The declared goal of sustainable building is to achieve high building quality while conserving existing resources. This means the construction of buildings that are ecological, economical in the long term and durable in terms of construction technology and building culture, with a high quality of life and living. Whether it is a new building or an old one - sustainable construction and renovation requires energy-efficient planning and the selection of durable, pollutant-free and disposal-friendly materials. In addition to the energy input required for the construction and use of a building, the choice of materials is one of the most important aspects when it comes to the ecological optimisation of construction.
- Volker Schwab
- Erich Spahn
- Weiden, Germany
Residential house in Weiden (Germany)
Even if they only account for a small proportion of the material requirements in terms of quantity, the effect of paints for facades and interiors should not be underestimated. In addition to the direct effects of pollutants in the air or emissions during application, factors such as the use of resources and durability make a noticeable contribution to the eco-balance.
Mineral paints are the first choice here - they are made of natural raw materials and are free of solvents, plasticisers, biocides and preservatives. Added to this is their extraordinary durability: silicate paints are open to diffusion, which avoids moisture build-up and prevents damage in the long term. The natural binder water glass is extremely weather-resistant because it chemically bonds firmly with the substrate. And thanks to the likewise mineral, UV-stable pigments, the colour tones are retained for a long time, the surface does not chalk and gets much less dirty than with emulsion paints. This is not only easy on the wallet, but also on resources, because renovation is needed much less often.
Architect Volker Schwab is convinced of the quality of mineral building protection: "We work with mineral products from KEIM whenever possible. The coatings, which are ideal in terms of building physics because they are highly diffusible, convince us and our clients from an ecological point of view, but also from an economic point of view in the long term."
In Weiden in the Upper Palatinate, the architect developed - following the client's wish for transparency with simultaneous privacy - an atrium house whose simple and clear architecture interlocks impressively with nature. Three structures, closed to the street, each with a living area and an attached bedroom and office wing, are grouped around a 15-metre-long swimming pond. The heart of the open spatial structure is the all-round glazed atrium with the kitchen, dining and living functions. From here, the building opens completely to the water and to nature; a wall of Corten steel in the south and newly planted trees protect against gazes and provide a sense of security.
Materials such as exposed concrete, steel and untreated larch wood support the natural, harmonious effect of the building. Aspects such as energy efficiency through the highly thermally insulated façade, natural lighting and controlled ventilation with heat recovery result in an individual sustainability concept.
The exposed concrete exterior walls of the highly thermally insulated building envelope are 40 cm thick and solid in the projections. The wall structure facing the interior consists of a concrete outer shell only 10 cm thick and a wooden stud wall with 30 cm of cellulose insulation.
A controlled ventilation system with heat recovery reliably ensures the necessary air exchange in the rooms and reduces energy losses through window ventilation. Hot water is provided by a conventional gas boiler, which is also used as a boiler.
As a water-repellent protective treatment, the concrete surfaces on the outside were coated with KEIM Silan 100, a solvent-free silane-based hydrophobic coating. The interior walls were horizontally boarded with untreated larch wood battens or painted white with mineral paints.
"We deliberately chose the ecological interior paint KEIM Biosil here," explains the architect. "In addition to the healthy living properties and the formulation suitable for allergy sufferers, the aesthetic quality of the mineral matt surface was also important to us."
"Paints from KEIM not only give the building owner, but also me as a processor optimum security in terms of quality and durability," explains master painter Helmut Eid. "At KEIM, sustainability is not just marketing, but part of the corporate culture. And it has been for more than 140 years."