Reduce Time on site (and other benefits) of using a prefabricated façades

Reduce Time on site (and other benefits) of using a prefabricated façades

Prefabricated façades

StepUP’s new renovation methodology employs a Plug&Play industrialised preassembled and prefabricated façades module to reduce energy building demand. The solution aims to reduce time-on-site and intervention costs while minimising the disruption in residents and users’ life and installation errors.

Industrialisation and its benefits towards achieving building stock decarbonisation

Deep renovations are a key element to drastically reduce the current building energy demand (40% of overall European Union energy consumption) and start moving towards a decarbonised building stock by 2050 . To meet this goal there is a need to produce industrialised systems that facilitate this paradigm shift in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector.

The prefabricated facade can be imagined in the same way as a car design and production line: firstly, the conceptualisation and design evaluation; secondly, the definition of the manufacturing and assembly process; components’ construction and validation; mock-up development to validate the process; quality improvements; training workflow; and the final deployment of the solution.

Due to an off-site approach, the production process site becomes the most suitable place where activities can be standardised and repeated. The production and realisation of the products are carried out in a controlled environment increasing the execution precision, productivity, and greater supervision of the assembly line. These facts also translate into better-finished quality and improved reliability, helping diminish the performance gap of the prefabricated solution and manufacturing cost.

Development of a prefabricated façade system by Manni

Manni Group is an Italian company operating in the construction industry with a focus on steel-based products. Within their wide range of solutions, a prefabricated façade system is the one selected to be redefined to fit the renovation methodology of the StepUP project.

The existing technology consists of a cold-formed steel framing construction system that supports Isopan (Manni Group Company) sandwich panels, with mineral wool or polyurethane foam as insulating core. Subsequently, an external layer – which can meet a broad range of aesthetical requirements – is then installed employing brackets.

A tailored external layer can have an impact on the quality of life of the users: improving the aesthetic appearance of the building is an important feature to engage owners in the desire to renovate; the capability of the system to adapt and support different compositions is relevant to achieve similar customised results to standard renovation processes.

StepUp Plug & Play Solution

The goal of StepUP is to redefine and tailor the above-described technologies into preassembled façade modules that integrate windows and all necessary predispositions for the active system (SmartHeat services), as well as complementary features for the passive system (P&P Envelope). The peculiarity of the new market-ready renovation package is that modules can vary both in height (3.00-4.00m) and width (1.50-2.00m) to adjust to different façade configurations and fit transport limitations. This size is also relevant to facilitate the installation of the panels in the building site.

At the building site, a multi-disciplinary qualified team, with clear instructions, will oversee and execute the installation process helping to reduce intervention time.

Finally, another important feature of StepUP prefabricated façade solution is the development of a non-intrusive and fast renovation process, allowing to maintain buildings in operation. This is important to avoid users’ relocation and activity interruption, which would lead to a significant cost on top of the renovation one.

Time-lapse of the Budapest’s mock-up that took place in Manni’s installation in Italy. Two people were involved in the process: one person was responsible of the assembly process and the other person was in charge of operating the crane. The surface of the built façade is 45m2 and it took 6 days to assembly and 1 day to install.

The above-described solutions will be tested within the StepUP project on two pilots: on a kindergarten in Budapest, Hungary; and on a multifamily-residential building in Pamplona, Spain. The pilots will provide feedback and knowledge on the deployment of the StepUp technology on a broader scale in both public and residential buildings. The objective is to set up a precedent for cost-efficient, and nonintrusive interventions that can help boost the renovation wave in Europe.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 847053.

This website reflects only the author’s views. The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.