This month Inhabitat traveled to Valencia, Spain to check out the latest and greatest sustainable ceramics at Cevisama 2011 as part of Tile of Spain's Reign in Spain tour! We were thrilled to uncover a wealth of green innovations afoot in the world of ceramic tiles - from energy-saving ventilated façades to leaf-inspired tiles that clean the air to beautiful bamboo ceramics made from recycled materials. Read on for our favorite finds from the show!
Natucer showcased a series of beautiful bamboo tiles that can be used to create stand-alone shade screens and room dividers. Dubbed Lifearq, the extruded porcelain tiles are made from 100% pre-consumer recycled material and are available in a vibrant range of colors and four shapes: Bamboo, Ivy, Scale, and Channel.
Ceracasa‘s groundbreaking Bionic Tiles are a ceramic product capable of cleaning the air by breaking down harmful pollutants. The tiles are treated with a titanium dioxide glaze that breaks down nitrous oxide in the presence of sunlight and humidity through a photocatalytic process. In order to maximize the tiles’ air-cleaning capability the ceramics feature a biomimetic structure modeled after the leaves of trees – you can see tiny rivulets and crannies in the tiles’ surface that serve to trap pollutants.
Ceracasa also rolled out a brand new type of nanotech ceramic tile that is capable of reducing your home’s energy use by 16%. Their Ecom4 Tiles are imbued with phase-changing energy storage cells that are exceptionally efficient at trapping and storing thermal energy: whenever the thermostat rises above 22 degrees celsius they begin to store heat, and when the thermostat lowers they release heat back into the air. The result is a temperature-balancing system that decreases reliance upon air conditioners and heaters. As an added bonus, the ceramics automatically take on the ambient air temperature of the room they are installed in – no more cold tile floors!
Sierragres took home the Cevisama 2011 Alfa de Oro (top prize) with their innovative SierraVent ventilated façade system, which is constructed entirely from ceramic tile. Whereas most ventilated façades require metal support systems to hang the second skin, the SierraVent system is composed entirely of ceramic tile – this makes the system a snap to set up and can reduce the cost of installations by up to 70%.
Photovoltaic Ventilated Façade Panels
Sierragres‘s ventilated façade system is optimized for use with a wide range of skins – including these sleek modular solar panels. The thin-film photovoltaics integrate seamlessly with the SierraVent system, allowing projects to reap the energy-saving benefits of a ventilated façade while producing power on the side.
These cute ceramic seats are created from recycled tiles that have been cut into flowing shapes and then stacked to form stools. They were designed by the ALICER ITC trends department and showcased as part of the Lovin’Green exhibition.
Apavisa showcased a striking new ventilated façade system that is constructed from hexagonal sheets of super-thin ceramic tile. A ventilated façade is a type of green building envelope that reflects solar radiation, improves sound isolation, and encourages passive cooling through the stack effect, resulting in a reduction in energy use of up to 30%.
Tau unveiled their brand new set of Lama ceramic tiles, which harness digital printing technology to capture the warm tones of wood. Their Ecotiles are made using up to 95% recycled materials and are available in two formats (20cm x 120cm and 15cm x 60cm) and five wood tones: Ash, Walnut, Oak, White and Grey.
ALICER ITC also created a garden pavilion made from recycled materials that explores the possibilities for using ceramics to sustain life. The tiles on the floor level capture rainwater, which can then be used to water the plants perched atop the stacks of terra cotta pots.
Inalco runs a remarkably efficient ceramic tile production plant that recycles 98% of all waste matter generating during the manufacturing process and 100% of all water used. Their Clean System tiles shown here boast a long-lasting protective treatment that preserves them against dirt, moisture and grease, reducing the amount of water and detergents needed to clean the tiles.
This placid pavilion made from recycled materials features two benches made from stacked and sanded ceramic tiles as well as a planter for a tree. It was designed by ALICER ITC to showcase the undulating ventilated façade system towards the rear of the pop-up park.