Air pollution from dust, soot and smoke from diesel vehicles is an ongoing issue in Bogotá, Colombia, the second largest city in South America, and home to over 1.5 million cars and over 100,000 public service vehicles that use diesel fuel. So when it came to planning for its new corporate headquarters, the management team at Bavaria S.A. requested an intelligent building designed with respect to the environment. The new headquarters building in the Atabanza neighborhood of Bogotá is clad in Reynobond® Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) finished with Alcoa Architectural Products’ (AAP) groundbreaking EcoClean™ coating. It is the first building in South America to make use of the air- and building-cleaning technology.
The architectural firm of Contexto Urbano of Bogotá, Colombia, was commissioned to design the 25,203-square-meter, seven-story building to the sustainable standards required to meet USGBC LEED® Gold certification, for which the project is currently registered. “We considered a number of different materials for the façade, such as marble, concrete and granite, but ultimately selected metal to establish the modern and strong brand image necessary for the 100-year-old company,” said Ivan Bolaños of Contexto Urbano. “We used horizontal shapes and lines defined by color to frame the building and give it an image of solidity.” Approximately 4.9 thousand square meters of Reynobond ACM, 4 mm with a PE core, in Pewter and Silver Metallic Colorweld® 500 finishes with the EcoClean coating were used to clad the structure.
Ventanar of Bogotá, Colombia, fabricated the Reynobond with EcoClean panels and installed them with a dry joint rainscreen system to avoid the dust that remains when using a silicon joint system. Reynobond with EcoClean provides all the benefits of traditional Reynobond ACM, and, according to Carlos A. Novoa, president of Ventanar, the Reynobond with EcoClean is just as easy to work with. “The Bavaria S.A. building has maintained its bright look in the months since it was completed; even with new construction going on nearby, the affects of dirt and sand on the panels are minimal. In fact, it looks better than any other aluminum composite panel façade here in Colombia.”
The $40 million headquarters building was completed on July 31, 2013. The design and operation of the new building is focused on guaranteeing minimum environmental impact with respect to the emission of greenhouse gases, consumption of resources and the loss of biodiversity, and has become a model for sustainable construction.
The architects created the building form in response to the issue of solar radiation. A central void is used as a thermosyphon to increase the air convection system and also to bring natural light to all spaces. Balconies are also used to control the sun’s rays and as a primary system of natural ventilation. Additional sustainable characteristics focus on the conservation, saving and reuse of water; the use of alternative energy; the quality of the indoor environment; sustainable development of open spaces; and the selection of materials. Amenities in the seven-story structure include a roof terrace, 14 square meters of space per employee, a modern lobby, auditorium, company museum, cafeteria, pub, meeting rooms, a gym and space to park 380 vehicles, 40 motorcycles and 36 bicycles.
Bavaria S.A.’s request for a sustainably designed structure led the architects and SELCO, AAP’s representative in Colombia, to conduct their own test of the EcoClean coating’s capabilities. “The EcoClean technology had just been introduced and no major installations had been completed at the time,” said Sergio Echeverri Lopez of SELCO. “To assure Bavaria S.A. that the technology would be effective, we installed a mock-up of almost 40 square meters of Reynobond ACM with the EcoClean coating in downtown Bogotá. Photographs and notes were taken charting the appearance of the material every two weeks for eight months. The material performed beautifully. The client was thrilled and assured that the building will retain its pristine appearance throughout its lifespan without expensive cleaning costs.”
The EcoClean coating represents an important breakthrough in architectural coatings technology, and is just beginning to make an impact on the architectural and building industry as the first structures to incorporate the technology are coming to completion. The titanium dioxide (TiO2) in the coating interacts with organic compounds on the surface and the air around it, oxidizing and breaking them down into harmless carbon dioxide and water molecules that wash away with a small amount of moisture in the air. The result is a building façade that helps to clean the air, while also protecting the building envelope. In fact, 10,000 square feet of Reynobond with EcoClean has the approximate air-cleansing power of 80 trees per day.