By Technical Department, Agrob Buchtal
For some good reasons, the façade is considered as supreme discipline of architecture. This structural element is publicly visible round the clock, gives buildings a face and lends towns their unmistakable character. In addition to these essential aesthetical aspects, the functional requirements are paramount since the building shell is permanently exposed to the weather conditions and decisively influences the energy use and, thus, the financial balance.
Agrob Buchtal is one of only a few tile manufacturers world-wide that has been operating in the sector of curtain-type, rear-ventilated façades for decades. On the one hand, great importance is attached to the visible ceramic façade cladding. On the other hand, the company’s activities also focus on the appropriate substructures. They are the connecting element from the wall via the heat insulation to the façade cladding and, at the same time, are the condition for the realization of creative concepts.
By following this development path, Agrob Buchtal has created the KeraTwin K20 intelligent system for the fastening of narrow, oblong façade formats. This system combines all the advantages of previous KeraTwin-versions and is available in several variants.
Specifics of varient system rail
With the system rail K20, it is possible to install the ceramic panels completely without any tools and without any other special accessories.
Further system profile variants, such as the T-profile K20 and the Omega profile K20, are available for various anchoring bases.
The functions of previously possibly required adapters, clasps, compression springs and removal protection devices are already integrated in the vertical system rail in which the ceramic tiles are simply hung in. Accordingly installation is quick and efficient. At the same time, clattering noises and constraining forces in the case of alternating wind loads are avoided.
In addition, a requirement is elegantly met which actually constitutes a contradiction: certain precautions (the details are a closely guarded company secret) prevent the removal of individual façade panels by unauthorized persons, but permit the expert non-destructive access if this should be necessary.
The position of the panels is secured by means of spacers or vertical joint profiles with which, in addition, special visual effects can also be realized.
During the development of the KeraTwin K 20 system, the focus was not exclusively on the standard substructure. Importance was also attached to those details which are to be found on nearly every façade.
That is why special solutions for embrasures and external corners are also offered. KeraTwin K20 is suitable both for new buildings and for renovation projects and permits the realization of almost all architectural styles.
Specifics of variant clamps
The other variant of the system is the fastening by means of clamps that, after installation, disappear into the vertical joints, making them invisible to the observer. This version is impressive above all because of an enormous variability; as even undersides can be safely executed. In addition to the classic horizontal laying pattern, a vertical arrangement of the façade formats is also possible.
Commonalities of both variants
The technical performance of both versions is approved by BBA Agrément Certificate 13/4980. The material weight of the ceramic cladding is only 32 kg/m2 whether the system rail or clamps are used. Compared to other alternatives available with a weight of up to approximately 60 kg/m2, this is a relatively low value. This not only facilitates transport and handling, but means above all a considerably reduced static load; an advantage which comes in useful especially in the case of renovations.
Both variants offer immense design scope thanks to a wide variety of colours and formats with the same material thickness. And should the standard range prove unable to meet the specific demands of a project, Agrob Buchtal specialises in the production of individual special versions. The same philosophy applies to the company’s in-house planning department. This interdisciplinary team offers planners and craftsmen practical support during the preliminary stages by providing a project-specific advisory service regarding application techniques: all available free of charge. In this way, a first class level of product and service quality of the kind UK construction professionals expect from a German manufactured system, is offered.
Another USP is the HT surface coating for glazed and unglazed façade ceramics. This innovation is durably baked onto the surface in-plant and gives the products revolutionary properties: rainwater forms a thin film which infiltrates dirt and thus causes a self-washing effect. Every rain shower this becomes a cleaning operation, free of charge.
In addition, HT has an antibacterial effect: micro-organisms, such as fungi, algae, moss or germs, are decomposed. In this way, the increasing problem of the growth of algae and moss on façades can be effectively counteracted without using chemical products.
Last but not least, HT decomposes air pollutants like exhaust fumes produced by industry and cars: an aspect which is increasingly gaining importance in view of more and more densely populated towns and cities.
Therefore, the coating saves time and money, is environmentally-friendly and ensures a perfect look in the long term.