The envelope of each building will exist in a unique set of circumstances. In order to respond to these specific challenges, we must be able to view each scheme holistically and contextually. In developing the appropriate response we will utilise the following core skills:
AKT II Envelopes will design and develop details for all types of building envelope conditions. The detailing will address air tightness, drainage paths, insulation requirements and fixation, whilst responding to the appropriate building tolerances and movements.
We have the ability to execute structural designs in glass, steel, aluminium, timber, masonry, concrete and advanced composite materials. We have at our disposal a wealth of knowledge and software tools which allow us to analyse structures, materials, and applied actions across a large variety of applications relative to building envelopes.
Building physics is a complex area which addresses the interaction between the sciences of engineering and those of human perception and physiology. In assessing design and performance imperatives we are required to consider several different areas of functionality, including thermal performance of solid and transparent elements, air movement, moisture control, energy use, acoustics and the use of light. This knowledge is utilised alongside contextual constraints and drivers, to feed into the design of the envelope.
Environmental physics / wind engineering
We are able to offer an outline assessment of the external environment within proximity to our buildings. This assessment can utilise data from computer models of wind speed, direct and indirect solar radiation and humidity, amongst others, to establish outline qualitative performance. Buildings undergo complex interactions with the wind and it is essential to be able to assess both the impact of the wind on the building and the impact of the building on the wind, within the local environment. Alongside codified rules and assessments, we utilise CFD analysis to accurately assess the interaction with the wind, allowing preliminary trend assessment of wind pressures and informing the requirements for future wind tunnelling testing and specification.
We have the capacity to assist in the appropriate selection and specification of a wide range of traditional materials, ranging from glass, to stone and timber. Aside from the more common materials we also have extensive experience in ETFE envelopes, architectural concrete facades, aluminium and steel monocoque structures.
We have developed many tools, allowing us to control and manipulate geometry. We can do this both through a manual process or parametrically, providing an exceptionally quick exploration process which brings early direction to emerging designs as well as presenting the facility for optimisation later in the process.
Procurement and specification
AKT II Envelopes sees this aspect of our business as a critical offering. As the number of specialist subcontractors producing facades has diminished, it is important to fully understand the capabilities and limitations of the supply chain. With this knowledge it is then possible to navigate this complex area and control what we buy for our clients, playing an active rather than passive role throughout the process, even including prototype testing and quality control.