Flawless natural stone10 years after the renovation
The Vals quartzite in the entrance area and on the outdoor steps is still flawless after almost 10 years.
Natural stone has a beautiful and elegant appearance outdoors. But over the course of time, water accumulation leads to unsightly stains. Not so at the company headquarters of European technology company Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG (AFG, Thurgau canton, Switzerland). Almost ten years ago, Vals quartzite was installed in the entrance area and on the outdoor steps of the corporate headquarters. Special drainage systems beneath the covering ensure that the stone remains representative for a long time – and has remained flawless to this very day.
The important points of the AFG company philosophy are innovation, quality and openness. And the 2008 newbuild also had to radiate these qualities. The architect’s office therefore planned to use high-quality products and materials, including Vals quartzite for the outdoor areas. But this high-quality covering has a basic disadvantage, like all natural stone: it is very sensitive to water accumulation, which can lead to unattractive efflorescence and moisture stains if the worst comes to the worst.
Flawless natural stone, even after ten years
Fortunately, the high quality natural stone still looks flawless here after ten years, which is due to the intelligent drainage mats from specialist supplier Gutjahr. Because processing company Peterer Natursteine (St. Gallen) installed AquaDrain EK capillary passive natural stone drainage on the surfaces and AquaDrain SD step drainage on the stairs. The reason for this: drainage mortar alone is often the usual laying method. But that is not sufficient to prevent damage in the long term. Numerous studies have shown that this mortar is capillary active. This means that it transports water accumulation back to the surface. Over time, the edge area is also caked with the water-soluble lime in the mortar. The consequences are efflorescence and water stains. Gutjahr drainage systems are therefore used as additional “damage prevention”.
Drainage with Turbo
A capillary passive drainage mat beneath the drainage mortar improves the water drainage capacity by up to 150 times.
Especially for natural stone The AquaDrain EK drainage mat was therefore used at AFG. This supports an extensive area of the covering. The drainage channels therefore create a defined cavity, and the water drainage capacity of the entire construction is massively improved. The natural stone covering can also dry more quickly, since the construction is back-ventilated. And: AquaDrain EK has a special mesh which remains water-permeable over the long term – the soluble lime in the drainage mortar does clog the mesh.
AquaDrain SD works in a similar way. However, unlike surface drainage mats, the system consists of pre-shaped corner elements. In other words, the mats do not need to be cut especially for the stairs. Gutjahr gives specialist companies a 6 year guarantee for both systems.
Threshold-free transitions as a style feature During construction of the AFG headquarters there was another challenge: the transitions from the outside to the inside. These needed to be threshold-free, but fit in with the overall appearance at the same time. The clever solution was a combination of Gutjahr AquaDrain Flex drain grates and Vals quartzite. The drain grates were specially designed for comfortable, standard-compliant transitions. The actual drain grate supports were replaced with milled natural stone without affecting the functionality of the drain grates. The water is still diverted in a targeted way to this day, and doesn’t get into the interior.
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