A – Building exteriors
As the prime expression of contemporary architecture, building exteriors constantly make use of new and innovative techniques, which must meet many requirements relating to :
- the appearance and prestigious character of the materials and components used,
- sizing and the building grid,
- the appearance of joints and waterproofing,
- fire stability and fire resistance ratings,
- compliance with regulations and standardization,
- thermal performances,
- solar protection,
- acoustic performances,
- user comfort,
- cleaning and maintenance.
Each project must be specifically studied in light of all these technical considerations, as well as in terms of cost and feasibility to help the architect or owner make judicious choices.
B – Finishes
If the exterior of a building constitutes its outer skin, the interior finishes comprise its inner skin. The former are primarily subjected to climatic constraints, whereas the latter are subject to every day wear and tear.
Directly affecting how the building is perceived, interior finishes must be perfectly maintained and very carefully designed and installed. The more the interior design is representative of a building, the greater its importance. Each choice must be sound and should account for the following parameters :
- the esthetic and architectural quality demanded,
- qualitative aspects, such as the classification, mechanical strength, fire resistance, acoustic behavior, etc. of materials,
- durability : maintenance, wear and tear, and resistance to specific ambient factors,
- economics : particularly in terms of overall cost.
Powerful documentary tools are used to help make these choices. Each room are classified in relation to use, and then identified on data sheets describing all the finishing components associated with it.
These sheets are compiled and updated in the form of a data base which also allows for all simulation possibilities and organization by typologies.
Using the data base, all the headings representing the finishes of a project (floors, walls, ceilings, internal joinery and metalwork) can be listed, coordinated and their contents checked.
Also available are computer softs for calculating glazing openings (calculation of equation, stresses deflection, solar factors, etc.), and for calculating the acoustic performances of various compositions (sound-proofing against aerien noises, impact noises, etc.).