Wood's Timeless Appeal

Despite an influx of new materials for facades, wood continues to find a major number of takers in the premium class of buildings

Greenlam Industries
Why is wood still coveted as a façade material? According to Parul Mittal, Director, Greenlam Industries, wood has long been a building material that expresses warmth while acting as a structural element, and even though wooden low-rise buildings have given way to steel, wood is still coveted as a façade material. As technology progressed, wood has come to be used in a variety of ways, often defying convention.

Wood can be a translucent façade or a rain-screen. When it is placed vertically, wood takes on the characteristics of a tree or forest, but often architects like to manipulate its natural look by truncating it into figural outline, such as a rectangle or a house-like shape. These projects combine the natural and artificial into an ironic combination. The different façades feature different arrangements of windows, which alternate with the facades to let light in and out, based on the direction they face.

Suggesting façade design ideas, she recommends Digital Compact Laminates which give architects the freedom to play with designs. "Compact laminates are an excellent option for exterior clads. They are durable, self-sustainable, and offer infinite design options and spectacular colors. Their sturdiness makes them apt for a wide range of exterior applications. Digital compact laminates give architects the freedom to play with designs, and bring in customized images for a personal touch. Exterior grade compact laminates have the revolutionary GLE Technology, which makes them fade-resistant, weather-proof, and fire-resistant. Made from compact laminates, clads internal wall panels have captivating aesthetics, numerous colors options, rhythms and depths.

"Facades are quite versatile aesthetically. Apart from making the building look phenomenal, wall clads also give an external coating of protection to it. Façades activate space, drawing out the relationships between light, environment, view and void. And they also accommodate varied levels of privacy. Adding warmth and elegance, facades are designed through studies in transparency and liminal conditions. Together, they show how we can frame new perspectives by rethinking how we connect to everyday cladding," she adds.
mixed use building
"In modern façades, the building envelope is programmed to enhance interior conditions through haptic connections and integrated systems, and every new design is made to bring out the character of such assemblies"

Parul Mittal, Director, Greenlam Industries

Sustainable, modified exterior grade wood

With wood, the concern regarding its source and sustainable production is never far behind. Says Satinder Chawla, MD, Span Floors, "With our Outwud brand of exterior wood collection for outdoor use, our aim is to give consumers a highly suitable and improved alternative to traditional woods like Ipe, Cumaru, Teak etc, which due to suspect origins, are destroying our fragile environment. Outwud focuses on sustainable, modified exterior grade woods giving consumers the joy of using a beautiful natural material, responsibly. All products have highly improved performance and aesthetics as compared to normal, unmodified woods. They develop a beautiful silver-grey patina over time, if left untreated (without coating). Besides the looks, all products from this collection come from FSC-certified manufacturers sourcing raw wood from sustainable, responsible forestry."

According to him, the Outwud exterior wood is strong enough to withstand harsh outdoor conditions and exposure to sun and rain, making it suitable for use in Facades, Decking, Pergolas and Louvers, plus it incorporates aesthetics, durability, and sustainability.

span floors

"The primary issue or limitation that a building designer faces while using wood on the facade is the movement, colour retention and durability of wood when exposed to sun, wind, water and organisms such as termites, and fungus. To address these concerns as per the threat level in that area/application, each Outwud product is treated to handle specific project requirements including for colour retention, protection against fungus, termites etc, and to ensure that the wood does not warp or bend when exposed to a wet/dry cycle."

The made in New Zealand Outwud Vulcan range is based on a patented process called Vulcanization, wherein, sustainable wood species like Radiata pine are made more suitable for outdoor applications. The timber is treated with heat at high temperatures, engineered to provide superb stability, and further impregnated with lowest impact preservatives to provide protection from termites and rot.

Adds Chawla, "Moreover, the Outwud Vulcanization process improves a lot over the normal thermal modification process, which alone cannot handle a termite situation as prevalent in India." He informs that the maintenance regimen is also specified which is essentially very simple and cost effective. "If the client desires, we take up the requisite AMCs as a complete solution. In any case, full support is offered by our technical team lifelong, even if the client decides to maintain the facade himself. The lifespan of the products is really long if maintained well… even going up to 30+ years."
satinder chawla

"The design flexibility and scope offered by wood in the making of a building facade is immense"

Satinder Chawla, MD, Span Floors

Wood: The 'Go To' Material

Says Ar. Vikas Gandhi, "Wood is one of the oldest materials that have been used in building construction. It's very versatile and has been practically used in every part of a built form including structure, façade, windows, doors, floors, and partitions. It's the innumerable variety in wood types that makes it the 'go to' material for so many uses.

In recent times, wood is going through a technological transformation, which is making it more durable and stronger, thus, providing further possibilities. Advancement in its chemical properties has led to creation of cross laminated timbers and Glu-lams, which has made wood very lucrative for use in larger structures, and there is also talk of creating timber skyscrapers soon. Further, various coatings such as PU, polyesters, oils etc. are making wood more durable and long lasting. Wood is one of the materials that exudes warmth like no other material. Its sustainability, quality and speed of construction is noteworthy. The 21st century is looking to leave behind concrete and steel and be the era for timber."

In this west-facing home, Plan Loci's design incorporates the front façade into its interior articulation. The linear texture of timber takes precedence in its architecture, uniting contrasting concepts of shading and the diffused internal natural illumination. A three-storied light well achieves the connection amongst all living floors, although, the house is planned for future expansion internally across the upper storeys.

Plan Loci

The degree of perforation varies geometrically, with relatively solid base encasing circular glazed openings, while semi-open areas, into which the staggered screen is integrated, achieve the screening of living spaces. This provides privacy, diffuses the direct sun, and serves as the building's primary visual identity.
vikas gandhi

"Advancement in the chemical properties of wood has led to the creation of cross laminated timbers and Glu-lams, which has made wood very lucrative for use in larger structures"

Ar. Vikas Gandhi, plan loci

Clues from this overarching tectonic language of a sinuous form in wood pushes past traditional geometries of the material, breaking the dominant verticality of the volume through segregated planes. It further ties together the principal elements of the interior, such as the staircase, lobbies, skylight and furniture. This enables the spatial feel of movement and textures against only plain plaster finish, in a frugality of the material palette, but richness of a lived experience.
Click Here
To Know More / Contact The Manufacturer
Please provide your details we will contact you as soon as possible
Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your Designation.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.
Please let us know your City.
Please let us know your Contact Number.
Please brief your query.
Our other value-added services:

To receive updates through e-mail on Products, New Technologies & Equipment, please select the Product Category(s) you are interested in and click 'Submit'. This will help you save time plus you will get the best price quotations from many manufacturers, which you can then evaluate and negotiate.

Equipment & Machinery
Invalid Input
Building Products
Invalid Input

The Metallic Look

The most common material options for metal cladding are galvanized steel, aluminium, stainless steel, zinc, copper, titanium, etc, each of which have their own strengths and weaknesses; the choice of material will be influenced by the desired aesthetics Read More ...

The Fabric Wave

A wave pattern façade was planned to camouflage the existing facade and raise the design quotient. The design team played with tensile fabric to achieve the flexibility and fluidity, which also creates a barrier from the west side sun, directly hitting the façade Read More ...

Solid Aluminum: A Clear Winner in High Rise Buildings

Solid aluminum is the material for future facades; its versatility, economics and fire compliant properties make it a clear choice for sustainable façade design, creating long-term value for the building. It is also being successfully used as a material for ventilated Read More ...

Forensic Analysis of Fire-Resistant Facades

Fire safety of a building façade hinges on the material used for the façade and the fixing structure integrity during fire; however, almost 99% of the time we select a façade material by looking at the samples and its technical datasheet; but we fail to analyze the whole Read More ...

Kingspan Dri-Design Impresses

Designed by Brian Dunlop Architects, Kilkenny Cinema in Ireland is the new landmark building in the heart of Kilkenny, made outstanding with the distinctive Kingspan Dri-Design Shadow Rainscreen Façade System Read More ...

Where Quality Meets Vision

Ahmedabad-based PSP Projects Ltd is one of India’s fastest growing multi-disciplinary construction company, offering a diversified range of construction and allied EPC services across industrial, institutional, government, and residential projects Read More ...

Solid Surface Complete Design Freedom

From the robust stone face on buildings that project the strength and secure nature of the organizations that inhabited them, to the glass fronts which essentially promote transparency and the approachable attitude of the corporate world Read More ...

GFRC: The Wonder Material for Exteriors

Façade Consultant Ar. Harish Gupta, Habitat-n-Skins and Ar Chintan Shukla, Design Head at GVK, discuss the design concept of T2 terminal at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) and the innovative and beautiful application of GFRC Read More ...

Maheshwari Architects Influencing Design

The distinctive profile of new Unimark Asian’s B+G+17 headquarter office in the CBD area in Kolkata is derived from incorporating triple height external terraces in a dynamic way by stacking five glass boxes to complete the structure. The core is placed Read More ...

Morphlab: Designing Responsibly

The raw textures of concrete and wood help the building blend into the urban fabric as if emerging from the natural landscape. Covering the flanks of the building are undulating wooden panels that aid in reducing solar gains across the surface, thereby reducing Read More ...

Pentaspace Design Studio Thinking Ahead

With more and more structures becoming high rise in the country; use of faster and efficient technology for designing and constructing the façade which would require minimum maintenance, enable speedy construction with less labour-intensive methods, are the way forward Read More ...

Avinash Khosla and Associates Environmentally Progressive

The external facade of the building uses a combination of reflective glass, grit texture and ACP cladding in horizontal and vertical elements to bring out the bold massing of the structure. Combination of the granite steps leading to the podium and the light smooth Read More ...

Kembhavi: Creating a Lighting Spectacle

Designed by Kembhavi Architecture Foundation, the 60m high Vertica, with its stunning pinnacle design, understated straight-line design and elegant linear guise, inspired by the neighbouring heritage site - Thousand Lights Mosque - has glazed crowns, color changing LEDs Read More ...

DFI: Making a Paradigm Shift

Gulf Adiba in Gurgaon is a proposed IT/ ITES office designed by Design Forum International (DFI) on a 4,000 sqm industrial plot within a dense office complex. The lack of a site context with no significant views determined the design development as a distinctive Read More ...

Mixed Folios: Amalgamating the Old with the New

The National Bal Bhavan in New Delhi is a modest sports centre, amalgamating the grace of the yesteryears with a contemporary finesse. Originally built and inaugurated by the late prime minister Pt. Jawarhar Lal Nehru in 1956, the structure is a witness Read More ...

Renesa: Concoction of Design Theories

The Pink Zebra designed by Renesa Architecture Design Interiors Studio sits on one of the oldest buildings of Kanpur, making a transition from the old to the new through design and re-architecture. The site is a fascinating experience of cultivating the idea Read More ...
MGS Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

Modern Green Structures & Architecture

New Building Material & Construction World

New Building Material & Construction World

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Lifting & Specialized Transport

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week

Indian Infrastructure & Tenders Week