DSM, Büfa and NPSP contribute composites construction for energy-neutral building

Huge composite façade elements (13m by 3m) have been used in the construction of a building in Zwolle, The Netherlands, which was officially opened on June 5.

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DSM Composite Resins (Schaffhausen Switzerland), BÜFA Gelcoat Plus GmbH & Co. KG (Rastede, Germany) and NPSP Composieten (Haarlem, The Netherlands) have developed a new type of light weight building façade panels based on composite materials.

Huge façade elements based on the panel materials (13m by 3m or 42.7 ft by 10 ft) have been used in the construction of a building in Zwolle, The Netherlands, which was officially opened on June 5. The low panel mass eases installation, and the specific shape of the panels reportedly will make a significant contribution to the expected low energy consumption of what is described as an energy-neutral building.

Designed in concert by DSM, composites manufacturer NPSP Composieten, and specialty resin supplier Büfa, the composite façade elements, even in very large sizes, can be mounted in a very short period of time. In collaboration with construction company BAM International (Bunnik, The Netherlands), more than 100 of these elements were installed on the exterior of energy company Enexis's new office building.

Façade elements made from composite materials have a significantly lower weight than their
counterparts in concrete (in this specific case, less than 10 percent of the concrete equivalent). Because of their low weight and a specially developed and patented aligning anchor/hook system, the panels can be mounted in as llittle as five minutes per panel.

The panels were manufactured with a vacuum infusion process, based on DSM’s trademarked Synolite 1967 resin, Büfa’s trademarked Firestop 6815-N-3 resin S272-SV gel coat, and a polyurethane foam core.

The inherent design flexibility of composites enabled manufacturing of components with unique shapes. The panels used for the Enexis offices are shaped to reflect sunlight and, thus, prevent interior heat buildup during the summer months. Further, the panels' insulating properties will reportedly keep the heat inside during the winter as well.

“The composite façade elements are of great help to direct the sunlight,” says Willem Böttger of NPSP Composieten. “I am very happy that we have been able to contribute to the BREEAM Excellent certification of this energy neutral building.”

“DSM is strongly promoting the use of composites materials in construction applications,” adds Ad de Koning, R&D director of DSM Composite Resins. “For architects the design versatility of composites combined with their excellent inherent insulation performance makes them a very interesting alterative to steel and concrete.”

DSM Composite Resins is a business unit of Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM delivers solutions that resins, alternative energy products and bio-based materials. DSM’s 23,500 employees deliver annual net sales of around €9 billion.

For more information about DSM, please visit www.dsm.com and www.dsmcompositeresins.com.