Roofing and Cladding: Trends and materials
POWER & RENEWABLE ENERGY

Roofing and Cladding: Trends and materials

Hardik Pandit, Director, APICES Studio, shares his views on the trends in roofing and cladding designs, materials, and energy-efficient facades. 1. Are double shell facades a bad idea for energy-efficient buildings? Double skin façades, which are as the name suggests exte...

Hardik Pandit, Director, APICES Studio, shares his views on the trends in roofing and cladding designs, materials, and energy-efficient facades. 1. Are double shell facades a bad idea for energy-efficient buildings? Double skin façades, which are as the name suggests exterior walls that are composed of two panes of glass or another transparent material separated by an air gap. This cavity, which can be as little as 20 centimeters or as vast as several meters, helps insulate the structure against extreme heat or cold, wind, and noise. A building with a double shell facade is more energy efficient because the air space between the shells acts as a thermal buffer. Increasing insulation and decreasing thermal bridging lessens the effort required for heating and cooling a space. The air gap between the two layers of glass can act as a natural insulator. 2. Facades have become very expressive in urban buildings. What additional challenges does it entail for the cladding industry? Facades can have their special requirements that call for one-of-a-kind answers. Cladding components which are non-standardized but tailor-made are needed. Sellers of glass, metal, concrete, stone, tiles, engineered stones, etc., should take their properties and restrictions into account. Installation time and cost are also crucial aspects to think about, as is the vendor's familiarity with the ins and outs of a process that initially appears simpler than it is due to the additional considerations of maintenance and repair. 3. Does design determine the choice of material to be utilized for roofing and cladding? What are the other factors which influence the choice of material? The design of a building does play a role in determining the roofing and cladding materials that will be used. The type of material selected should be compatible with the overall aesthetic design of the building, as well as the intended functionality and performance requirements. Besides, the climate of the region where the building is located, lifespan of the material that is being considered and the cost of the material and installation along with the materials resistance to heat and fire are crucial factors. The environmental impact of the material being considered is also a factor in the choice of cladding as we start to look at addressing climate change concerns. Sustainable materials are those that can be recycled, use little energy and reduction in carbon footprint. 4. What are some of the new age roof cooling solutions? A cool roof is sought after since is reflects more sunlight than a conventional roof, thus absorbing less solar energy. It is like how wearing white on a sunny day helps you stay cooler than if you wore black: it reduces the interior temperature. Made of materials that are lighter in colour or have a reflective coating, modern cool roofs can reduce a building's energy consumption by up to 15%. Green roofs, also known as living roofs, have also become popular among homeowners. These are roofs that have vegetation growing on top of a waterproof membrane. Additional layers, such as a root barrier and systems for water drainage and watering, can be added for insulation and heat absorption. Radiant barriers, made from reflective materials, are another common method of cooling a roof by reflecting the sun's rays away. The roof absorbs a lot of the sun's heat through conduction, and then radiates that heat to the cooler surfaces below, like the ductwork and the floor. These barriers are used to lessen the amount of heat lost through the roof's underside. The reflective surface needs to be oriented towards an open area. Efficient roof cooling solutions include the application of reflective roof coatings and the installation of ventilation systems via roof vents. 5. With time, do you believe solar panel integrated cladding will become a norm? Advancements in technology and manufacturing processes have created solar panels that are thin, flexible, and lightweight for use in cladding. These are known as building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) facade systems. These structures were built to take advantage of solar energy and withstand the most extreme weather conditions. With the advancement of technology comes the possibility of greater architectural flexibility and design integration. Once the difficulties of longevity, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness have been demonstrated, I believe widespread adoption will follow.

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