Seriously…Self-Cleaning, Smog-Eating Walls???
You’ll be able to see these panels right by our front entrance by Pacific Audi
We thought we’d preview a couple of the things you’re actually going to be able to SEE on the outside. Like, obviously enough, the actual exterior of the building. And there are some pretty cool bits of information about its various parts.
First, our mother company, AUDI, has somewhat recently created a new model for all dealerships worldwide, called theTerminal…mainly to create more space for cars. But—as you may have heard—Germany is pretty progressive minded in building, so they always try to think about sustainable materials and design.
To that end, our new façade will consist of a 2mm thick perforated aluminum, shaped into an outside cover (or ‘skin’) for our building, and anodized bright silver (which, btw, also increases wear resistance!). Not to be dull, it’s decorated with a pattern consisting of hexagonal honeycomb holes. This reduces the weight and gives a 3-D sort of effect.
What we especially like about this is that it’s aluminum, and right now (as we are still building and not yet sure where our product is coming from) we can state that our aluminum will be at least 50% recycled content…it could be more. A little Aluminum education: the total recycled content in domestically produced, flat aluminum for the construction market is about 85%. On top of that on average about 60% for the total product content is from post-consumer sources. And just to continue on the magic of aluminum, someday down the road if this building changes, aluminum is 100% recyclable! (www.aluminum.org)
Now I know you’re dying to hear about those “smog-eating walls”, right? Guess what…they are self-cleaning, too, which means lower maintenance! We think they’re pretty innovative, which is why we wanted to try them out (in a couple areas)…and by using them in our LEED building, we hope to inspire others to do the same!
You’ll be able to see these panels right by our front entrance, and as the service drive canopy. The magic is in a new titanium dioxide coating called EcoClean™ that is pre-painted to a specific aluminum surface we are also using (aluminum covers our whole exterior in one way or another), and it does several things:
SELF-CLEANING: It’s relatively simple science (if you want to think back to high school just for a few seconds): when the titanium dioxide in EcoClean™ is exposed to sunlight, its electrons transfer energy to oxygen and water molecules in the air to form free radicals made of negatively-charged oxygen and hydorxyl radicals. These free radicals become powerful oxidizers that can attack any organic material near them—like dirt, grease and grime—causing it to decompose and fall away from the surface. And when water—like rain—hits this surface, too, everything just slides right off. Pretty nice and low maintenance!
SMOG-“EATING”: EcoClean™ also attacks nitrogen oxide, a primary component of smog. When nitrogen oxide molecules float near those free radicals, they break down the nitrogen oxide into a harmless nitrate. And voila, less bad stuff!
To understand a little more about this, please watch this video.