Architectural Envelope Solutions For Commercial Projects


When working on a commercial project, there are certain unique design features that must be considered in order to ensure optimal performance and that all regulations are met.

The architectural envelope, also referred to as the building envelope, is one such element you need to think carefully about.

From making sure the property is air and water-tight to ensuring maximum energy efficiency, there is a lot that goes into constructing this architectural envelope.

In the guide below, we’re going to take a look at why these solutions are so important and how to get this right for every commercial project.

What is the architectural envelope?

The architectural (or building) envelope is the set of components that work together to form the barrier between the indoors and outdoors. This is what separates the occupants from the exterior environment.

The envelope must create an airtight barrier to protect the structure, it must also help to insulate the building, control the temperature, soundproof the space and much more. Ultimately, it plays a critical role in any property, but particularly when working on a commercial project.

The components of a building envelope and why they’re so important?

We’re now going to look in more detail at the different components that make up the architectural envelope on a commercial property. As part of this, we’ll discuss the purpose of each component in more detail and why they’re so important.

Insulation to ensure energy efficiency

An effective building envelope must have a thermal barrier that helps to maintain the temperature, ensuring the building does not become too hot or too cold inside.

Whether this is in an office, retail space, cafe or any other commercial environment, this is critical to ensure the comfort of the visitors and those working there.

It is also critical for optimising energy efficiency. Which, in turn, is important for making the property more sustainable and better for the planet, as well as helping to save money on heating and cooling.

In order to build a strong thermal barrier, the insulation could be made from a combination of boards, foam, spray and other specialised materials for maximum effect. Which you choose will require some careful research and analysis of the local climate.

Providing the insulation is installed correctly, a thermal barrier will be formed to control the indoor environment, making it safe and comfortable.

Membrane to waterproof the building and maximise durability

A crucial task when creating any property is ensuring that the building is watertight. Water infiltration, apart from being hugely inconvenient, can lead to a range of issues, such as rotting structures and a build-up of mould.

Over time, this can lead to permanent damage and can be very costly to the property owner.

The good news is, that the correct membrane can be added to the structure to control the water and stop it from making its way through the different layers.

This will improve the durability and longevity of the property, something that is crucial when creating your commercial space. After all, you want to get the biggest possible return on your investment (ROI).

A vapour barrier for moisture management

Nowadays, there are lots of increased insulation requirements to ensure that moisture doesn’t build up within your commercial property. This includes vapour barriers, usually made up of polyethene plastic sheeting, though other materials can be used.

These are also required to secure proper ventilation throughout the property. This stops mould building up, controls the humidity within and ensures the indoor air quality is healthy and safe for everyone inside.

An air barrier to control air infiltration

An air barrier must be created as part of the building envelope. This will help to control air infiltration and air pressure and prevent outside pollutants from getting in. Again, this is vital for making the property safe and inhabitable to all those who will be using the space.

It will also prevent drafts and reduce the risk of moisture building up, all while increasing energy efficiency within the building.

Go sustainable and reduce your impact

Finally, no matter what commercial space you’re creating, whether it’s an office block, shop, restaurant or anything else, incorporating sustainable or recycled materials can be a huge selling point.

This could be building materials that are made (or partially made) from recycled goods. It could also mean finding suppliers who prioritise the environment and sustainability, and ensuring your building is as energy efficient as it possibly can be.

Not only does this allow you to create a high-performance building envelope, but it can encourage others to engage with your business as a result of your eco-efforts.