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FACID – The flexible façade

One of the focus topics at BAU 2017 was FACID, the flexible textile façade. With this product, the wide-ranging design freedom for the building envelope is being further extended – with the customary Schüco quality.

©Mark Wohlrab
©Sign Comp, USA
©Alexander Obst_Marion Schmieding

Interview with Hans Jörg Rudolph, Managing Director of EPS Systems GmbH & Co.KG

PROFILE: FACID opens up interesting new design freedom. To which areas of use is the textile façade suited?

Hans Jörg Rudolph: The possibilities are endless. The ability to span areas means that individual building structures, which differ in style and alignment of the window areas, can be joined together or the design of individual building components can be enhanced. What appears to be solid from a distance vanishes on the inside through the building envelope leaving an almost transparent view to the outside. The semitransparency of the fabric creates many possibilities – when used as sun shading, the fabrics reduce heat transmission by up to 70%. However, the envelope can also be used as a projection surface from the front or the rear, allowing graduation effects to be created similar to those used in theatre staging. In addition to the two-dimensional system, integrated sun shading and screening modules can also be incorporated as decorative elements or individual accents. When operated manually or electrically, this produces a lively scene on large façade areas.

PROFILE: Mr Rudolph, what makes your system different from other textile façades?

Hans Jörg Rudolph: FACID is based on a system concept. Instead of special constructions which are realised on a case-by-case basis, we work with a modular profile system. The technology is structurally calculated, tested and approved and can work out all of the details in the system. The profile system is based on a patented clamping system which uses fabric clip technology without the need for hemstitches or complex fabrication.

PROFILE: What is the advantage of this technology?

Hans Jörg Rudolph: The reversible fabric clips are clamped directly onto the fabric and then locked into the clamping channel of the profile. The internal mechanism stretches the fabric perfectly even, so that it does not require time-consuming retensioning in order to be brought into shape – this allows quick and secure installation, even in places that are difficult to access. The simple clamping mechanism also allows individual parts to be replaced at any time. This is an invaluable advantage if, for example, the user changes or the fabric can take on new functions due to technological advancements.

PROFILE: Are there restrictions on height and width?

Hans Jörg Rudolph: With a standard module width of 2.50 metres, we can, in principle, install façades horizontally or vertically with almost any length. Depending on the location, for example due to wind and surface loads different module widths of up to 5 metres and different field configurations are also possible. Three dimensional shapes can also be created as standard. In contrast to other cladding materials, it is easy to adapt the profiles in three dimensions or change the shape. Whether 100 or 10,000 square metres, the system offers the reliability and quality that is customary from metal fabrication.

PROFILE: Have special fabrics been developed for the system?

Hans Jörg Rudolph: Our fabrics are developed by leading global experts, who are constantly further developing the properties and areas of use of the textiles. PVC-coated polyester fabrics are almost always used and are manufactured using special prestressing technology. This means that the abric is stretched to its maximum before it is coated, in order to reduce the naturally-occurring subsequentstretching by up to 90%. Unattractive bulging due to the dead load of the fabric is thereby prevented and you can rest assured that the tensile force will not need to be changed for many years. Meanwhile, we can give a 10-year man ufacturer guarantee covering UV stability, fibre brea kage and appearance. The digital printing is additionally provided with a two-component additional coating and has no adverse effects on the service life or properties of the material.

PROFILE: What about fire resistance properties?

Hans Jörg Rudolph: Absolutely – fire resistance is a very important issue. Our polymercoated polyester fabrics fulfil fire protection class B1. Once the building height is above 20 metres and we also have to fulfil the special requirements of the high-rise building regulation, we use PTFE-coated glass fibre fabric with fire resistance class A2.

Interview with Lisa Silvestri (Architect) und Andreas Köhler (Architect)

PROFILE: What do you value about Schüco?

Lisa Silvestri: We do a lot of construction work with Schüco. For us, it is a very reliable brand. And we are always interested in the innovations that we can experience up-close here at the exhibition. Just looking at them and touching them. Itʹs great fun!

Andreas Köhler: That is always the best part about the exhibition – you can see what is new, and you can also see the new units when they are installed.

PROFILE: Is FACID something that you use?

Lisa Silvestri: Not yet, but it is a possibility. We must respond to climate change in the architectural industry. The topic of sun shading is gaining importance in this regard, and so too is the textile façade. I can definitely imagine a system like FACID being used in our future projects.

Interview with Jennifer Sobotta (Architect)

PROFILE: Ms Sobotta, you work as an architect for a large fashion company. What is of particular interest to you on the Schüco stand?

Jennifer Sobotta: For us, Schüco is a concept, not least because it is a very innovative company. We are particularly interested in the design options for the façade. Weʹre looking for inspiration! The first thing that caught my eye on the exhibition stand was the FACID textile façade.

PROFILE: What do you like about the textile façade?

Jennifer Sobotta: Its flexibility in terms of shape and design. As an architect in a fashion company, for me the focus lies primarily on the entrance and shop window design, which can be implemented individually with this system. I can also imagine using a textile façade to design zones on the shop floor, for example. FACID is a really interesting system!

Photos: EPS Systems and Frank Peterschröder