Assessing Facade Value

by Alexandra den Heijer

On June 6, 2013 I was a speaker at a conference about the Future Envelope – the theme this year was Facade Value. My presentation can be found under DOWNLOADS.

Choosing “façade value” as a theme for this year’s Future Envelope 7 was an excellent choice. Value has many angles – which showed in the four different sessions – but also forced every speaker to answer one common question: who benefits from the façade? Value connects experts from design and manufacturing to stakeholders who own, use and manage the building – this is increasingly important in a time of changing roles and new business models.

Themes like the value of façade innovation on design (transparency, flexibility in form, customization), the influence of the façade on (the user’s) performance, life cycle costs (and benefits) and sustainability issues were discussed in a range of presentations. These are all themes that should be made explicit during the design and construction process, involving the client and user in decisions. This also calls for sharing more knowledge about these subjects in practice and in academia, of which the conference was a very good example.

Facade Value - on stage after our presentations: Alexandra den Heijer and Thijs Asselbergs, interviewed by Tillmann Klein (photo: Marcel Bilow - Facade group TU Delft)

Facade Value – on stage after our presentations: Alexandra den Heijer and Thijs Asselbergs, interviewed by Tillmann Klein (photo: Marcel Bilow – TU Delft) – more photos

I want to thank professor Ulrich Knaack (TU Delft / Design of Constructions) and his Facade Research Group for inviting me to speak at this conference. Involving the client – future owner/user of the building – in briefing and design decisions is one step, but giving them the evidence-based knowledge about how new (façade) concepts influence their performance is even more important for successfully implementing innovation in the built environment.

For the future of the built environment demand and supply side should go hand-in-hand. On-going research – including the NWO-funded FuturA research (Future Value Chains of Architectural Services) that explores the changing roles of designers – emphasizes that. This is all the more reason to share knowledge between the chairs of Real Estate Management, Design & Construction Management and Design of Constructions for future research.

More about the NWO funded research about future role of architects – FuturA “Future Value Chains of Architectural Services” – can be found using the following link. More about TU Delft’s Facade Research Group can be found on the TU Delft website and on the Imagine blog.

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