- Daniela Jiménez
Less concrete, less Co2 emissions
Lately, global trends have been more focused than ever on providing solutions for contamination and climate chance. Efforts that go from cleaning up trash that has ended up in our oceans to being more conscious of Co2 emissions that are released into the atmosphere. In the construction industry these efforts have been shown through investigation that has led up to ecological concretes and cement production, as well as in modern construction techniques that have a lower impact on the environment. One of the companies that is in an active fight against contaminating construction practices is Cobiax.
Cobiax is a german company that got its inspiration from old constructions in Rome such as the Pantheon, these constructions used what they ten called cassettes to create lighter and resistant slabs. This idea as popular because even then, designers noticed that solid contractions required too much energy so they started creating buildings that had void spaces within their walls that required much less of an effort and allowed for grandiose structures. Cobiax borrowed that principle and developed void formers in the shape of spheres.
These “void formers” are made of recycled plastic and one of their most popular product is Cobiax SL (Slim Linee) that allowed for thinner slabs. This product promises a concrete reduction that goes from 53 to 135 l/m2, load reduction of 132 to 337 km/m2 and a Co2 reduction of 0.011 to 0.028 t/m2; all of this allows for more efficient transport and for an easier assembling process.
One of their most recent projects in which the Cobiax SL is being used, are two thirteen stores buildings in Germany that are being developed by the german company Sparkassen Versicherung. By using Cobiax products they have managed to save up an average of 136 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere because of the reduced concrete use, which is of 35 per cent and a more efficient transport because of lighter slabs. The spheres occupy most of the space that would otherwise be filled with concrete, making non-load-bearing slabs much lighter.
These buildings, designed by the architecture studio Sacker are almost ready to be occupied. In 2019 they finished the shell and it is expected for them to be completely finished by 2020. These buildings will be a mixture of residential and commercial space, allowing for apartments and office spaces to harmonize. They have a total of 24,300 m2 and by using Cobiax SL, not only did they manage to create a more ecological building process but efficiency was also impacted since they were able to move on at a quicker pace because of the easy assembly process and light weight of the slabs.
The slabs have been previously and successfully used previously in buildings such as the library in the University of Vienna designed by Zaha Hadid, the medical center at Columbia University designed by Diller Scofifio + Renfro and the Excellence Center, a medical center in Dubai expected to be ready by 2021.