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Who designs
Design options
Scheme design
Detail design
Many parties may be involved in the design of a building envelope including:
  • Client
  • Architect
  • Engineer
  • Main contractor
  • Specialist contractor
Clients and architects are predominantly involved in scheme design.  Traditionally it has been assumed that most scheme designs could be ‘made to work’ at the detailing stage.  This is no longer the case and seemingly plausible schemes may be impossible to construct for reasons of building physics or structure.

Increasingly building services engineers are being drawn into the building envelope design process as the energy performance of buildings is dominated by the building envelope performance. Structural engineers are required to consider building and façade movements and cladding loads.  It is important to involve engineers at the scheme design stage to at least ensure that what is proposed may be built in compliance with the Building Regulations and the laws of physics.

Main contractors and specialist contractors can make a valuable contribution to design, as they are aware of issues affecting the ease of construction that will impact on cost and construction time.  Contractors are also likely to request design changes where they are necessary to ensure safety during or after construction.  These late design changes can be avoided by involving the constructors at an early stage in the design.

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