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Housing Corporation “Wonen Limburg” was planning to renovate the façade of their apartment building “Dempsey Residence”. They aimed for maximum sustainability, and since they had already PV panels installed om the roof they decided to clad two facades with PV panels while making them more attractive at the same time. To realize this ambition, a cooperation was initiated with FWP Architecture and for the artwork with GOMAD Urban Art Studio (Marcus Debie). The supply and install was awarded to ZigZagSolar (www.zigzagsolar.nl)
The PV panels needed to be tilted towards the sun, and in order to make them hardly visible from ground-level, a system was developed which made only the artwork well visible from ground-level. GOMAD Urban Art Studio made three proposals, of which the residents were allowed to chose two. The two selected images were installed on two facades, both consisting of 100 panels. The panels needed to be weather-proof and therefore a solution was required which was high-quality and practical, but affordable at the same time. This resulted in applying the print before manufacturing the panel instead of printing afterwards.
To achieve a lightweight and extremely flat panel, an aluminium panel with aluminium honeycomb core was selected. The image (divided in 100 individual “pictures”) was digitally printed on an aluminium coil. This coil was already coil-coated with a white base colour for the best adhesion of the print. After printing a transparent clear coat was applied to guarantee extensive weather protection and then the honeycomb panel was produced. In this sequence, the bended edges of the panel are printed and protected, so no white edges are visible when looked at the building sideways. In addition, all panels had been marked to ensure installation on the right position.
The result is simply stunning; two beautiful facades which also generate electricity for the residents and an investment which earns itself back. The residents are hardly experiencing inconvenience at this way of renovation and more PV-panels can be installed on such a façade than on a roof.