A building’s envelope is the final realisation of the design, and a huge factor in how successful it is as an environment, for work or leisure. The envelope is the building’s outer skin and its connection to the city – it must make sense in both roles at once. Arup has decades of experience designing building envelopes that set new standards.
When we design building envelopes and façades our aim is to reduce energy consumption and create a comfortable, healthy, secure and safe environment, while at the same time meeting the architectural and aesthetic requirements of the project. Arup designs and engineers building envelopes that offer the required energy performance and produce a great experience for occupants, visitors and tenants alike.
Find out how we shape your project
Our team produces some of the world’s most striking, ambitious, and high-performance facades.
A complete (and green) vision
Our cities are becoming more dense. They struggle with growing heat and pollution. That’s why building envelope design requires us to consider every element together, from a building’s position, to its use, the proposed materials and client’s operational goals. We then explore ways a building’s external envelope can provide natural ventilation, with facades that prevent energy input while also contributing usefully to its active energy requirements. It’s a balancing act, a design challenge and always an opportunity to achieve something new and innovative.
Al Bahr Towers
The towers are overclad by a unique dynamic shading system, a modular ‘Mashrabiya‘, that provides self-shading as the sun moves around the building.
California Academy of Sciences
The visually-striking building features an undulating 2.5 acre living roof with 1.7 million native plants as well as a perimeter steel canopy supporting photovoltaic cells.
The building envelope meets with ambitious energy efficiency and sustainability targets that make the facade work thermally in the Danish climate.
Discover how we've shaped building envelopes and facades around the world.See all our case studies
We are also increasingly designing green building envelopes, to help clients operate buildings that can make a significant contribution to solving current problems relating to storm water management, particulate matter pollution and inner-city overheating.
Future-focused, ‘conscious design’
Our team develop the most efficient combinations of insulation, heating and shading in every project. We’re also rethinking the fundamentals, increasingly choosing materials that use less embedded energy and lower CO2 emissions, using re-usable elements in keeping with circular economy principles maintaining it well for longer future use.
Discover how our team can help
You can access our building envelopes services through regional consultants around the world. Wherever you’re based, we can help you look beyond your sector to explore new sources of inspiration and identify opportunities for growth.