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This month, we present a collection of the latest metal, stone, and wood facade systems designed to keep buildings both pleasing to the eye and protected from the elements. Rita Catinella Orrell

Click images to view them larger.



Clockwise from top left: An apartment complex in Innsbruck uses BBS panels for all structural walls. This spa in southern Austria uses the panels in the overhang. In the small project shown here, they are used as simple monolithic walls. A detail showing part of a wall and roof made of the panels.

Austrian wood cladding option now available in the U.S.
A new, prefabricated solid-wood cladding option is available from Austrian manufacturer Binder Holzbausysteme exclusively through its U.S. representative, HolzBuild. The new cladding panels will be introduced at Construction Expo in New York City this May and at GreenBuild in Los Angeles in October.

Although the first U.S. project is still in the planning stages, the BBS panels have been in use in Europe for about five years. The multilayered, solid-wood wall panels are made of Austrian red spruce or larch, and come in 3-, 5-, 7-, and 9-layer versions. The standard panel width is 4.1', although multiple thicknesses and profiles are available. By laminating longitudinal and cross layers for the wall panels, the wood achieves greater strength and stability. Roof and floor panels are also available.

“One unique feature of these panels is that they are structural and have the potential to create a monolithic wall, and therefore a structural facade,” says Antonio Guariento, owner and founder of HolzBuild.

A wall can be composed of vertically as well as horizontally placed panels. The inner layers of the BBS panels are normally manufactured in spruce and the outer layer in larch, which is better suited for exposure to the elements. The panels, made up of 99.4 percent solid wood and .6 percent formaldehyde-free glue, are installed without vapor or wind barriers. Each .016'' layer of glue has a vapor-inhibiting effect, which provides the equivalent diffusion resistance of a 1.38'' layer of Spruce. This allows the walls to absorb or release air moisture as needed and create a comfortable interior environment, according to the manufacturer. HolzBuild, Watertown, Mass. [ Reader Service February 2007 # 226 ]



Open joint panel system
A recent expansion of the Dallas Executive Airport includes a 4,000-square-foot facility that houses a control tower, lounges, and restaurants. Now Specialties, of Carrollton, Texas, fabricated and installed 30,000 square feet of Reynobond .16'' aluminum composite; 4,000 square feet of Reynobond stainless-steel composite; and 1,300 square feet of Reynobond in a classic bronze finish for the terminal. The panel system incorporates open joints with integral gaskets so no sealants or weather barriers are required. Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, Ga. [ Reader Service February 2007 # 227 ]



Welcoming entrance
Designed by Atlanta-based Stegenga & Partners, the Sumter Regional Hospital in Americus, Georgia, features eight tapered column covers fabricated by Moz Designs. Shown in a pewter color with a Polycoat finish over a kelp pattern, the 13'-tall column covers protrude another 2' from the top of the main entrance’s carport and support the wave roof. Moz Designs, Oakland, Calif. [ Reader Service February 2007 # 228 ]

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