Expert Tasks Faculty, Students on Investment in Building Façade
A lifecycle assessment certified professional, Dr. Olubukola Tokede, has urged faculty and students of the Civil Engineering Department, Covenant University, to think about how they can invest in the façade project in Africa, because façade is evolving by the day.
From the engineering perspective of a building, the facade is of great importance due to its impact on energy efficiency.
Dr. Tokode, a lecturer in Construction Management (Construction Economics and Management), Architecture, and Built Environment at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, was Guest Speaker at the first Town and Gown Seminar of the Civil Engineering Department for the 2019/2020 Academic Session, held on Monday, October 7, 2019.
While speaking on the topic ‘Sustainability and Virtual Reality in Construction’, Dr. Tokede said that his presence at the seminar was inspired by his desire to share knowledge about some of the modern innovations in today’s world, with sustainability and virtual reality in construction becoming quite topical. He revealed that working in the school of architecture had drawn his attention to some of the visual considerations that happened in the built environment at large. Visual considerations, he explained, talked about how buildings and infrastructures could be presented and how forms and functions actually worked together.
For the purpose of clarity and better understanding of the students, Dr. Tokede chose to focus on the Hybrid Responsive Façade project carried out by him in collaboration with other researchers in Deakin. He said that the project was designed, fabricated and they started to see what it would translate into in tangible time.
“Façade means the skin of buildings. Environmentally responsive façade are buildings that respond or are sensitive to the sun and are quite useful in terms of following the sun, especially for gathering solar energy such that, as the solar moves around the sun, you can harness much of the sunlight that comes from it. We call them environmentally responsive because they do respond to the environment,” he stated.
The Guest Speaker added: “In the same way, we are starting to have what we call media façade. These facades are much more mobile and dynamic in their own right. They are dynamic in the sense that they are being used for advertisement purposes”.
According to Dr. Tokede, the innovation in what the Deakin team had done was trying to bring together the concept of an environmental façade and a media facade by bringing them together as one unit. He stated that the concept was first to bring together different designs and many materials, with the engineering aspect of it talking about the appropriate materials that would be used.
The research team, said the Guest Lecturer, considered a couple of materials – aluminum and stainless steel - and it had to settle for aluminum instead of stainless steel because aluminum was a little bit lighter and also water resistant.
In terms of the challenges encountered, Dr. Tokede said that one of the problems realized, especially when it came to innovation in the built environment, was that whenever they tried to make many of the facades they had rotative, they didn’t essentially tried to make them sustainable. So they tried to think about how they could make the product innovative and sustainable.
Earlier on at the event, the Head, Department of Civil Engineering, Professor David Olukanni, who described the Guest Lecturer as someone with a vast Town and Gown experience, urged students to pay rapt attention to what he had to say. He said that the essence of the programme was for the students to be educated about the world of work.
Also at the seminar were the Dean, College of Engineering, Professor David Omole, and Chairman, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Ota Chapter, Engr. Friday Apah, amongst others.