The advantages that a prefabricated building facade offers to project stakeholders—architects, owners and general contractors—are hard to ignore. From reducing risks and enhancing speed to elevating designs and controlling costs, this building solution covers all the bases.
And when design team partners collaborate with the prefabricator early – they get an unmatched level of control over the project. They can make the big decisions early, accelerate the project schedule and meet design intent, while simultaneously achieving budget goals.
A lightweight enclosure system, Infinite Facade™, is quickly gaining traction as a high-performing prefabricated building envelope solution that offers design-build teams vast aesthetic flexibility while successfully meeting project goals. What is most noticeable, is that the panels are significantly lighter than traditional precast, while not forfeiting the design flexibility afforded by other facades in the marketplace.
Also, as design teams look at ways to minimize environmental impact and create more sustainable structures, they’re attracted to Infinite Facade’s ability to meet sustainability requirements, such as lower embodied and operational carbon, reducing global warming potential up to 60% over traditional curtain wall systems.1
Owners and Developers Get Certainty
It’s no secret that owners desire schedule and budget certainty in their projects. In that regard, Infinite Facade checks all the boxes – it is energy efficient, durable, cost efficient and quick to install. Additionally, the product can keep energy costs down and occupants comfortable.
Through early collaboration, the owner, designer and facade manufacturer can work together to set design intent, work through constructability concerns and identify target budgets – all on the front end. This minimizes project re-design that often occurs down the road and gives owners greater control over the final project cost.
Because the building envelope is manufactured offsite, multiple scopes can be integrated into the panel; for instance, frame, windows, insulation, firesafing and architectural finishes. That means there’s only one point of contact for the envelope design, manufacturing, construction, closeout and warranty.
To facilitate the process, prefabricators create mockups so that owners, developers and designers can finalize finishes, colors and aesthetic features. The end result? An owner who is truly in the driver’s seat, because they know what they are getting.
Architects Get Design Flexibility
The Infinite Facade product comes with a pre-engineered frame, connections and embeds, enabling an architect to focus on what they love, the design, and not the details. There is no need to focus on connections, fireproofing, insulation or the weather barrier – as they’re already engineered into the panel.
Additionally, the wide selection of materials and flexible design parameters allow designers to innovate and make a lasting impression, while providing clients with an energy efficient, durable and timeless facade.
Unfortunately, prefabrication isn’t traditionally taught in design schools, so it might not be the “go to” building solution for most architects. To help with implementation, Infinite Facade manufacturers support clients with design assist efforts during the preconstruction phase, educating on efficiencies in layout and supporting modeling efforts to create constructible final design solutions.
With Infinite Facade, architects can create an individualistic and unique exterior design to support the building form, achieving extensive variations in the design.
Example of architectural versality of Infinite Facade panel designs with mixed finishes.
During early collaboration with the owner and prefabricator, the architect can fine tune the design and eliminate surprises down the road. That helps with efficiency, too, as they know exactly what they’re getting and what it will cost, thereby avoiding the need for time-consuming value engineering re-designs down the road.
Contractors Get More Control
It’s really a no brainer. An Infinite Façade system can lower a contractor’s risk, accelerate the schedule and minimize site impacts. Panels are transported from the manufacturing facility and immediately erected upon delivery; eliminating a laydown area and creating a safer job site. And panel erection is fast—up to 15 panels accounting for over 4,500 GSF—can go up in a day, getting the building “dried in” quickly and enabling other trades to begin work earlier.
It streamlines contractor coordination and site traffic, reducing the number of trades on-site. Everything is taken care of in the manufacturing facility minimizing work hours at the jobsite and lessening the chance of conflict. And general contractors deal with one point of contact for all aspects of the construction and warranty.
Installation of San Francisco based Mission Rock F Building happened overnight to expedite schedule and limit construction site congestion.
It’s a user-friendly system to be sure. Prefabrication is ideal for accelerated schedules, and early collaboration minimizes changes orders from multiple trades that can threaten or derail a project, ultimately reducing risk. Before it even arrives at the site, the entire system, whether it's the concrete, window systems, insulation or caulking is evaluated for quality control. Even drywall can be applied directly to the back of the panel to minimize the need for additional studs.
There are other obvious contractor benefits. A prefabricated system can also eliminate the need for scaffolding system and temporary enclosures while also providing great control over the budget.
For all these reasons and more, Infinite Façade, a prefabricated building envelope solution, is becoming the preferred choice of many stakeholders and project teams.
1 Infinite Facade LCA Report, December 2020