Shedding light on the technological advancements of the construction and design industry, Rajan Govind, Director & Facade Specialist, BES Consultants, responds to Bhumi Gupta highlighting the development that can be seen with changing time.
What is the latest in the field of architectural engineering?
Architectural engineering is being witnessed in several iconic designs and interesting buildings, there are few trends seen in these buildings which have shown some direction such as building covering most simple to complex forms and using different types of new materials. Modern architectural design trends are experimenting with interesting building forms such as fluidic and unconventional shapes; these are possible with the help of advance computing and software available in recent times and availability of skills.
How has the industry developed with time?
With regards to architecture design industry, it is being developed and advancing at a much faster pace due to the global collaboration of expertise and knowledge which has no geographical boundaries these days.
Regarding the construction industry progress, it is very slow in adopting latest techniques. This is mainly due to numerous aspects such as the involvment of many stakeholders at the implementation stage and any new technologies requiring investments, upgraded skills, long term benefits, etc. Nevertheless, the implementation downstream is slowly adopting the modern technologies.
Is there any new technology or design that your team is working on?
Our office has completed few interesting projects using Advanced Geometry Techniques that involves resoling highly complex building form. In the completed project ‘Esplanade Mall’ at Bhubaneswar, BES has successfully used Advanced Geometry designs in making buildable form with detailed design engineering of the freeform canopy called ‘Wrap’. The wrap is a key architectural element of the project, like a piece of cloth wrapping around the building envelope with dramatically changing geometry. Initially we didn’t realise this will be actually built, however, our team capability has demonstrated the design to the developer / Owner (Forum Projects). This has greatly improved the confidence and has proven that interesting design which may be highly complex but is buildable with the right design solutions.
Rajan Govind has 25 years of international experience within the facade industry, out of which he has served more than 11 years at Arup. With Structural engineering background Rajan has good overall facade specialist experience. Rajan has gained working experiences in various regions such as Asia, Middle East and Australia.
How financially viable is constructing an engineered facade?
Viability is not an option for the facades in recent times, modern building facades are becoming a key building element and the overall cost of the facades is dramatically increasing. In earlier days cost of facades used to be far lesser compared with other disciplines. However, this has changed due to wider use of futuristic designs, high performance materials, energy efficient systems etc. Hence, the investor / developer having spending significant building cost on facades, it makes sense that the design is engineered by facade experts rather than taking traditional approach of implementing something that has no design basis or is not engineered. Importance of designs is becoming evident, not necessarily a complex design resulting in complex solutions. BES believes even a complex design can be implemented through a simple design solutions.
What are the aspects of sustainability that you adhere to?
We highly value the environmentally sustainable design not just for the sake of getting some points or credits or medals, but for the users to really see the impact on improved energy efficiency and occupants comfort. For this we need to balance the use of materials and natural science, i.e. not overusing something and find a way to mitigate the impact. Using materials wisely with focus on functional aspect and the life cycle impact rather than visual and intangible benefits is a key solution for sustainability. For example, we focus on shading and cutting down direct solar heat on facades of hot climatic conditions, which requires strong focus on shading the facades to minimise the heat loads which some time achieved even using a simple glass products not necessarily a high performance glass. Likewise, we approach with fine balance of wisely used materials and strong design principles.