New technologies provide endless options for creative flexibility
(October 14, 2009). Luvata, the global metals, manufacturing and technology company, has reported “a significant increase” in demand for its copper roofing, cladding and façade products, as architects look to take advantage of copper’s unique attributes for office and housing projects as well as its traditionally popular usage in grand public buildings.
The company reports a shift in the use of copper in construction, with its traditional usage in piping and wiring being supplemented by increased demand for the metal as a decorative material as well as being a key component in air conditioning units, solar panels and wind turbines, all of which are increasing in popularity.
With the construction and housing industry showing tentative signs of recovery, Luvata expects demand for copper construction materials to continue to grow and is looking to invest in further developing its range, following the successful launch of its new Nordic Solar, which uses a patinated copper cladding which has a hidden solar energy heat transfer system on the underside to capture heat for use within the building. This offers architects a solution that doesn’t distract from the beauty of a building while simultaneously being environmentally friendly.
Luvata believes the increase in the popularity of copper is due to its lower life cycle costs compared to other metals, as well as technological developments, which enable architects to make much better creative use of the material than ever before.
Allan Savola, Director for Building & Construction, Luvata, said: “Historically interest from architects in using copper was primarily for large public buildings such as libraries or museums. Copper is still a popular choice for grand large-scale buildings such as these, but more and more we are selling copper roofing, cladding and façade products for office buildings and residential applications.”
“The recognition of copper as a durable, low maintenance and recyclable material with lower life cycle costs is outweighing the higher up-front cost of copper in relation to other metals such as steel or aluminium and we have seen a significant increase in demand from the architectural and construction community.”
Luvata has recently developed several ways to treat copper in order to give architects more creative flexibility, from creating imprints of images or designs through press moulding, to stretching the copper to create a transparent gauze-like covering. The company has also seen a lot of interest from architects in its ability to perforate copper, the weaving of copper wire to create a mesh outer layer, and water cutting the copper sheet.
Luvata copper is available in a range of colours, developed to match the patination of natural copper without the wait. Natural copper is affected differently depending on the climate. For example, countries near the Mediterranean Sea have more chloride in the atmosphere which patinates natural copper a more bluish colour, but in Russia the sulphuric acid in the air has a tendency to turn natural copper surfaces a green colour. Luvata’s Nordic line of prepatinated copper surfaces offers a variety of blue, green and brown shades to accommodate the variety of environmental conditions found throughout Europe.
The façade is an excellent example of how architects, engineers and designers can use copper to incorporate script, text or images into their designs using Luvata’s advanced technology that strategically places small holes or perforations into the copper to create works of art.
The durability and low life cycle costs of copper combined with an endless list of different colours and forms, including press moulding, wire mesh, perforations and water cutting provide architectures with an endless list of options to work with.
The following examples highlight the versatility that Luvata architectural products offer.
Turku office building, Finland
Literally the old façade is torn down, transported a mere 150 km away where Luvata recycles the material and transforms it into 8000 m2 of Nordic Brown light. This unique restoration project highlights copper’s intrinsic recyclable value. Nordic Brown is a dark or light oxidised copper offering a brown finish without the wait and delivering an immediate facelift to the exterior of the building that will last another one hundred years.
Parventa Library, Latvia
Luvata was selected to provide a façade for the new city library on the west coast of Latvia that proudly recreates the handwriting of Latvia’s most famous folk song. The perforated creation covers 700m2 of the outside of the building, combing modern design with traditional, durable copper. The copper façade sits in front of a light-coloured concrete fibreboard, engulfing the building in handwriting and the lyrics of the famous folk song.
Read more about the Parventa library
Wilanow Apartment Building, Warsaw, Poland
Over 1900 m2 of Nordic Décor façade cassettes add colour, dimension and flair to the exterior of the large apartment complex near Warsaw, Poland. The surrounding contrasting cream colour delivers a classy, yet modern, view for bystanders, while the durability and low maintenance costs of Nordic Décor provide added appeal for flat owners.
Premier Inn Hotel, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK
Designed by Cartwright Pickard Architectures and installed by Varla UK Ltd the 2000 m2 of façade comprises Luvata Nordic Green Traditional, Living 1 and Living 1 Plus prepatinated finishes. By using Luvata mock-ups the final shade of the patination was customized to match the detailed requirements of the architects’ design. The façade combines all three individual prepatinated interlocking rainscreen panels.
Boat House residence, Nanjing, China
The Nordic Green façade was chosen for the highly acclaimed Boat House residence, part of the internationally recognized project China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA). The unique copper façade co-exists with the Boat House’s natural surroundings to deliver a picturesque view of the hillside. Read more about the Boat house project
Skellefteå Kraft’s new headquarters in Skellefteå, Northern Sweden
Luvata’s prefabricated Nordic System covers 4,000m2 of the outside of the building and is perfectly suited for the flexible design and express installation requirements of modern buildings. Luvata’s total solution includes Nordic cassettes, panels and profiles, as well as fasteners and flashing made from copper sheets. Read more about Skellefteå Krafts new head office
To view additional images of inspiration visit http://www.luvata.com/nordicinspirations.
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Luvata is the leading international metals supplier of solutions, services, components and materials for manufacturing and construction. Luvata’s solutions are used in industries such as renewable energy, power generation, architecture, automotive, transport, medicine, air-conditioning, industrial refrigeration, consumer products and construction. The company’s continued success is attributed to its longevity, technological excellence and strategy of building partnerships beyond metals. Employing over 7,500 staff in 18 countries, Luvata works in partnership with customers such as Siemens, Toyota, CERN, Shaaz, and DWD International.
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