We offer a wide range of façade engineering design services to assist all your cladding needs.
Façades can account for a large percentage of the construction price with every building being unique, therefore our consultants take the time necessary to fully consider every element of the façade requirements and offer impartial advice and guidance.
Our company’s cladding and façade engineering design services are established from many years’ experience developing façade designs and giving clients expert advice in façade engineering.
We have different facets of our consultancy’s services where experiences in one service sector inform our learning and experience another.
Our design consultancy specialises in:
Performance Test Witnessing
Principal Design Solutions
Writing of Performance Specifications
2D CAD Modelled Facade Bay Studies
2D Thermal Modelling
Condition & Acquisition surveys
Writing of Product Specifications for Remedial Projects
We typically work with our clients from RIIBA Stage 3, however, we able to provide guidance, design sketches and basic engineering from earlier in the project development and even post contract award, moving into the design, procurement, manufacture & installation stages.
The flow diagram above shows the services that we offer and how we integrate with various elements of the design and construction processes.
We’re always learning, and experiences in one service area often inform advice we give elsewhere which helps our clients avoid costly errors in design and construction.
We are able to facilitate materials analysis as well, identifying failure limits and incompatibilities that allows us to work with clients to rectify the problems. If the circumstances are contentious, we can then with our clients’ and their legal advisers to explore who is accountable for the defects and to what extent.
These experiences inform our work on the design and specification of new façades. If we think a design will not work, we will not hesitate to say so nit will look to explain why and provide alternative solutions and provide examples when practicable. We have found that this advice can be invaluable and help our clients avoid expensive mistakes.
When appraising buildings for buyers, our forensic and new build experience helps us look for clues to potential problems with design, fabrication and installation. If faults are found, our clients can then decide whether to purchase the building, with an informed picture of the risks and defects involved.
Typically, large commercial buildings or multiunit residential blocks
This requires us to work with many façade manufacturers, materials processors and façade contractors, throughout the UK and in mainland Europe. We inspect façade processing and manufacture during factory visits. We follow this with detailed reports with our findings.
SPECIALISTS IN FACADES & CLADDING FOR NEW BUILDS
We discuss with our clients precisely the services they want. Mostly, they require a full-service involving façade intent validation design, performance specification, testing, manufacture and installation, but we also provide custom-made services which could include feasibility studies, reporting on test data, witnessing laboratory tests and specific site inspections. Whatever our client needs are, we’re happy to discuss their requirements to ensure that all requirements are met.
Over the years, we have witnessed numerous tests throughout the UK, in mainland Europe.
Over the years, we’ve accumulated what would amount to weeks, standing inside test chamber, looking for signs of leakage. If leaks occur, we use our experience to figure out exactly why.
There is laboratory testing and site testing too. Used well, testing is a vital tool. Used badly, it can be a waste of time and money and a missed opportunity to understand a design and installation fully. This can result in design defects finding their way onto finished facades and costing thousands or even millions of pounds to rectify and could have been easily identified and mitigated sooner.
Before manufacturing of façades commences, laboratory testing is always advisable.
The façade sample is usually a full-scale mock-up, spanning two-stories or more. Usually, the mock-up will visually represent the façade materials proposed. The mock-up should also represent the materials and component spans in the finished building and include some of the more complicated detailing. Simulated building movements can also be achieved. The sample is typically exposed to simulated weather. Safety tests include loading the sample, more than the design wind pressure to see how it reacts. This can cause materials and components to fail or, excessive framing deflections, or fixings to break. The point is to learn how the façade will look and work in service.
Laboratory testing offers the chance to address problems within the design. This means completing tests at the design stage; allowing time for changes to be made to the design if needed, before manufacture begins. Not allowing this time in the design programme can result in a choice of a defective façade being rectified or, the building project being significantly delayed so that defects can be properly rectified. Or worse still, revisiting and replacing the cladding materials of connection methodology with another.
TESTING ON NEW BUILDS
Newly constructed buildings are usually subject to on-site water testing, to check site workmanship, assuming the façade has already passed laboratory tests.
We also have the ability to facilitate other tests including thermography, air and acoustic testing if required.
Investigations of Cladding and Façade Design & Construction
Normally, we recommend discovering the range and extent of building defects, to advise clients on remedial choices. Investigations normally involve testing and opening-up the construction; materials analysis may also be required.
EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE
We use our experience and expertise to advise clients how much investigation is necessary by considering the building’s age, design and specification. Our investigations are designed bespoke for the individual client needs, from minor investigations to extensive investigations, depending on the circumstances.
WRITING OF PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS
Infinity Façade Consultants Ltd are able to provide windload calculation, developed bay studies with interfaced detail designs, glass design & risk assessments as well as initial structural, thermal and glass acoustic calculations, in order to assist architects in the development and validation of their concept design.
Infinity Façade Consultants Ltd engineers can provide Façade Concept Development and design assistance for complete or complex areas of a building. Infinity Façade Consultants Ltd get involved in the iterative design and development process working directly on the development of the design details that the subcontractor will use as the basis of their design.
Accurate, concise and relevant specifications are a key element to the façade engineering process. It is necessary to ensure that the exact project requirements are made clear to all parties to demonstrate construction and constraints which each materials type should perform to achieve the required levels of performance and durability for the lifetime of the building.
Infinity Façade Consultants Ltd produce and develop the façade performance specification so that it ensures that it gets regularly updated as changes occur within the industry and new regulations and standards are published.
This level of constant review and update allows each project to benefit from the most up to date set of performance and regulatory requirements and provides Clients with the confidence that all subcontractors will be tendering for the project on an equal footing. The façade performance specification is a key document that forms the basis for quality façade delivery on all projects.
Infinity Façade Consultants Ltd uses finite elemental analysis software "Flixo Professional version 8.1" from Infomind for its thermal calculations.
Flixo is specifically designed for 2-Dimensional thermal simulation and analysis of façade cross-sections, and produces reliable thermal hygrodata and frame U-values according to BS EN ISO 10077-2.
This software has been validated by performing the ‘ten examples for the validation of the calculation programmes’ from Annex D- British Standard EN ISO 10077-2:2003. Material properties such as thermal conductivity (λ values) used in these calculations have been taken from BS EN 12524:2000, BS EN ISO 10077-2:2017 or directly from the Flixo software database.
All materials used in the construction are listed along with their design thermal conductivities.
Thermal conductivity information has also been taken from product suppliers’ own databases in the case of the material not featuring in the British Standards.
The sources of information are also supplied and confirmed. Product suppliers have to provide this information to comply with Part L1 & L2A of the Building Regulations.
The equivalent thermal conductivities of ventilated and unventilated air cavities and grooves are treated in accordance with BS EN ISO 10077-2 2017 automatically by the Flixo program.
FACADE STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING
All structural Consulting and engineering is undertaken by our Structural and Façade Engineer and support team. We work closely to find design solutions to problems with finished solutions fully detailed on AutoCAD as required.
Areas of the construction that we typically address are:
General façade systems
Bracket and mullion design
Secondary support systems
REMEDIAL DESIGN & SPECIFICATION SERVICES
We are usually asked to design and specify repairs when forensic investigations discover faults. This can involve presenting clients with different design choices varying in cost. The client’s contractual position, and if they intend holding others accountable for the costs of repair, can influence their remedial choice. Not only do we design and specify repairs, we can manage them too. We have experience working on existing buildings, with tenants in situ.
We know the challenges and risks this can present. We advise clients on the disruption façade repairs entail and we help identify steps to minimise this.
We think about longevity of the repairs and carefully design the remedial works. We will test the repairs too, as a check on correct implementation.
If you have a problem building to discuss please get in touch.
CONDITION & ACQUISITION SURVEYS
Cladding Inspections for Building Acquisitions in London and across the UK
Building facades can cost 15-25% of the construction price, making them an expensive building feature. Facades are becoming increasingly complicated also. We have gained a great reputation examining cladding to landmark buildings, for clients looking to buy freehold, or leasehold interests. Many of our clients know our work and our attention to detail when inspecting and reporting on façades to new and existing buildings. Each instruction is unique and we take time considering each one.
Mainly, our clients want to know if the façades have fundamental defects likely to affect performance. They also want to know if buying, or occupying the building is likely to present them with an expensive repair bill later.
Our experiences from forensic and new build work, inform acquisition surveys and help us look for clues to potential problems ahead.
Our clients can then make an informed choice whether to buy the building or, otherwise provide for the expense of rectifying the defects we sometimes find.