Eco Product: Trespa - for rain screen cladding and more

Trespa International's main manufacturing facility was one of the first producers of panel material to be awarded ISO 14001 certification. The ISO 14001 standard describes the steps required for setting up, implementing, maintaining and improving a completely integrated environmental management system.

Trespa was one of the first manufacturers of construction products to map the totality of its products effects by means of a life-cycle analysis (LCA), right from the source of the raw materials to the end of the life-cycle. Particularly in the recycling of raw materials and recovering energy, Trespa is one of the most environmentally friendly products for rain screen cladding.

Designing for the Future

• Optimum sizes of panel to reduce waste
• Sawing programes designed to reduce waste
• Preferred panel thicknesses to reduce sub-frames
• Optimum cavity depth and insulation to reduce energy loss
• Methods to reduce cleaning and maintenance

The important environmental characteristics of Trespa’s products are:

• Trespa’s facade system allows for expanded insulation and therefore lower energy costs.
• Meteon is durable and long lasting, allowing the need for fewer products over the life of the building.
• Meteon can be affixed on existing walls, allowing the builder the freedom to redesign the building without demolition.
• Waste of Trespa material can be removed easily: it can be recycled, thermally recycled in a common industrial incinerator with high energy recovery and also landfill is possible. All in accordance with national or local disposal regulations.
• Meteon can contribute to US Green Building Council LEED® credits.

For LEED Certification: Trespa Solid Composite Panels can be evaluated as part of the entire building package, based on weighted average of all materials combined, for possible points, under the following credits:

• Material & Resources MR 1.1, MR 1.2, MR 1.3 MR 2.1, MR 2.2, MR 3.1, and MR 3.2
• Indoor Environmental Quality EQ 4.4.

Materials & Resources:

• MR 1.1 and 1.2 Building Reuse: Maintain 75% or 95% of Existing Walls, Floors, & Roof 2 Points Possible

o Trespa Solid Composite Panels enable the builder to utilize existing walls by providing a means to create a new fa├žade over existing structures. Trespa panels can be affixed to existing walls enabling the builder to create new color and/or texture without altering the sustaining wall. One point can be earned by maintaining 75% of existing walls, floors, and roofs, and an additional point can be earned by maintaining 95% of existing walls, floors, and roofs.

• MR 1.3 Building Reuse: Maintain 50% of Interior Non-Structural Elements 1 Point

o Possible Trespa Solid Composite Panels are individual panels which are a component of a wall assembly and can be removed and reused in other projects. Due to the life expectancy of the panels and the ability to cut them on-site, these panels can be incorporated into various elements either within the same project, or used in other projects as well.

• MR 2.1 and 2.2 Construction Waste Management: Divert 50% or 75% from Disposal 2 Points Possible

o Trespa Solid Composite Panels that remain as demolition and/or construction debris can be diverted from disposal in landfills and incinerators through the process of recycling. Trespa panels can be recycled through raw material recovery or thermal recycling with energy recovery. One point can be earned by diverting 50% of demolition materials from landfills, and an additional point can be earned by diverting 75%.

• MR 3.1 and 3.2 Materials Reuse: 5% or 10% 2 Points Possible

o Trespa Solid Composite Panels can potentially be reused or relocated due to the extensive life of the panel and the ability to cut on-site. Trespa Solid Composite Panels can be salvaged or reused in new construction or renovation of a building. Applications for reuse can be exterior and interior wall panels, decorating accent panels, and furniture made with Trespa material. For 1 point, 5% of the building materials must be reused or salvaged, and an additional point can be earned if 10% is achieved.

Indoor Environmental Quality:

• EQc4.4 Low Emitting Materials: Composite Wood & Agrifiber Products 1 Point Possible.

o The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute has awarded GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification® as well as GREENGUARD Children and Schools CertificationSM to Trespa’s interior Solid Composite Panels. All Trespa panels have been, and continue to be, tested for chemical emissions performance under the stringent GREENGUARD Standard for Low Emitting Products.

Design Process:

Trespa Solid Phenolic Panels can also potentially gain additional points under the Innovation and Design section in IDc 1-1.4. Trespa panel attributes that are not specifically addressed by the LEED® Green Building Rating System can be considered for innovative performance in Green Building categories such as the Life Cycle Analysis of the material with BEES® (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) listing. For more information on BEES® please visit

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Design: The Charles Hostler Student Center

The Charles Hostler Student Center designed by VJAA in Minneapolis is the recipient of AIA COTE (Committee on the Environment) Top Ten Award, 2009. It is located on the campus of the American University of Beirut. The awards recognize projects as examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.

Situated on Beirut's seafront the new 204,000 sq ft facility accommodates competitive and recreational athletic facilities for swimming, basketball, handball, volleyball, squash, exercise and weight training. The space also includes an auditorium with associated meeting rooms, cafeteria with study space, and underground parking for 200 cars.

The design of the space and concepts include:

• Green spaces on the rooftops to allow for a more pleasing physical and visual integration with the upper campus, providing usable green rooftop areas for activities and reducing the amount of exposure to the sun

• Solar panels installed at the site heat the indoor pool and other spaces

• Green plant cover filled with landscaped vegetation maintains the coolness of the entire area during hot summer days

• Created multiple building volumes connecting a continuous field of habitable space with gardens on multiple levels allowing the building forms themselves to redistribute air, activity and shade. This usable program area on the site is increased through shading and ventilation of outdoor spaces

• The east-west orientation of the building forms helps to shade exterior courtyards, reducing the amount of southern exposure. The orientation also directs nighttime breezes and daytime sea breezes to cool outdoor spaces.
• The team also preserved a significant amount of existing landscape (the buildings were sited to maintain existing trees)
• All the teams strategies also focus on reducing the requirements for energy and water consumption

This facility was designed with a lot of the LEED certification concepts and criteria outside the United States by a US firm. As I stated before LEED should be a tool to help you know the first steps to creating green buildings but as an expert in your field you should strive to supersede these requirements and find ways to improve on them.