New concrete façade generates green energy

The cement giant LafargeHolcim teamed up with the thin-solar film company Heliatek to develop an energy-generating concrete façade that is capable of producing double the energy generated by roof-based solar systems.

It took two years of collaboration before the innovative cladding solution was ready for the market. The energy-generating concrete facade combines LafargeHolcim’s high-performance concrete Ductal and Heliatek’s ultra-light, flexible solar film called HeliaFilm.

With the new system, prefabricated Ductal panels are delivered on site with an integrated solar energy-generation system. A prototype of the new photovoltaic façade system will be presented at the French construction fair Batimat this November, and a pilot project is planned for next year.

The partners estimate that a 10 storey commercial building covered with 60 per cent of its façade with the new cladding system could generate approximately 30 per cent of its annual energy requirement.

“With this Ductal/ HeliaFilm solution, building owners and developers as well as architects and engineers will be able to mitigate the energy costs of a building while enjoying the many benefits of a very light, low maintenance and long-lasting cladding solution,” Gérard Kuperfarb, head of growth and innovation at LafargeHolcim, said in a statement.

Heliatek is a technology leader in the field of organic electronics and has developed a range of ultra-light, highly aesthetic thin solar films. HeliaFilm’s CO2 footprint is nearly five times less than traditional crystalline photovoltaics.

According to Thibaud Le Séguillon, CEO of Heliatek GmbH, HeliaFilm is the active element that transforms building cladding into a power station. “This is the path to green, localized energy.”

 

Image credit: Heliatek

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