SOCOTEC’s cross-disciplinary expertise in building envelope consulting and sustainability is founded on a deep bench of professionals with decades of real-world experience in collaborating with the client, project design team and construction team to achieve a building envelope that interfaces intelligently with other building systems, is maintainable, and produces a healthy and sustainable environment, all within a client’s financial budget.
We provide an equal level of expertise throughout the entire process, from the early stages of design through the end of construction.
Talk to our experts
As you walk down the streets of major cities across the globe, you can look up at the buildings surrounding you and easily become mesmerized at the beauty of the architecture and the palette of design. The exterior envelope plays an important role in not only the aesthetic design, but also with energy efficiency. The building envelope, the boundary between the interior and exterior of a building, performs a number of tasks including exterior protection (e.g. protection from the elements) and preservation of internal space requirements (e.g. thermal, light, and acoustic comfort, humidity conditions). There are numerous types of facades that a new building can choose from, but most fall into these five categories: curtain wall, window wall, pre-cast, pre-fab metal stud and handset brick.
Using our deep expertise with all façade types, SOCOTEC shepherds a project through to completion:
Proactive Design Consulting
We consult throughout the design to make sure the job is as constructible as possible, minimizing risks in execution.
Bidding and Negotiation
We advise on the proposals to help our clients obtain the product they expect.
Rounds of Shop Drawing Review
We dive deep into the details and use extensive knowledge of construction practices to check they’re buildable.
We validate the design with a specific manufacturer.
We confirm that performance meets industry standards and specified criteria.
Shop & Site Monitoring
We travel the world to keep an eye on the assembly process. We do more than check off regulatory requirements, we monitor the execution to get you the performance you expect. We have monitored hundreds of projects, and have seen it done thousands of ways.
Our New Construction Value Proposition
SOCOTEC is effective in bringing to the table, and keeping at the table, qualified contractors and their material suppliers while overcoming an array of commercial and technical challenges. The process starts with shortlisting prospective bidders, where our history and network allow us to objectively evaluate each bidder’s capabilities and relative strengths and weaknesses. Where new technologies are being contemplated, SOCOTEC provides a robust technical and commercial evaluation to our clients on the relative merits of each technology and exercises sound judgment in making a recommendation of how best to proceed. Our global network of contacts in the industry is strong and current, and our reputation is for both our impartial independence as well as being a source of practical solutions that endure.
Fast-track projects incorporating design assist is par for the course for SOCOTEC. Our New Construction team focuses on the integrity of the vertical and horizontal waterproofing systems. For some projects, we anticipate that substantial shop drawing and submittal review will occur during design-assist and mock-up phases, including system drawings, calculations, test reports and samples. The mock-up phase has the systems tested for both air-water-structural performance (‘performance mock-up’) and security performance (‘blast mock-up’). These are elaborate test specimens; the façade design being tested must be locked in with all key submittals approved prior to testing. The shop drawing review phase post-mock-up is for the remaining systems, including the roofing system and different phases of as-tested systems. Throughout this mock-up process, SOCOTEC helps with the setting of expectations when reviewing samples and visual mock-ups especially for complex and large-size glass panels. The issue of glass quality, distortion, quench marks, and flatness is a key factor.
SOCOTEC understands the importance of clear communication between the design and construction teams. Our New Construction team participates with the client and project design team throughout the design and bidding and negotiation process as they identify and select an appropriate vendor, and review and comment on their proposals, drawings, and value engineering suggestions throughout the Design Assist process. The quality of the vendors and our interactions enable the exchange of ideas that render an optimum solution. There are additional benefits to pursuing a design-assist phase, such as locking up a fabricator partner, securing a slot in their plant, firming up cost estimates to avoid overruns, and avoiding market and commodity price escalations that occur if the owner chooses to purchase the system closer to the time of construction.
We have traveled to façade manufacturing facilities all over the world and are familiar with production practices and standards and how to get quality glass and façade systems. We have led the charge in helping to source and technically vet international suppliers new to our market and be with them at each step of the process, from the overseas plant to the field, to ensure a positive outcome.
Our periodic job site monitoring visits are provided for quality assurance purposes and focused on informing our client of known significant events, including substantive discussions with contractors and observable and material deviations from the construction documents and approved submittals. SOCOTEC works from the design to the end of the building envelope installation on the client’s behalf, to assist in bringing a successful project to fruition. The detailed scope of work outlines our specific services and anticipated efforts in each phase of the project.