Sustainable façades: design and responsibility

Sustainable construction

02/09/2021

For many architects, the search for more environmentally-friendly ways of building is now a priority. Today, sustainable façades are one of the cornerstones of sustainable architecture and building.

Sustainable constructions are no longer the future, they're the present. The Nantes Post Office building is a prime example, where a Krion® Lux façade has been used to improve energy efficiency; as are the headquarters of fashion brand Zamasport, where the building enclosure demonstrates the perfect fusion of technology and creativity.

sustainable facades

Project: ZAMASPORT HEADQUARTER

ArchitectFRIGELIO DESING

Photography© MARIO FRUSCA

Sustainable construction: no sacrifice involved. Design and luxury can go hand-in-hand with sustainability, as you can see in the wide range of PORCELANOSA Group constructions endorsed by sustainability hallmarks.

But what exactly is sustainable construction? Can buildings made in anything other than wood and bamboo be sustainable?

Natural façades

We only need to look to nature to find an endless number of sustainable construction materials, and architects and builders are now turning to these materials to ramp up sustainability. Natural façades are defined by their use of these materials.

Bamboo now holds an indisputable place on the list of top sustainable materials. It's resistant, durable and completely eco-friendly. But there's a major disadvantage - the cost - as there aren't many bamboo plantations dedicated to producing construction materials.

bamboo facades

Rock is one of the most-used materials in construction given its strength, resistance and compliance with the three Rs: reuse, recycle and reduce. But it's important to think about how hard the material is to work with: it's difficult to adapt it to bespoke designs. So whilst this material may blend seamlessly into its natural surroundings, it's altogether harder when it's being used to design a bespoke home. 

Straw bales are gaining ground as an eco-friendly construction material. These constructions come with a number of advantages, the bales are lightweight and easy to adapt to various architectural designs. But - and this is important - in practice, their flammable properties and level of water absorbency make them a much less resistant eco-friendly material.

Wood is the natural construction material par excellence; there's no doubt that this widely-used material benefits from a significant number of advantages in terms of technical and environmental performance. And wood is equipped with a skill that stays with it throughout its useful life: its photocatalytic properties. But it's by no means the perfect material: it's susceptible to fungi and mould and vulnerable to fire.

wood facades

Krion® Lux in sustainable buildings

A building needs to comply with a number of requirements in order to be classed as sustainable. These include being built in recyclable materials or providing a level of thermal insulation that leads to a considerable reduction in energy consumption.

Using Krion® in sustainable constructions ticks these boxes - and more. Krion's solid surface takes sustainable façades (and other applications) to the next level.

ecologic construction

Project: TERRAZAS DEL LAGO

Architect: ESTUDIO DE ARQUITECTURA MORPH + INMOGLACIAR

Photography: © LUZESTUDIO FOTOGRAFÍA

Building a completely efficient construction using Krion® Lux in every room is now a reality. So which technical properties make this material a better option than all the other natural façade options we've looked at?

Krion® Lux is a 100% recyclable material, composed of two-thirds natural minerals and a low percentage of high-strength resins. This gives it outstanding technical properties, including high resistance against fire, extreme weather and temperature changes, and colour stability upon exposure to UV rays.

And because it's almost completely non-porous, it prevents bacteria from proliferating on its surface and stops fungi from developing or thriving, making it a much better choice than wood in this regard.

Project: NANTES POST OFFICE

Architect: SIXIEME RUE ARCHITECTURE & URBANISME

What's more, the material is easy to repair and maintain and can be adapted in an infinite number of ways. It can be thermoformed or moulded, cut and worked in the same way as wood.

Krion® Lux is the sustainable material par excellence. It has all the advantages of other sustainable façade materials and more on top, making it a truly unique solid surface.


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