The Evolution of Building Facades

Facades are the first thing we notice about a building. It’s the outermost cover of a building, and to a layman, it is what decides the look of the building. When we delve deeper, facades are much more than just coverings. While they protect and hide the structure of the building and introduces an aesthetic element to it, facades also play important role in shielding the building frame and interiors from weather and other factors. Facades decide the amount of heat and light that enters the building, which in turn regulates the energy used. Most importantly, facades complete the role of sheltering and protecting everything within. 

Through the years, facades have undergone massive changes in design and structure, depending on evolution in materials and architecture. Follow us through the various stages of facade evolution, from ancient ages to the modern advanced facades.

The earliest record of building facade can be found in Japan in 800 BC, where wooden logs, clay, and mud were used to create sturdy exteriors for buildings. A century later, European buildings began using clay, mud, stone, and glass to build durable structures. 

The Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, England. The original building dates back to 600AD, which was then restored in marble and other stones in around 1080s.

The Pyramids of Egypt are outstanding examples of ancient facades built using stones and intelligent masonry. All these building facades were load-bearing, the frame and skin system we see today. 

The Pyramids of Giza, facade made of stones. The outermost covering was limestone, of which very few remain today.

With Industrial Revolution, non-load-bearing facades came into prominence, covering a load bearing frame within. Metals like iron and steel began to be used in construction. Just like every other industry, this also marked a new era in construction, where there was no turning back.

The skyscraper era was introduced with the curtain wall system, which essentially meant a facade that hung like a curtain over a steel or concrete frame. The frame carried all the building loads while the facade was simply a protective covering. This allowed large areas of glass to adorn the walls, transforming the look of buildings altogether. 

Modern steel and glass facades

The latest trend calls for sustainable building facades that not only protects the internal environment, but also helps in preserving the external environment. Sustainable green materials and technology are in great demand, and facades that bring down energy use within buildings are being increasingly incorporated. 

What’s next? Let’s wait and watch! Brick or steel, we at Malt Technics have the right equipment to help you maintain a spotless facade. Contact us to get a quote today! 



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