Innovative thermal insulation is fully recyclable 

The European Union is demanding that the construction sector make 70 percent of the construction materials recyclable within five years. Façades are the shell of our buildings and are a key lever for achieving this. Ground breaking work is being conducted by a team from the Institute of Architecture Technology at the TU Graz with the thermal insulation specialists STO: Under the “facade4zeroWaste” project, they have developed a façade system which can be separated into component parts, as a further development of existing predominant composite external insulations systems. And as a result they have now received the European Recycling Award 2015.

The building envelope of tomorrow must be separable into pure components and recyclable. The team from the Institute of Architecture Technology at the TU Graz is taking a big step forward towards this:
In cooperation with the thermal insulation specialists STO a group, formed around Institute Directors Roger Riewe and Ferdinand Oswald, has developed a segregated recyclable façade system with hook and loop fasteners under the “facade4zeroWaste” project. The construction industry is now awaiting the definitive market launch of the system; and just last week the team was awarded the European Construction Material Recycling Award 2015.

The façade of tomorrow
Instead of the current adhesive fixing, the individual layers of the “facade4zeroWaste” system are installed using hook and loop fastening surfaces and a specially developed anchor fixing. “In terms of the environment this brings two big advantages: The system is both very easy to install and to dismantle, segregate and recycle again. And we do not need to use adhesives, producing less solid waste and wastewater,” commented Roger Riewe. The hook and loop surfaces are already integrated during manufacture into the carrier plates and can be reused after dismantling, either for the same or for another building. “This is also of interest for renovation, as additional insulation and hook and loop fastenings can be added to the façade subsequently,” noted Ferdinand Oswald. The new façade system benefits from further advantages: It is based on the principles of current EIFS, which means that construction workers are not faced with entirely new installation processes and materials. The choice of insulating materials is flexible, and the façade can also be installed and processed swiftly, thus saving labour costs and shortening construction times.

Univ.-Prof. DI Architekt Roger Riewe und
Dipl.-Ing. Ferdinand Oswald
Institut für Architekturtechnologie
Tel.: +43 316 873 6308

TU Graz – Mitglied der TU Austria