Green buildings and Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware: a winning combination
Oct. 26, 2020
by Sara Costi
Today’s buildings play a primary role in the wellbeing of those who live in them. That’s why architectural projects are being undertaken with more awareness and sensitivity, promoting an evolved, more conscious vision of contemporary living that goes beyond the mere construction.
The idea that the places we live in affect us isn’t new. In the treatise “On airs, waters, and places”, Hippocrates stated that people’s wellbeing is closely linked to the place they live in. Feng Shui, a practice that dates back to five thousand years ago, is based on the flow of Chi and the intrinsic harmony between the forces of the universe. In more recent years, there are disciplines such as Neuroarchitecture, which studies how the brain reacts to colours, lighting, and proportions, and architectural psychology.
American cell biologist Bruce Lipton conducted research in epigenetics that showed that the environment could even influence our genetic expression. There’s an invisible link between humans and the environment. According to this new vision, the home is no longer just a building furnished with objects and accessories. It’s a place that resonates with those who live in it.
We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.
Protecting the planet with green construction
The continuous campaigns to protect the planet and natural resources and the difficult situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic keep drawing attention to the importance of safe and healthy spaces and environmentally-conscious buildings.
Green construction is a building science, a new way of conceiving a building that integrates natural materials and energy-saving construction techniques. This meticulous use of resources, materials, and components helps reduce the overall environmental impact while improving people’s comfort.
Green buildings must be designed, built or restored, and even managed according to the principles of environmental sustainability. The aim is to save energy by managing it intelligently, self-producing it, and protecting the water resources by preferring renewable sources. All this while ensuring high-quality, healthy settings.
From the design to the demolition of a building, and along its entire life cycle, green construction follows an approach that integrates a series of variables that are essential for both the environment and the wellbeing of the people living in it. The site chosen for the building is the first of these variables. A building must integrate into the landscape without clashing with it. That’s why it’s so important for aesthetics and choosing the materials and resources to use. Every project must adapt to the climate, humidity and noise levels, surrounding vegetation, the quality of natural lighting, and even the arrangement and orientation of other surrounding buildings.
Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware is 100% sustainable
Casalgrande Padana ceramic tiles are guaranteed and certified. They are one of the most advanced and versatile components that sustainable architecture can offer to create furnishings that meet contemporary green construction criteria.
Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware is made solely with natural raw materials, without any plastic or harmful substances. It is fully recyclable, inert, fire-resistant, non-allergic, and unalterable. Moreover, thanks to the Bios Ceramics® technology, it’s also antibacterial, self-cleaning, and can even reduce pollutants.
Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware tiles are made through a closed-cycle manufacturing process where sophisticated antipollution equipment allows all the components to be recycled and reused, with substantially zero emissions or dispersions: 0% harmful emissions, 100% environmental impact reduction, 99.5% waste recovered, 74% self-produced energy, and 100% environmentally sustainable packaging.
Casalgrande Padana’s cutting-edge production process focuses on sustainability, development, scientific research, and the best environmental experiences. It also aims at reducing pollution as much as possible to protect the landscape and territorial balance. This commitment is demonstrated by Casalgrande Padana’s many certifications, including the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and ISO 14001 certifications. But also by the company’s Code of Ethics, which regulates the environmental policies related to its production cycle, and environmental management system compliant with the EMAS Regulation to improve its environmental performance. Casalgrande Padana has also published an environmental statement validated by the certification body.
Bios Antibacterial®: maximum hygiene in your spaces
Bios Antibacterial® is an innovative range of floor and wall tiles suitable for any indoor or outdoor setting. These tiles feature a special silver-based treatment that helps make your spaces healthier by reducing the main bacterial strains (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis) by 99.9% and preventing the formation of mould, yeasts, and fungi, which are responsible for bad smell.
The secret of the Bios Antibacterial® range is the use of silver, which has been used for its antibacterial properties since ancient times. It’s non-toxic to humans and animals, non-allergic in contact with skin, and doesn’t release harmful substances; therefore, it’s safe for human health.
Bios Antibacterial® uses a technology based on the slow and controlled release of silver ions, which removes bacteria and prevents their proliferation by inhibiting bacterial metabolism. This treatment is integrated permanently into the tiles; therefore, their antibacterial properties don’t decrease over time.
Moreover, Bios Antibacterial® creates a shield that is always active, day and night, with or without sunlight or UV light.
Interlocking tiles for an automated home
In addition to traditional tiles laid on screed using glue, the Casalgrande Padana range includes the Ars Ratio interlocking and dry-laid tiles. These tiles allow you to create a smart flooring with sensors and control units under it to control your lighting and climate control systems. The result is a home featuring innovative automated technology that helps reduce energy consumption and waste while simplifying domestic life, combining comfort and increased security.
This system of interlocking dry-laid porcelain stoneware tiles is a fast, technically complete, and aesthetically refined solution. It can also communicate with your home automation system to create a smart home in line with the green construction principles. This way, it optimises the use of resources while meeting even the most complex architectural needs.
Cable raceways of varying sizes and electrical boxes can be installed under the ceramic tiles to make the wiring invisible. All this adds up to the comfort of your home.
The super-thin tiles that make all the difference
Casalgrande Padana’s low-thickness porcelain stoneware tiles are mainly for restorations as they simplify and optimise flooring and covering installation without having to remove existing material. These tiles are perfect for any intervention requiring reduced weight and thickness. Moreover, combined with traditional thickness ones, these tiles multiply the creative possibilities while ensuring continuity between the various settings.
Low-thickness tiles have many advantages: they help reduce environmental impact as they are made using fewer raw materials and energy resources; they simplify tile installation as you don’t need to remove and dispose of the existing flooring and coverings; they reduce execution time and the inconvenience of restoration; they require fewer modifications of the existing materials (window removal, walking surface adjustment); they are easy to work, cut, drill and handle, and also reduce the weight on weight-bearing structures and floor slabs.
Façade cladding: insulation systems and ventilated walls
Thermal insulation is a distinctive feature o a green building, whether new or restored. When it comes to cladding, Casalgrande Padana makes ceramic tiles for insulation systems and ventilated walls.
An insulation system consists in applying insulation panels outside the wall (instead of inside) to ensure the thermal and sound insulation of a building. This creates a homogeneous cladding that reduces thermal bridges, which are responsible for heat dispersion, condensation, and mould. Moreover, an insulation system helps protect the underlying layers, thereby improving the building’s energy performance and aesthetics.
A ventilated façade, on the other hand, is a dry-mounted cladding system bound to the building through mechanical suspension and anchoring elements. This system requires the creation of an appropriately sized cavity where to insert a thermal insulation panel in contact with the building wall and a chamber for upward air circulation (stack effect). A ventilated façade protects the building against weather agents and pollutants. It also ensures thermal and sound insulation. Moreover, it protects the wall structure, ensures energy saving, eliminates thermal bridges and surface condensation, improves aesthetics, and maintains the aesthetic and technical features over time. All these reasons make it one of the most effective cladding systems.
Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware tiles come in a wide range of sizes, colours, textures, and thicknesses. This way, designers can use them to create large vertical, sloping, or curved surfaces that express their architectural and technological ideas.
Casalgrande Padana’s Bios Self-Cleaning® porcelain stoneware tiles are specific for façades and ventilated envelopes. They feature self-cleaning properties and reduce NOx emissions, which are among the primary pollutants in urban areas. Bios Self-Cleaning® features the excellent performance and aesthetic qualities of porcelain stoneware cladding and drastically reduces cleaning and maintenance. All this translates into significant savings while maintaining the quality and characteristics of the architecture.
By reducing NOx emissions, Bios Self-Cleaning® helps improve the environmental quality of urban settings. Using Bios Self-Cleaning® over a façade surface of 150 sq.m purifies the air as much as a wooded area as big as a football pitch. It also eliminates the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted by 11 cars throughout a day.
Designing with people and not just for people
Although it may be difficult to believe that a home – tangible by definition – can be considered beyond its physical aspect, quantum physics theories confirm it. Viewing a home like an energy field to which one is connected means opening up to different interpretations of environmentally conscious building. This allows the creation of spaces that are not just beautiful, but even improve the wellbeing of those who live in it.
Carlo Scarpa once said, “If the architecture is any good, a person who looks and listens will feel its good effects without noticing.” Listening to architecture means perceiving the sensations that come from the soul of a place. In this holistic approach, architects play a primary role in creating spaces that have beneficial effects on people. And the chance to contribute to people’s wellbeing is an extraordinary opportunity for personal growth. This way, architecture becomes an art that can elevate the matter to design next-generation buildings.
Casalgrande Padana’s innovative production processes are the reason why its porcelain stoneware features excellent aesthetic qualities and performance and helps protect the environment. This material is the answer for designers and clients who want their spaces to be not only beautiful and functional, but also safe and healthy, free of harmful substances, easy to clean, and environmentally friendly.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.