In any building or development project, the logistics involved in ensuring that the correct aluminium fenestration products are installed is always challenging. Design, specifier and construction professionals specify certain products for a building project, of which the process to ensuring that those products are the ones that eventually get supplied and installed is fundamental. It’s impossible to manually check up on every detail of a building project without the need of a coherent system due to the complexity of the procedure which requires utmost accuracy and proficiency.
The architectural design process can be extremely laborious as it involves a myriad of functions and management tasks such as designing, costing, quotations, ordering, procurement, production scheduling, inventory control, project progress claims and invoicing.
In addition, the number of fenestration choices to make during the design process can be staggering and, as they are an integral part of the project, much precision in all these facets of calculating and estimating is crucial. The complexity of new extrusion systems and changes to existing products lends way to yet a further challenge in performing these mechanical designing, estimating and fabrication calculations. Design professionals are required to render efficacy in their design calculations and in-turn should be able to produce a certificate of compliance (CoC) with confidence for the products installed within a project.
Other focal areas falling within the design professionals’ scope of work which require accuracy are:
• Specifying of both the configuration and the dimensions of the designed aluminium windows, doors and shop fronts.
• Estimating costs for the design as well as an estimated project value.
• Analysis of cost versus thermal performance for window and door systems.
• Evaluate the effect on the overall thermal performance to determine minimum requirements for compliance with the South African National Standards.
• Reports to be submitted, in conjunction with plans, to municipalities and local authorities for approval.
Architects are required to perform validity and cogency in their detailed calculations and compliancy actions. This is especially significant in the thermal and structural design elements which include calculations for the certified U-value and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) values with built-in solar exposure factors, which correspond to the specific climatic zones of South Africa. These calculations assist property owners in selecting the right fenestration products which will be critical to improving the energy-efficiency in the building. Considering how windows can be a major source of unwanted heat gain in summer and significant heat loss in winter, choosing the best and most cost-effective energy-efficient windows will make the building more comfortable and dramatically reduce energy costs.
Also, with energy-efficiency legislation requiring design professionals to improve the efficiency of their building designs, there is a necessity that architects are subject to comply with these laws.
Quality assurances in building construction are not only a legal requirement from the architectural or design professional but also from the product fabricators. Aluminium window and door fabricators are required to assure their products and workmanship in order to trace the design, fabrication and installation of specific windows and doors in buildings.
Compliance, durability and functionality assurance is required by authorities, contractors and property owners relating to the design methodology and tools, design process, fabrication, glazing and installation of the building projects’ fenestration. The designer, manufacturer as well as the installer of the product must all contribute to this compliancy so that each party declares their respective contributions in terms of design, manufacturing and installation. This offers the property owner peace of mind that quality lasting products in their buildings have been utilised.