Best Brands Practice

Feldhaus Klinker

Clinker cladding from Feldhaus

Building materials with a net positive life cycle impact are becoming increasingly important.

The real estate industry is in a state of transformation, increasingly subject to demands for more energyefficient construction and building operation, whether from politicians (e.g. through regulations), investors (pressure to keep operating costs as low as possible) or the public (changing environmental awareness). This very public discourse is having a growing influence on both building services and materials. After all, improving the energy efficiency of new buildings means taking their entire life cycle into account.

Sustainable facades
When it comes to façade design and construction, there is a lot of potential beneath the surface. Understandably, a great deal of attention is paid to outward appearances, which is where materials are used that must meet both aesthetic and environmental requirements. But when you look at the latest trends in façade systems, it is clear that building materials with a positive life cycle are becoming increasingly important. This is where clinker as a design element really stands out. It is designed for a service life of around 90 years, but from experience, it can withstand the effects of the weather much longer. In contrast, façades made of other materials have to be replaced every 20 to 30 years. ETIC systems with clinker cladding have also established themselves as a particularly durable, resource-efficient and attractive option for designing façades. Of course, in addition to sustainability criteria, there are also aesthetic considerations. A clinker façade looks more elegant than plaster, which means higher rental income can be achieved. Clinker cladding gains character over the years, while other materials require regular care. The natural ageing of the clinker products creates a patina that blends harmoniously into the surroundings.

Sustainable manufacturing process
The shale clay and loam required for clinker production is mainly extracted in local opencast mines. This reduces the environmental impact of transport. When the raw material deposits are exhausted, the mines are rehabilitated. Feldhaus does not cut its clinker cladding for use on ETIC systems from whole stones, the company produces them directly in whichever format is required. The same applies to the clinker cladding’s angular corners. This saves resources. When you take the balance of the energy consumed during the clinker cladding production process on the one hand, and the durability of the material mentioned above on the other, there can be no doubt that using clinker cladding creates a win-win situation for both investors and the environment in the long term.

New building of the Karel de Grote University College in Antwerp, Belgium. KdG Campus South is the first school building in Flanders with a BREEAM excellent label.

Planning and design: Stramien + RAU. Photo: Nicky Seidenglanz