Flawless natural stone

10 years after the renovation

Flawless natural stone

10 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.

Newbuild 2008

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 drain mat was also used at AFG, which raises a large area of the covering. The drain canals therefore create a defined cavity, and the water drainage capacity of the entire construction is massively improved. The natural stone covering can dry more quickly because the construction is back-ventilated. And: AquaDrain EK has a special mesh weave, which remains water-permeable – the soluble lime in the drainage mortar does not clog the fabric.

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 transition as a stylistic feature
During the construction of the AFG headquarters there was another challenge: the transition from outside to inside. It needed to be threshold-free, but simultaneously fit in with the general appearance. The clever solution was AquaDrain Flex drain grates from Gutjahr combined with Vals quartzite. The drain grate was specially designed for comfortable, standard-compliant transition. The actual grate support is replaced by milled natural stone, without changing the functionality of the drain grate. The water is still draining to this day and doesn’t linger in the interior space.

Products used

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