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Who designs
Design options
Scheme design
Detail design
Specialist contractors are defined as those subcontractors who provide a design input as well as undertaking manufacture and construction.  With the exception of some simple window contracts all building envelope contracts have a design element within them.

Even a plain wall of stick construction will have bespoke components designed by the envelope contractor.  These include:

  • Bracketry
  • Perimeter interfaces
  • Penetrations through the envelope

Engineering design

Most building envelopes are specified using a performance specification. This transfers certain design resonsibility to the specialist contractor. The specialist contractor will exercise engineering judgements when interpreting a performance specification; in particular how performance requirements are to be met. There are many design solutions that may be used to meet a project specification.

Selection of components

The specialist contractor will select the components and materials to be used in the building envelope unless they are specified prescriptively, for example, the specialist contractor will select the glass type, operating hardware and so on. They may even select the framing system to be used.

Design detailling

The specialist contractor will produce workshop drawings and site drawings. They will always decide on joint locations, bracket design and other bespoke elements of the building envelope. They will detail additonal elements of the building envelope such as brise soleil. It is important that a specialist contractor with appropriate design skills is employed.

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