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Concrete In Australia : March 2013
Concrete in Australia VolVol 39 No 1 13 store rainwater, this layer facilitates the development of biological organisms. e nal layer is a discontinuous coating layer with a reverse waterproo ng function. is layer permits the entry of rainwater and prevents it from escaping; in this way, the out ow of water is redirected to where it is aimed to obtain biological growth. e research team was led by Antonio Aguado, and supported by Ignacio Segura and Sandra Manso. From an environmental perspective, the team said the new concrete absorbs and therefore reduces atmospheric CO2, thanks to its biological coating. At the same time, it has the capacity to capture solar radiation, making it possible to regulate thermal conductivity inside the buildings depending on the temperature reached. e biological concrete acts not only as an insulating material and a thermal regulator, but also as an ornamental alternative, since it can be used to decorate the façade of buildings or the surface of constructions with di erent nishes and shades of colour; it has been designed for the colonisation of certain areas with a variety of colours, without the need to cover an entire surface. e idea is to create a patina in the form of a biological covering or a "living" painting. e material lends itself to the concept of the vertical garden. Unlike the current vegetated façade and vertical garden systems, the new material supports biological growth on its own surface; therefore, complex supporting structures are not required, and it is possible to choose the area of the façade to which the biological growth is to be applied. e research has led to a doctoral thesis, which Manso is currently writing. At present, the experimental campaign corresponding to the phase of biological growth is being conducted, and this will be completed at the UPC and the University of Ghent (Belgium). is research has received support from Antonio Gómez Bolea, a lecturer in the Faculty of Biology at the University of Barcelona, who has made contributions in the eld of biological growth on construction materials. At present, a patent is in the process of being obtained for this innovative product, and the Catalan company ESCOFET 1886, a manufacturer of concrete panels for architectural and urban furniture purposes, has already shown an interest in commercialising the material. Sandra Manso with samples of the biological concrete exposed to the air to ensure the natural and accelerated growth of pigmented organisms. Simulation of a vegetated façade at the Ako-Suites Aparthotel in Barcelona. Visual simulation made by Escofet.