“To a lot of people, even in the building industry, the word facade just means glass, windows and cladding,” says Insol CEO Greg Simmons. “But we don’t do windows, we don’t do cladding, we don’t do weatherproofing.
What we do is facade screening for privacy, sun-shading and architectural feature.”
Insol’s offering involves a range of bespoke projects and products including complex louvre systems and commercial facade solutions, many of which are being designed in response to our increasingly high-density living environments. A great example of the work they do is in designing modern car parks such as Toka Puia in Takapuna and the Les Mills Carpark on Auckland’s Wellesley Street. “From an urban planning point of view, you can’t build an ugly old car park in the middle of the CBD; you have to put a pretty facade on it. It also must be open enough to allow for ventilation for vehicle fumes; so what you end up with is something quite customised and porous. That’s where we come in.”
Another common application, he says, is in apartment complexes and office buildings where there is a growing need for both privacy and sun-shading for city residents and workers. “We’re seeing a lot of high-value apartment blocks going up with challenges around issues like privacy on balconies, so we’ll come in there with some screening solutions to help create a visual barrier. We also work with commercial developers to implement sun-shading solutions in office buildings and apartments to cut back the solar gain and reduce the amount of air conditioning and power consumption over the life of the building.”