Textile facade expansion test
Buitink Technology has replaced the textile facade cladding systems on the Westraven building belonging to the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkwaterstaat) in Utrecht. Information about this project can be found on our website: Westraven Facade Cladding.
Another supplier installed the textile facade cladding in 2008 and the building was ready for a new coat, partly due to the fact that cracks had formed at the expansion joints.
For the new textile facade, Buitink Technology has used a different type of material and has also developed a suitable detailing and a structurally sound fixing principle.
Research and testing of material and tensioning method
The new material and tensioning method underwent comprehensive research and testing. One aspect of the textile facade that we tested extensively is the behaviour of the facade fabric in the area near the expansion joints. To be certain that the fabric wouldn’t tear or become otherwise damaged in the area around the expansion joints, we constructed a mock-up to test it.
For a number of months, we subjected a section of the textile facade to a continuously moving expansion joint. The result was not a single sign of wear, damage or cracking in the textile facade fabric.
During the detailing and fixing of the old textile facade cladding (installed by another company and replaced by Buitink Technology in 2020) to the building, too little or no account was taken of the expansion joints and, consequently, the difference in the expansion coefficients of aluminium and the textile facade. As a result, after some time, cracks started to appear at the expansion joints, as shown in the photos below.
With the mesh fabric used in conjunction with the detailing of the tensioning system, all of which were developed by Buitink Technology, there will be no more chance of cracks forming due to movements of the expansion joints.
Quality and quality management
At Buitink Technology, quality and quality management are paramount. Our organisation is geared to ensure the quality of our products and work.
This includes the studying and testing of products and their components to ensure that they meet the set requirements and expectations.