ITKE can look back on numerous years of experience in both teaching and researching the computer based planning, simulation, and production of cladding for buildings with complex geometries. Currently, materials made from petroleum-based plastic, glass, or metal are used to encase such structures. Thermoformable sheets of bioplastics will constitute a resource-efficient alternative in the future as they combine the high malleability and recyclability of plastics with the environmental benefits of materials consisting primarily of renewable resources.
Collaborating materials scientists, architects, product designers, manufacturing technicians, and environmental experts were able to develop a new material for facade cladding which is thermoformable and made primarily (>90%) from renewable resources. Developed by project partner TECNARO within the framework of the research project, ARBOBLEND®, a special type of bioplastic granules, can be extruded into sheets which are further processable as needed: They can be drilled, printed, laminated, laser cut, CNC-milled, or thermoformed to achieve different surface qualities and structures and various moulded components can be produced.
The semi-finished products serve as cladding for flat or free-formed interior and exterior walls. The material can be recycled and meets the high durability and inflammability standards for building materials. The goal of the project was to develop a maximally sustainable yet durable building material while keeping petroleum-based components and additives to a minimum.
The ecological audit was completed by project partner ISWA (Institute for water engineering, water quality, and waste management). Furthermore, the materials’s resistance to microbial degradation was determined.
Duration of the project: December 20, 2011 – October 31, 2013