the New International JTI International Headquarters in Geneva. Photo Johannes Marburg Photography
Permasteelisa Group

In the age of ultra-facades

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The technological component of mfree-SCCF facades makes them able to interact with light and temperature, controlling moisture and eliminating the risk of dust in the cavity: just like an adaptive living organism.

If one observes the trends of recent decades in contemporary architecture, the data that emerges most clearly is the enormous progress that has been made in expressive and technological solutions associated with facades, that have evolved in a much more noticeable way compared to that of  architectural language associated with form and volume. This factor has on one hand induced numerous theorists and designers to develop new vocabularies and conceptual modalities to explore this galaxy that is anything but two-dimensional. On the other hand it has stimulated in the more research-orientated companies a growing attention towards solutions that are able to set new standards. Among the companies with the greatest innovative vocation, Permasteelisa Group have focused their research on three major themes: ‘Testudo’, a group of technologies able to increase the safety of buildings when subjected to extreme stresses such as explosions or earthquakes, ‘Alter’, a group of technologies that use an alternative approach to design and use of materials; and finally, ‘Ultra’, comprised of all the solutions able of reducing the carbon footprint of buildings: first and foremost the D3 Facade and above all the mfree-SCCF.

A highly-innovative solution, the mfree-SCCF (moisture-free Sustainable Closed Cavity Facade) is a facade system with a double skin of glazing that combines unprecedented performance in terms of thermal insulation and the passage of solar energy with the capacity to dynamically interpret the multiple faces of architecture, accompanying them over time. The sealing of each individual glazed unit is combined with an innovative solution that involves maintaining at a slight over-pressure (+ 0.1 bar) the cavity in between the internal triple glazing and the external safety glass, in which is also introduced dehumidified air. These characteristics make the system active and ‘living’, able that is to respond to atmospheric conditions and maintain over time an ideal equilibrium between inside, outside and architectural interface. At the same time, placing together the different layers with different physical characteristics considerably increases the performance in terms of the direct acoustic insulation of the envelope, with a soundproofing potential equal to Rw 46 dB.

In addition to guaranteeing the total absence of condensation on the external glazing, the system developed by Permasteelisa Group also makes it possible to avoid the accumulation of dust on the screen from sun’s rays, This has positive effects on the durability of the facade elements and makes for an overall reduction in costs linked to maintenance: venetian blinds and glazed surfaces inside the cavity to not require frequent cleaning. Mfree-SCCF in fact includes an additional layer of active screening against the sun’s rays, consisting of an adjustable venetian blind that can be made in different materials and colours according to design specifications. The combined characteristics and the active mode of functioning of the different layers and materials in the facade system enable them to work together and constantly interpret in a balanced manner the changing weather conditions in relation to the characteristics of the building, guaranteeing significantly better results in terms of performance with respect to traditional facades. A quality that brings with it the achievement of considerably higher values ​​in order to obtain the most rigorous international assessment certification of sustainable buildings, such as LEED or BREEAM.

Opening image: the George Street complex in Sydney, designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp. Photo Mark Merton

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Permasteelisa Group
Viale E.Mattei 21/23, Vittorio Veneto Treviso
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