What we do

FMDC are a multidisciplinary Facade consultancy agency with capabilities and experience in various fields as highlighted below.

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New Buildings

FMDC have significant experience in the new-build market, across multiple sectors, but mainly focused in the commercial and residential markets, in Central London. We are often involved in schemes where refurbishment or heavy ‘cut and carve’ options are explored for developments, but after careful consideration these are found to be unviable for various reasons, making new-build the optimum solution. This allows ultimate design and performance flexibility for new facades and can deliver best in class results for operational carbon. Our new-build portfolio includes many medium and high-rise schemes, with the later maximising site density and delivering great value for our clients. FMDC have market leading experience in all important façade build methodologies and will carefully assess project drivers and pros/cons, before promoting a preference based on a detailed comparison matrix. The vast majority of our projects are built, which gives us a valuable precedent information bank, to inform design decisions, based on how projects are actually delivered on site.

Our pre-contract service is key to exploring options, which unlocks potential and ‘gets the question right’, early in the process. We participate in workshops with Architects and other key players, examining drivers from first principles and turning these into solutions, which can then be assessed comparatively for best-fit in project specific situations. We sketch, model on computer, prepare detailed interface sections, explore materials options and think about construction and procurement. We understand how facades are designed, bought, manufactured and installed in the UK market and bring this knowledge to provide solutions and solve problems.

Our post-contract service then takes the design through to completion on site, striving to ensure that the end product is compliant with the tender buy and aligned with client expectations. We attend facade workshops and review drawings, calculations and other technical submissions. We visit factories, review mock-ups and witness off-site testing. We also undertake site inspections to assess build quality and to spot issues before they become problems.


We have found that the best way to get a clear understanding of the client’s expectations is to work closely with the architect and design team, continually asking questions to help distill and clarify thinking. Our ‘design workshops’ help to explore and develop creative ideas and solutions. Our approach relies heavily on free hand sketching, allowing quick exploration of options that can be further developed in to 3D computer models or project specific CAD drawings if required.

3D Modelling

3d modelling Our expertise in 3D modelling allows us to explore building forms at micro scale, examining key elements and interfaces on an individual component basis. It also allows us to rationalise complex building forms, and without losing sight of the original design intent, make subtle changes to the envelope to either address a design challenge or reduce fabrication and installation costs.

Building envelope performance

We make full use of both 2D and 3D computer analysis programs to accurately model and assess the performance of the design as it develops. Doing so helps to limit the risk of condensation and the effects of cold bridges in the facade and ensures that specified performance requirements can be reliably met in practice.



Ensuring the specification is correct is fundamental to the success of the project at tender, construction and after completion. We can produce outline specifications at early project stages to engage with the industry for initial cost feedback. These can then be progressed to full performance specifications for tender.


Our in-depth knowledge of the industry allows us to provide expert advice. We have developed a first-class knowledge of the industry in general and have an enviable insight and appreciation of the capabilities of the majority of cladding contractors. This allows us to critically evaluate the project tender list and either recommend suitable contractors or provide an informed opinion about those suggested.

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Existing Buildings

The refurbishment or heavy ‘cut and carve’ to façades of existing buildings is now an important part of our business, which has grown significantly over the past few years, as reducing carbon emissions has become a key driver, and the value is appreciated by our developer clients. We have many projects where the primary frame is retained, with a new façade designed and installed, and others where the majority of the existing façade is retained but upgraded, with new floors built on top. Challenges often faced include facades with ‘Regents Street disease’, where masonry is cracking and spalling, caused embedded structure, and the likely impact of desired performance upgrades on dewpoints and potential for interstitial condensation. Knowledge, experience and analysis are among tools that we regularly deploy to quantify problems and propose buildable, sensible and risk managed solutions for our clients. Our services on existing building projects follow the same clear, first principles thinking, where performance and other expectations need to be aligned with practicalities, guided by knowledge and experience of product limitations and often contradictory drivers.

Facade refurbishment & replacement

FMDC staff have been involved in many projects where the existing building has required refurbishment which may be require a full dismantle of the existing cladding and replacement on to the remaining existing structure, upgrading of the existing cladding or over-cladding the original facade.

FMDC can advise on the most suitable methods, materials and systems for a facade refurbishment project.


Remedial work

On a number of new build projects, we are invited to comment on construction problems such as cracked stone floor finishes, failed cladding resulting from design or construction faults. We are able to offer technical advice to understand the issues and to propose measures to put them right.

This consultancy service is usually carried out on time basis rates and can be a small project involvement which may also grow to an extended appointment as required.


Expert witness

Our great technical experience and standing in the industry positions us well to undertake expert witness work following cladding breakages or failures. Key members of staff have experience of technical report writing and expert witness attendance at court for a variety of clients.


Failure investigations

FMDC have over 100 years of collective experience within the construction industry which has given us a great deal of knowledge regarding construction techniques, good and bad. This positions us well to investigate cladding failures ranging from leaks to structural failures of stone cladding or fixings and glass breakages. We can offer a consultancy service on most cladding materials and systems.




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Natural Stone

One of FMDC’s key differentiators in the UK facade consultancy industry. We have a Team of qualified Geologists, who have extensive experience and market profile, collectively working for over 80 years in the UK market. Our knowledge of specification, testing, procurement, and the overall process from the Architect’s visual intent swatch to realisation on a built facade, is unparalleled. Our Geologists work on external facades and also interior stone, which is a growing market sector, particularly on high-end residential and hotel projects. We regularly visit quarries, to assess new supply options and to remain current in the market. The industry standing of our stone team is such that we are sometimes employed in a stone-only materials consultancy capacity, if the main facades appointment is awarded to one of our competitors, as we are universally recognised as the ‘go to’ practice for natural stone.

Stone selection

Our Chartered Geologists are able to carry out an initial review of stone types under consideration by the client and if required, suggest suitable alternatives. This review will take into account the technical properties of the stone, any precedent and its location on the building with regards to weathering and staining. In reviewing the stone types under consideration we can also provide general information with regards to availability, relative costs and potential suppliers.

Quarry and fabrication works visits

We are highly experienced and have visited dimension stone quarries around the world including North and South America, Northern and Southern Africa, East Asia, India and most countries in Europe. We can co-ordinate and take part in visits to suppliers / quarries to help a project team get a better understanding of the visual and technical characteristics of the stone under consideration. Our wide experience helps the team gain a better understanding of the visual and technical characteristics of any stone under consideration as well as availability and constraints on extraction. We will comment on available block sizes and quality which directly influence the size of pieces for use on a project and help the team understand the most economic use of the material. We are familiar with various types of fabrication works and machinery and can comment on their suitability for use in the various forms of production.

Visual range selection

Visual range selection for Natural stone can be an inherently variable material sometimes with a wide range of visual characteristics. We believe that understanding the visual characteristics of any stone is an important part of a project as there needs to be a common agreement between the client, architect, sub-contractor and supplier on what is possible within given programme and cost constraints. The level of information gained from these visits often helps a project team provide tenderers with specific information on the visual requirements of a stone type. This detail can help a tenderer obtain more accurate pricing for the required stone type.. 

Design and specification

Our team, along with our structural and façade engineers can explain and discuss the technical merits of different forms of stone construction (e.g. hand-fixed, rainscreen, stone faced precast etc.) that may be appropriate to the project. We can review and comment on Architect’s or sub-contractor’s details, e.g. stone sizes and thickness, methods of fixing, size and location of movement joints for various construction types using stone, such as external cladding, internal lining, paving and flooring. We can provide a project specific performance based specification for stone cladding, internal lining and flooring and external paving. Our specifications do not need to be restricted to the stone itself and can include clauses associated with the preferred fixing methods ( e.g. metal fixings, adhesives, composite systems etc.), the certification / testing required before and during production, mock-ups, fabrication and installation. Alternatively we can review and comment on the Architect’s specification.


As part of our specification we will review any existing test data for the stone and comment on its suitability. This will include reference to any CE Certification and Declaration of Performance data. In the absence of any recent test data we will design a bespoke testing programme, undertake sampling (if required) and arrange for the necessary testing to be carried out. Following the completion of any testing we can provide an interpretative report outlining the acceptability of the stone on the basis of the test results obtained. Frequently testing of stone is over-specified and there are normally savings to be made by rationalising the test requirements. This relies on an understanding of the materials, historical test data and its intended use on the project. Occasionally we may need to design non-standard test programmes which we usually do in conjunction with selected UKAS accredited test laboratories.

Failure Investigation

FMDC have carried out numerous failure investigations in the UK and overseas for defects associated with cladding failures and interior applications. Our specialist are able to conduct surveys, undertake sampling and commission testing. We review test results and provide interpretive repots on the findings. Our experience and understanding of both the materials and the construction processes allows us to identify issues that might have given rise to the failures observed. We have produced expert reports and acted in mediations and experts witnesses in Court proceedings.

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Materials Consultancy

The ‘M’ in FMDC is for ‘materials’, as we appreciate how important this component of facade selection and specification is, to successful envelope delivery. Our stone knowledge is unparalleled, but we also employ a highly experienced Metallurgist and have recognised experts in concrete, glass, terracotta and most other façade materials. Understanding how materials are formed, and associated limitations on the manufacturing process, are key to appropriate specification and performance in use. Our experts have visited countless factories, during the delivery of projects over 35 years, which has created a vast wealth of knowledge and experience which we can share, to maximise value and minimise/manage risk for our clients.


We have an exceptional association with the stone industry and long standing relationships with quarries, stone suppliers and subcontractors. Our Chartered Geologists have extensive knowledge of materials from Continental Europe, East Asia, Africa and India enabling us to provide options beyond those typically specified in the UK market. This insight allows us to advise on appropriate range selection which, when coupled with our input into the project’s specification, improves product and structural performance, enhances construction methods and build quality and increases aesthetic appeal.


Concrete and other cementitious materials offer a wide range of possibilities in facade design but their use requires careful thought, consideration and planning. Our materials experts have been involved in the design, specification and procurement stages of many high-profile, award-winning concrete projects. We also offer expert advice to those considering using aesthetic concrete in their projects no matter whether it is precast or cast in situ, along with advice about all other aspects of concrete design and technology including durability studies, repairs, cleaning, testing and refurbishment projects.


We are well connected with the glass industry allowing us to advise on the latest fabrication and processing techniques and their limitations. Our vast experience allows us to advise on the correct glass build ups for different locations within a facade. We can also provide a project specific glass risk assessment to ensure that the safest solution is considered for the project, accounting for building regulations, performance requirements and risk of breakage. Our building physics consultant can provide information on the latest glass coatings on the market to help with the facade performance and overall building performance.

Other materials

We have an in-depth knowledge of other materials and their use within the cladding industry, including bricks, ceramics, composite materials and metals. Our facade engineers and materials specialists have been involved in the design, specification and testing of many of these materials throughout their careers.