former glory, but will stay that way for years to come. I would recommend them to anyone.

Kenny Gash - Carillion Amey

The work provided by Building Transformation was excellent. Their product and building exteriors knowledge is detailed, comprehensive and practically applied to the client’s needs. They offer a professional, detailed, high-quality and customer- focused service which meets the short, medium and long-term needs of the client, and provides practical, cost-realistic advice.

Kerry Quinn - Echo Arena

Customer service is paramount to Building Transformation and they invested vast amounts of time in providing me with a programme to facilitate what was a very complex and time-specific programme of work for the site. The quality and level of support provided by Building Transformation is priceless to any client/contractor.

Marc Blow MCIOB MBIFM - Carillion Amey

The approach and advice on setting up the works at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre were first-class. Building Transformation’s attention to detail was excellent and the RAMS were followed meticulously to every detail. We were delighted with the works and service, and would not hesitate to use them again, nor hesitate to recommend them to any organisation.

Kevin Egginton - Wolverhampton Council

A 200,000 sq. ft., four-storey leisure venue in the heart of Nottingham city centre surrounded by major traffic routes needed work to be done overnight to deal with the traffic issues, while the site remained open throughout. The project took around three weeks to complete and went exceptionally well; the Building Transformation staff were flexible and able to work round dynamic operational issues. The clean was of a high standard and has made a significant different to the image of the building. A very difficult job done well.

Suzanne Green - Land Securities

May & Co have worked with Building Transformation on a number of projects which have included external building cleaning and refurbishment. They provided a great service, supported by the high level of documentation from the initial quotation to books and industry-related guidance, all relevant to our project.

Anton Theobald - May & Co

I am very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. Also the level of cleaning provided and attention to detail is much appreciated.

Waqas Bin Tahir - Ibis Southampton

I am using Building Transformation’s work to help justify façade restoration works around our business.  They have produced excellent presentations on what can be achieved and is a brilliant piece of informed marketing that is helping slowly win people over in our business to take façade cleaning and restoration more seriously.

Needless to say Building Transformation is a name that is now becoming known and respected.

Simon Attwood - Broadgate Estates Ltd.

Building Transformation gave great communication throughout our projects.
It will be my pleasure to recommend Building Transformation.

Sarah Cameron - My Hotels Group

Just signed off the job with Richard. Myself, the bosses and the tenant all are very pleased with the work. It definitely looks rejuvenated just a case of painting the concrete window surrounds in the new year to finish it off. Have found your company and staff very professional and helpful which has facilitated a project with minimal inconvenience and disruption to our in situ tenants.

Mark Hollinshead - Headruddy Property Development

I had a walk around today with Dave and am impressed with the work so far.  Dave and the team have done a great job.

I’d certainly love to work with you in the future so perhaps before the job is completed we could look at what opportunities there are for the future.

Marie Green - Novotel Sheffield

At this stage, from my point of view your team has been extremely professional, informing us of what was happening at all times and most importantly no disruption whatsoever to our guests and business.

Ludovic Verzi - Novotel Leeds

We are very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. The operatives on site were very professional and communicated to us at all times.

Maria Pinana Mateu - Science Museum

The team at Building Transformation understood our challenge of finding a facade cleaning solution that would initially restore the glazing to its original state, protecting our building for years to come. Through intelligent and thorough testing right through to the full restoration of Block D, we have been very satisfied with the project management and delivery of the cleaning programme.

Colin Pilkington - Renaker Build Limited

Thank you for all the work that you carried out in cleaning the outside of our school.  We are delighted with the results.  You have managed to completely remove heavy staining from many areas around the building.

We found you extremely easy to work with: your quote was reasonable, you carried out the work quickly and you were very flexible in terms of timings.

Tamsin Griffith - Courtney Road Primary School, Bristol

We will definitely be working with you again! Your engineers were very polite and accommodating every time they visited site and have done a first class job. I will be recommending Building Transformation to everyone!

Mark Healy - One Facility


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