International Facade Community

World’s first biobased façade

14 October 2013

The world’s first truly biobased façade has been completed, on a building in the Netherlands. Using a special bioresin combined with hemp fibres, architects Studio Marco Vermeulen collaborated with NPSP Composites, a developer of biobased products, to create a building with a biobased façade.

The building, a gas transfer station, is a simple block, made more interesting by the application of the 104, dark-coloured and biobased panels. These are made of Nabasco, or NAtural BASed COmposites. The panels are finished in a brown, opaque coating that give them the impression of being made of a sleek, futuristic material – not necessarily what you might assume a hemp and resin panel would look like.

Each panel measures 140 cm x 185 cm. It has a series of letter printed on it, in relief. These letters, C, H and N, are the chemical symbols of the main components: Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen. In the panel, every letter is differentiated by how much it extends from the base of the panel. The combination of a bioresin and hemp is dubbed Nabasco 5010, and allows for the expressive nature of the panelling on the façade. The exact constitution of resin varies, but often soya beans, linseed oil or waste from biodiesel production are used.

An added point of interest is the project’s location: Dinteloord, a village in the southern Dutch countryside, which is an upcoming area for developers of the green-based economy. Local and national businesses and organisations are looking towards a much greener future. In the architecture of the building, the usage of fossil fuels is contrasted and combined with the biobased panels, as a promise of a greener future.

Images:  © Ronald Tilleman and © Studio Marco Vermeulen

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