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22nd November 2016, Schaffhausen

Unique composite façade system offers cost-effective solution

Indupol, Aliancys, BÜFA, and Solico have worked together to develop a composite façade system, as part of the project led by the construction company TGM, looking to develop a new cost-effective solution for office buildings.

Wanting to ensure a high quality installation, TGM set out clear requirements for this project. The installation should be easy and fast to construct, easy attachment of the parts onto the building with high precision should be ensured, ultimately providing a reliable insulation to moist and heat without any repair work after installation. At the same time the façade system should be resistant to ingress and meet the appropriate building codes for flame retardancy.

TGM Building facade finalized. © Aliancys

Right from the start TGM involved composites design company Solico, resin suppliers Aliancys and BÜFA, and component manufacturer Indupol to develop the composite system and a reliable process for largescale production.

After having gone through several design iterations, the companies developed a compact proprietary composite system that met all the requirements. A mock-up of the assembly successfully passed fire testing and a real-life and very harsh mechanical attack by vandals.

Unique design

In today’s construction practice, still many buildings are covered with façades based on aluminium, concrete and stone surfaces. Increasingly however, architects have been asking TGM, a Dutch construction company specialised in the installation of building façade systems, for help to create buildings with unique and distinctive looks.

For that reason, a solution based on composites was decided to be used, as that provides architects with high flexibility to create novel shapes and designs. In addition, it brings the benefits of long service life and minimal maintenance, according to Aliancys, a leading specialist in quality resins for composite applications.

A novel composite façade solution was first developed for the construction of the new Eurojust office building in The Hague, Netherlands. This project required the delivery of over 700 façade panels of multiple widths and lengths, ranging from 3.5 to 10m.

Production and installation

The composite components were made by Indupol through a hand lay-up process in modular moulds that were adjusted to the desired shape and dimensions, using resin from Aliancys and Büfa. After moulding, the parts were treated with a topcoat in white colour and transported to the job site for installation. With minimal use of scaffolding, the parts were lifted by a crane and attached onto the building.

TGM Building facade under construction. © Aliancys

“While we are an established supplier of quality parts to the Automotive industry, managing the complexity of such a Building project was still a significant undertaking for us,” explained Hardy van Mierlo, Project Executive at Indupol.

“All parts received a unique identification number, so we could track them throughout our production process. This also allowed to deliver the parts to the site just-in-time, enabling a smooth installation of each single component on its spot in the total assembly. Consequently, we look back to a great project.”

Collaboration is key

Prior to this project, TGM had only limited experience with composite building façades. Now, the company says it is satisfied with the end result and the unique aesthetics that these material systems can bring.

“We have learned that involving all relevant players in the supply chain right from the start was the key to success, enabling to truly combine the technical expertise from different companies,” comments Leon van Osch, General Manager of TGM.

“In this project, we have been under continuous time pressure to develop a cost-effective façade system that could meet a long list of requirements. In such a process, open communication is crucial, as during design and production scale-up unexpected situations will arise by definition and need to be tackled in a smooth way. We believe that composite façade systems have a promising future, based on the success we created with our partners in this great project.”

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