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Custom Metal and Glass – Design, Fabrication and Installation
 
“To achieve an artful façade on a high-rise buildings, modern techniques such as
suspension of the exterior walls from concrete floor slaps are often employed.”
What is a Building Facade Get a Project Evaluation

In architecture and construction, the term façade refers to one exterior side of a building. Typically the façade refers to the front of the building, but this is not always the case. The façade is typically very design-heavy side to a building. It generally features visual elements that in a sense express the character of the building or space. As such, vast ranges exist in the styling of facades, from classical to ultra modern.

History
The term façade, which means “face” or “frontage” in French, first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in the mid seventeenth century. It is no surprise then that facades are featured regularly in historic construction. Facades were of particular popularity during the Georgian period of England between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Because many facades are therefore historic, many towns and cities have regulations about who can alter a façade, how, and why.

Modern
In today’s construction, facades continue to be of great importance in setting the tone of a building. To achieve an artful façade on a high-rise buildings, modern techniques such as suspension of the exterior walls from concrete floor slaps are often employed. Curtain walls are often used in such pursuits, as are precast concrete walls.

Materials
Precast concrete slabs often provide the structure of a façade, over which either stainless steel or aluminum is applied for appearance.

Some modern construction has also utilized titanium, however this has not been a popular development. Titanium is particularly susceptible to panel edge staining and is also very costly. For these reasons, aluminum and steel are preferred.

Safety Concerns
As with any modern construction, safety is of concern with facades. Of particular concern is fire safety, namely preventing fire from moving from one building to the next in a major urban center should a fire occur. In such instances, facades are required to comply with a fire-resistance rating.

Sprinkler systems, fire stops, and building joints are also often used in conjunction with facades. The melting point for aluminum, which is 660 degrees Celsius, is typically reached within the first few minutes of a fire, making fire reaching a façade a major safety concern.

Other Uses
The term façade is colloquially common due to the use of the fronts of buildings on film sets and in theme parks. Such pieces are built to five the appearance of buildings where thee are none. In most instances, facades on sets or in parks are simply supported by beams in the back. They are a flat piece, however when viewed from the front, the illusion of the depth of a building is created.

The term façade is also used colloquially to describe a person who is being disingenuous or is putting on a “face”. This is largely influenced by the use of facades to give the appearance of a building on a set or in a theme park where in reality there is nothing to back it up.

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