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Home with expanded metal cladding
Home with expanded metal cladding
Home with expanded metal cladding
Home with expanded metal cladding
Home with expanded metal cladding
Home with expanded metal cladding

Home with expanded metal cladding

Eye-catching facade protection in Heidenheim

Together with the architecture firm Wolf Planung, the architect Tjark-Marten Apetz decided on expanded metal from MEVACO as a particularly durable type of facade protection for his home. With Robert Smejkal they found the perfect tradesman for the challenging and demanding task. MEVACO expanded metal made from aluminium, which is treated with dirt-repellent, weather-resistant and UV-resistant wet paint, now ensures a maintenance-free facade and, at the same time, is a real show-stopper!

Expanded metal as protection

“When a married couple who are both architects design their own home, the father-in-law is also an architect, the building is being built on a steep slope, whereby the property measures a mere 270 square metres – then intensive discussions are required until the perfect design is found.” Tjark-Marten Apetz, an architect at the Wolf Planung firm in Heidenheim an der Brenz, grins when he thinks back to it now. “It was pure coincidence that at that time we had just completed the renovation and restoration work on the Scheuble building in Heidenheim city centre. Because there we used a thermally insulated and rear-ventilated facade construction from MEVACO aluminium elements. So we wondered if we could do something similar with our own home?”

Discussions on site at MEVACO

“It was important for us to find out again about the product properties of MEVACO expanded metal”, explains Tjark-Marten Apetz. “Dimensional tolerances in particular are crucial for such a project. We drove to MEVACO in Schlierbach and received excellent advice.” The house was already being built during the discussions: a three-storey house made from exposed precast concrete parts with wraparound windows which allow a breathtaking view of the city and the River Brenz as far as the Alps. A spacious roof terrace with floating frame, which complements the cubic character of the building, as well as terrazzo floors and oak furniture in the interior spaces complete a successful combination of an urban dream home and a genuine experience of nature. “Now it was necessary to protect the building against adverse weather conditions, UV rays and dirt”, states Tjark-Marten Apetz. “A traditional plaster facade must be restored every ten years. In contrast, our facade made from MEVACO expanded metal is extremely robust. We don’t need to think about maintenance for the next fifty years.”

Facade made from expanded metal instead of traditional plaster facade

The local tradesman Robert Smejkal got involved for the installation of the MEVACO expanded metal made from aluminium, rhomb, 160x52x24, with a material thickness of 2 mm and symmetrical finish at the longitudinal sides and front. He was recently awarded the 2014 Restoration Award from the Rudolf Müller publishing company for his work on the Scheuble building. Now he set himself the task of creating a maintenance-free facade with MEVACO expanded metal for the home of Tjark-Marten Apetz, which, at the same time, should also be an eye-catcher: “A 200 mm thick thermal insulation system was mounted on the concrete cube”, explains Robert Smejkal. “Vertical timbers which served as a substructure for the expanded metal facade were embedded in this insulation. This gave rise to a 50 mm wide rear-ventilated level. Because it is possible to see through the expanded metal, the insulation was plastered and painted black.” Then the tradesman takes a deep breath and adds with a smile: “Then our work began.”

Made-to-measure expanded metal facade

Robert Smejkal received the expanded metal plates from MEVACO uncoated. “We clad the house with the expanded metal plates”, he states. “At least 400 square metres in total. We had to bend the plates at the corners, ledges and windows, and this is only possible when the plates are uncoated. It was particularly tricky in places where joints merged. Everything must fit together precisely at these joints so that the pattern of the expanded metal has a seamless finish. When we had installed the facade, we numbered every plate with consecutive numbers – similar to when a farmhouse is dismantled so it can be set up in a museum village. We entered these numbers on the construction plan in order to subsequently remove the facade again. Then it was time to apply the protective layer to the expanded metal.”

Special paint for weather-resistant expanded metal

“It was important”, according to Robert Smejkal, “in this first stage that the plates were perfectly adapted and installed to a T. Because once the special paint is applied, it is difficult to make subsequent adjustments.” “It is a high-quality wet paint”, adds Tjark-Marten Apetz. “A paint which is very resistant against UV rays, and also all types of adverse weather conditions, and on top of everything is also dirt-repellent.” Then the painted expanded metal plates are fitted on the house a second time. “For good this time”, laughs Robert Smejkal. “Naturally everything is a bit more time-consuming. It took a year until the last cassette was mounted on the garage door and the post box was clad too. But compared with the durability, this time span is small. Take St. Martin’s Basilica in Weingarten, the largest baroque church building in Germany, which celebrates its 300th anniversary soon. The cupolas are clad with metal – and this is still the first coverage. Now that’s what I call sustainable!”

Good prospects for the trade

This is why Robert Smejkal also sees a rosy future for his trade. “As head of the professional group of Baden-Württemberg, I see from colleagues how often expanded metal facades are in demand. It’s no wonder really since they are durable and set interesting architectural accents.”

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