MS 6-2: Life Cycle Design and Engineering of Facades and Building Envelopes

Oliver Englhardt, University of Technology, Graz, Austria

Adolf Merl, PE Central and Eastern Europe, Vienna, Austria

Oliver Englhardt    Adolf Merl    


Facades and building envelopes represent the architectural appearance of a building. They determine its visual identity and its integration in the urban context. On the other hand the facade or exterior envelope of a building is the element that makes the internal space habitable. It acts as a functional covering between inside and outside - as the buildings apparel. Allowing in beneficial elements of the external climate and restrain those less desirable.

The demands on facade constructions are increasing continuously. First of all the performance criteria are driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions. The building envelope is the main element to improve a buildings energy efficiency and also can be used to produce thermal energy and/or electricity. Furthermore technical requirements are addressed to all aspects relevant to the human comfort in built environment.

Due to this the building facade takes on ever greater importance - proportionally does the level of technology involved and the need of high performance materials and construction products. The research and development of tech solutions concerning that requirements is probably greater than for any other element of a building.

When considering the facade and building envelope to fundamentally determine the building and environmental performance, particular attention has to be paid to all aspects of sustainability.

To obtain adequate and satisfactory results we have to develop holistic strategies from a life cycle perspective.

This means to take into consideration
all phases of
- development, planning and design,
- construction,
- operation and maintenance,
- deconstruction and recycling

and all parameters such as
- construction materials and products,
- architectural and structural design,
- type of construction,
- environmental design,
- building services design,
- energetic performance,
- location, climate and microclimate, etc.

relevant to the building performance and the human comfort during a facades or building envelopes life time.


Decision support method for flat roofs using probabilistic tools to calculate life cycle costs and energy efficiency
C. Harreither, T. Bednar, B. Nusser

Green homes through LCC(A)-based planning of multi-functional building skin
L. Messari-Becker, K. Bollinger, M. Grohmann

Parameter study of a prefabricated retrofit façade system
S. Ott, S. Winter

Implementation of energy efficient measures in apartments in Macedonia
T. Samardzioska, A. Trombeva-Gavriloska, M. Cvetkovska, M. Lazarevska

Life cycle of building´s facades: Service life prediction of natural stone wall claddings using the factor method
A. Silva, J. De Brito, P. Gaspar

Analysis of influence of water vapor condensation in building construction envelopes
J. Skramlik