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REPORT

JAVIER FUENTE

CANADIAN ARCHITECT 06/19

36

SPANISH TILES GO GREEN PROJECT

Heather Dubbeldam

SUSTAINABILITY IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF CONTEMPORARY TILE PRODUCTION IN SPAIN.

Every February, the city of Valencia, Spain, plays host to Cevisama, a international fair for ceramic tile. The words “Spanish tile” may conjure up elaborately decorated glazed tiles with bright colours and patterns, but in reality, today’s Spanish ceramic tiles are very different from their historic precedents. With a focus on innovation, the industry is producing a vast array of contemporary ceramic products while also putting sustainability at the forefront. Traditionally, ceramic materials were almost exclusively employed as wall and f loor coverings. Now, these products are being increasingly used in more architectural applications, including in ventilated exterior façades and raised f loor systems. Ceramic ventilated façades are widely used in Europe due to the material’s durability and resistance

to pollution, weather and salt. These rainscreen systems are becoming a popular means of minimizing typical envelope problems, including thermal bridging and condensation. Large-format tiles—as big as 320 x 160 cm—appear to be a leading product within both the tile industry and the design community. These amazingly strong tiles, available as thin as 3 mm, require less material to produce and cover larger areas which results in fewer, less noticeable grout joints. Thicker ceramic “slabs” of up to 15 mm allow the largeformat surfaces to be used for counters. Another notable trend is that of ceramics made to emulate the appearance of other materials, mainly wood f looring, concrete and stone. Although not an entirely novel approach, this new generation

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Canadian Architect June 2019  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...

Canadian Architect June 2019  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...

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