Facade Access - Future Proofing Building Facades

Kerryn Coker
Principal
Arup, Sydney

Future proofing is key for any asset, particularly when considering long-term access and maintenance requirements of building facades. Conscientious monitoring and inspection of facades can be achieved through several access strategies such as building maintenance units, rope access, mobile work platforms and scaffolding. Once the condition of the facade is determined, it is important to understand what work must be done to keep the building safe and operational with minimal impact to tenant amenity.

In the last 50 years, building designs have become increasingly complex, challenging physical limits through architectural expression. As such, technologies for maintenance and access strategies have had to keep astride with the curvilinear, contorted, and seemingly gravity defying structures – built with larger and sometimes even heavier materials – to ensure the iconic grandeur stands the test of time. What challenges will the next 50 years bring and what advancements in the façade access industry can we expect to see?

For new buildings, it is critical to design the right façade access system to be efficient and reliable for the life of the building. This presentation will focus on a number of examples of where Arup is using the latest digital tools to monitor building envelopes and undertake facade maintenance and repair works. Further, it explores various methods of future-proofing these buildings from what we have learnt and potential developments in the facade access industry going forward.

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