The construction industry has a problem: it makes up 39% of the earth’s carbon footprint.
From the materials we use to the building processes we undertake, being mindful of our carbon emissions is vitally important in the fight against the climate crisis.
Following on from World Earth Day last month, Swiss Facades take a closer look at the cement used in Swisspearl Fibre cement cladding.
Cement is one of the most durable products in the construction industry. While it has been criticised for its high energy usage to make, there are lots of things that can be done to extend the life cycle of the cement in our construction industry.
Swisspearl work hard to minimise energy consumption during the production of their fibre cement panels. This blog post will cover some of the ways Swisspearl are reducing their carbon footprint and extending the lifecycle of Swisspearl fibre cement, while continuing to supply quality, durable products:
1. Redesigning waste material
Nicolas Le Moigne redefined the meaning of waste by creating the Trash Cube Stool.
A unique take on sustainable design!
Rather than throw out material off-cuts during the fibre cement manufacturing process, Swisspearl factory workers save any excess cement. The off-cuts are combined in a precast mould which is then left to dry.
Not only does this process save on material wastage, but it is also a low-energy usage manufacturing process.
Plus, each stool is completely unique!
2. Naturally dried
Some other fibre cement manufacturers use autoclave machines to dry their product. The autoclave drying method uses extremely high temperatures to extract moisture from the panels. While it is a quicker way of drying, it uses incredibly high amounts of energy!
Instead, Swisspearl fibre cement panels are dried naturally for up to 4 weeks before moving to the next stage of production.
3. Green production process
Year on year, Swisspearl work to reduce the carbon emissions in their factory and are continually optimising the production process. Last year, the Swisspearl carbon footprint was reduced by 2,100 tons of carbon emissions.
Some examples include:
- Switching to electric-powered vehicles for transporting materials around the factory
- Transporting raw materials by rail to keep emissions as low as possible
- Excess water is reprocessed or biologically purified and returned to public water by regional waste-water treatment sites
All of these changes have contributed towards a reduced carbon footprint in the production of Swisspearl. Since 2013, CO2 emissions have been reduced by half and energy efficiency has been increased by 20%.
4. Recyclable and easily deconstructed
The life cycle of Swisspearl fibre cement can be extended even after the panel is removed from a building.
This is because the composition of Swisspearl fibre cement allows for easy deconstruction of the material layers. As opposed to the process of bulldozing a block wall down and trying to salvage usable cement from the rubble, the delayering process of Swisspearl fibre cement is a much easier method.
The panels can be pulverized back into pulp to produce more cement. Alternatively, it can be reused in construction, such as filling material for road construction or sound insulation in walls.
At Swiss Facades, we aren’t just a supplier of premium fibre cement cladding products.
We provide tailored services and project management to bring your project to life.
For project enquiries or guidance on sustainably exterior cladding solutions, visit our website or get in touch today!
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