“It’s ambitious, it’s brave, it’s bold.” And: “Through experimentation and cross-disciplinary collaboration, insight, learning and useful results are achieved that can lead to radically new sustainable directions for construction”.
Such comments formed part of the citation for the MUDP project ‘Covered building façades for the green transition – CO2-neutral fire protection of covered vertical surfaces’, which took the Danish Association of Architects’ Boldness Award on 3 October. In addition, the project has just won an award in Lisbon at the Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa in the ‘Research’ category.
The project was a collaboration between DBI – the Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology, Tækkemanden Horneby, Hemmed Tækkefirma, Egen Vinding & Datter, Straatag’s Kontor and the Centre for Industrialised Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy’s Institute of Architecture under the leadership of Professor Anne Beim.
The aim of the project is to increase the use of CO2-neutral, bio-based materials in building facades with new combinations of building materials, surface treatments and design solutions. The project therefore had to investigate the fire properties of natural materials in relation to fire-proofing of thatched façades.
First of all, 14 mini-SBI (Single Burning Item) tests were conducted to identify the method and kinds of impregnation that had the greatest potential. Three kinds proved to be particularly good, after which different kinds of clay were applied between the outer layers of straw. Of these, the purest material was selected, moraine clay, and three scaled façade tests were conducted. The tests showed that clay works really well as fire-proofing on thatched façades.
- We don’t yet know how moisture absorption or ageing affects the impregnation or how the clay impregnation affects the reeds. But the results show that there is reason to consider these areas too, because everything indicates that there is definitely a navigable approach for thatched facades, says Professor Anne Beim.
- It’s been an extremely interesting project for DBI, because the fire safety challenge had to be met without significantly compromising on sustainability. At the same time, the project gave us the opportunity to use some of our tools, such as mini-SBI and scaled façade tests, says Anders Dragsted, Head of Advanced Fire Engineering (Buildings) at DBI.