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Fibre cement as a material

Fibre cement is used as a material in the building industry as exterior cladding and interior cladding as well as for roofing. In the manufacturing process, laminates of fibre-cement sheets are layered and compressed under tremendous pressure before undergoing a slow curing process. Reinforced by specially selected fibres, the many thin layers give fibre cement a strength with few equals in the world of building materials.

Fibre cement is made from natural materials: cement (i.e. a mixture of chalk and clay), sand, and water, supplemented by non-toxic organic fibres. The material is fully reusable.

A major advantage of fibre-cement is its ability to resist weather of all kinds, including freeze/thaw cycles, intense heat and drenching. Fibre cement objects retain their shape at all times, and their ability to resist rot and fungal infection is good. This implies durable products and minimal or no maintenance. At the end of the product’s lifecycle, the non-toxic panels can be reused or crushed for their raw material.

The qualities and nature of fibre cement are described under the six sub-headings: creative, versatile, distinct, efficient, authentic, tough.

For more information on fibre cement and the production process, see Attachment A.
 

 

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Fibre cement

Creative
The ability to use a wide variety of colours and to play with scale and shape. Fibre cement can be formed in to different shapes before the curing phase. The surface of fibre cement can be patterned during the production process. Cured fibre cement can be tooled with different kinds of CNC cuttings.

Versatile
Fibre cement can be combined with other contemporary building materials, complementing them: e.g., steel, glass, brick, stone, and wood.

Distinct
The ability to use a wide colour palette, from soft neutrals to vibrant brights. Fibre cement can be through-coloured, with transparent protective coatings generating variations in surface tone, or have uniformly painted surfaces. The fixing mechanism can be concealed or exposed as part of the overall appearance.

Efficient
Lighter than stone and fast to install, requiring no on-site finishing: once the panels are attached, the surface is ready for use.

Authentic
Fibre cement is one of the few building materials that both meet the demand of thermal insulation in the contemporary built environment and has an outer surface that demonstrates material honesty.

Tough
Fibre cement is extremely durable and shock- and stain-resistant, requiring virtually no maintenance. The material is moisture-resistant and non-combustible, with good sound insulation qualities. Long-lasting inorganic pigments, many of them from natural sources, minimise fading over the years.

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