How long does it take to install an architectural façade?

Architectural façades are designed to make a visual impact, extend the life of a building, and improve conditions for their occupants.

In a nutshell:

  • Installation of architectural façades can take anything from a few months to as long as a year
  • Timescales are affected by façade design, project size and logistical challenges on site
  • A simple architectural façade using solid panels is likely to be the quickest to install
  • Larger, more complex designs involving perforated panels, expanded mesh, fins or 3D façades will take longer
  • Quicker, modular construction techniques are not always suitable for architectural façade projects

No two projects are ever the same... which makes the ‘how long’ question tricky to answer. In fact, installation can take anything from a few months to as long as a year.

So, what can affect installation times? Project complexity is the main one. Today, façades can be made up of solid and perforated panels, expanded mesh, and linear or twisted fins. Watch out too for 3D façades, which are playing an increasingly important part in turning otherwise dull buildings into important (and nationally recognised) urban landmarks.

Give me some examples?

  • A simple architectural façade - say a system of powder-coated solid panels on a small multi-storey car park could be installed in four to six weeks
  • A much larger project, with different façade types (perhaps including a living wall) could take up to four months
  • An exceptionally large architectural façade requiring collaboration between multiple trades and contractors... as long as a year

Regardless of the size and complexity of a project, timescales can often be affected by the logistical challenges of getting materials, access equipment and personnel onto a busy construction site at the right time. Collaboration with site managers and other contractors, therefore, is essential.

The weight of the system is also a factor. While modular construction can speed up the installation of brise soleil, it doesn’t always lend itself to façades. Either way, heavier systems that require more handling and specialist lifting equipment may take longer to install.

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