Concrete, a qualitative leap in urban transformation
Concrete is an essential material in our lives. The fact that 70% of the world population today lives in buildings made of concrete structures is a good example of this. Concrete is the pillar of transport infrastructure, water management solutions, as well as of the energy and buildings sectors, the latter being responsible for 40% of energy consumption and approximately one third of carbon emissions worldwide.
Its high performance makes concrete a material with high qualities, capable of generating construction solutions that are integrated into the environment. Concrete is able to transform traditional solutions within the urban landscape in a way that achieves a more natural result, more respectful of the environment. At LafargeHolcim, we believe in concrete-based solutions as the best way to meet the complex needs of sustainable construction.
Aware of the importance of contributing to the creation of more sustainable cities, we develop solutions that improve thermal insulation and contribute to effi cient water management. Further, we develop concrete solutions that incorporate metal fibers in the structure in order to reduce the need for a supplementary armament, or that capture sunlight to return it to the environment in a boomerang effect that reduces the need for artificial lighting. Turning these challenges into successful solutions is a clear result of our R&D efforts.
Constructive experience in white and grey architectural exposed concrete: utility notes
The use of concrete is getting increasingly widespread, but there is not much literature that combines in a single document the characteristics, qualities and guidelines to be considered in order to obtain a good finish that establish the difference between common concrete and architectural exposed concrete.
With the intention of introducing ourselves in this field of study and helping to obtain good results on site, this paper offers a synthetic set of theoretical information as well as practical advice after the constructive experience of Singular Studio in the construction of single-family homes with grey and white architectural exposed concrete in the last ten years.
The church of Santa María del Mar in Jávea. 50 years of an exceptional concrete building
The church of Santa María del Mar is located on the neighborhood of Duanes del Mar, old fishing village in the coastal town of Jávea, in Alicante. Unveiled in June, 1967, it is a notable example of religious architecture on the leading edge.
It was designed by the architect’s firm GODB, which is leaded by the architects Fernando Martínez García-Ordóñez and Juan María Dexeus Beatty, in partnership with the civil engineer Claudio Gómez-Perretta, who is the author of the structural calculus.
The structure, which is made of reinforced concrete executed in situ, consists of 12 weight bearing walls and 12 external pilasters. These pilasters support the weight bearing walls as well as the roof, which seen from below, reminds of the hull of a ship. The same concrete that defines the structure, also shapes the building itself, as well as the enclosure, without any additional elements, standing out because of its beauty and the finishing of the wall coverings, achieved by the combination of different textures.
Facade in UHPC-Slimconcrete® of the REC Barcelona hotel
The hotel is located on top of the old canal that supplied water to the city of Barcelona. The building is integrated in the neighbourhood, seeking the balance between a contemporary image and respect for the historical environment. The Escofet’s UHPC-Slimconcrete, as precast concrete products, which make the hotel façade so characteristic, are combined together with the faceted volumetric composition that
folds openly, opening onto the president Lluís Companys Avenue.
Photoluminescent pavement of the Camí de les Guixeres, Igualada (Barcelona)
We are considering in this article a new generation of photoluminescent materials of higher luminance and suitable for outdoor, with completely new applications such as green infrastructures. Concrete is a perfect partner of these new materials offering different possibilities such as a fixing surface for photoluminescent slabs or filling surface gaps with a cast-in-place luminescent resign. Another possibility is using photoluminescent aggregates for both precast and in situ concrete. We can find a new example of this technique is the Green Ring of Igualada (Barcelona), a walkway designed by Batlle I Roig Arquitectes.
The walkway has a path 1.2-metre-wide paved strip along the outer edge of the track. In order to protect the environment from light pollution, there are no street light posts in this walkway, but white photoluminescent aggregates 5-10 mm fixed in the concrete surface, glowing in dark in blue colour, the quantity of aggregates proposed by NIGHTWAY® is 0,5 kg/m2. The fixing takes place in fresh concrete, performing a latter surface treatment. This type of concrete solutions is perfect for these kind of walkways, reducing the light pollution, assigning functional, environmental and new aesthetic values to the project.
New Faculty of Health Sciences of the Granada University
The relationship between architecture and health is evident in the moment in which the first defines and builds ‘healthy’ spaces. Therefore, in this building, according to R. Dubos defi nition of health, we want to propose an architecture that deal with creating the spaces that allow each person to do or become what it wants to be.
This relationship is even more significant when it comes to a University building on the new Campus of Health Sciences in Granada, located to the South of the city, next to the Technological Campus and University Hospital in a transcendent extension of the city. We propose therefore a piece of ‘healthy’ city.
Decontaminant envelopes along their useful life: i.active technology
TX Active® is the photocatalytic active principle for cementitious materials with decontaminant and desoiling properties patented by Italcementi Group (HeidelbergCement Group nowadays). The action of light, combined with the TX Active® photocatalytic technology, reduces the harmful substances present in the air and preserves the aesthetic qualities of buildings over time.
The range of products based on this technology named i.active are selling by HeidelbergCement Hispania. i.active technology provides the following features to the surface of the construction materials manufactured with this solution: decontaminant. Understood as the capacity of degrading pollutants such as NOx, SOx, VOC and others, through redox reactions, resulting in more inert subproducts and in the case of inorganic contaminants, soluble compounds.
Oak House Bachillerato Building. Listening the history of a community
The plot of land where Oak House School’s new building has been erected was laden with scenic meaning and the community’s own values. One of this project’s fundamental aims has been to listen to that meaning and conserve those values. The final form results from a dialogue between these strategies: Two material levels separated by a transparent strip. Above it, two suspended natural wood pavilions interact with and frame the original villa’s tower. Below it, a system of white concrete walls sunk into the land domesticates the topography, shapes the plot’s inner circulation and houses a small preuniversity campus in the old French garden.