Does the Climate Influence a Facades's Colour?

Colour’s role isn’t just to create an impact – it has to be efficient. A building’s façade falls prey to many adverse weather conditions, testing a colour’s durability. On this basis, the right colour needs to be meticulously selected for its longevity and high-performance. Ben Warren, Managing Director at Baumit addresses the practical considerations behind colour choice, expressing how integral it is to select a colour which can go the distance.

For many centuries, the climate has shaped the way certain cultures paint or colour their buildings. In southern Spain, white is a traditional shade selected for its practicality; white walls saturate the landscape as the scorching sun has a tendency to bleach all other colours. Under the sun’s influence, the richest orange is transformed into the dullest muddy colour.

Thankfully this tradition has somewhat evolved. With new colour nanotechnology, external façades are no longer beholden to the weather’s whims. Although white walls in the Mediterranean have become quite a cultural symbol, innovative advancements into façade colour assure even the darkest exteriors can endure in countries with the most demanding climates.

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So how can such technology defy natural science? Experts in colour façades, including leading building materials manufacturer, Baumit, have discovered inventive methods to ensure external walls can withstand adverse weather conditions in different climates. From professional substrate solutions to the final coat of paint, colour experts have developed unique technologies to reduce signs of wear and tear caused by difficult weather conditions.

Firstly, it is important to outline the common signs of wear and tear which affect a façade’s long-term colour. The following characteristics are the antitheses of exterior walls, causing extensive damage if a wall is coated with an inefficient product:

  • Sun-induced colour fading: Not everyone enjoys the sun and external walls are no exception. Prolonged, intense exposure to the sun discolours façades, rapidly changing a bright colour such as red to a pinky hue.
  • Deep cracks: Again, through high levels of sun-exposure a wall’s skin can crack or blister causing unsightly abrasions which alter a wall’s character. For client-facing businesses, blemishes jeopardise a business’s credibility, as visitors form their first impressions based on a company’s visual appearance – the building.
  • Algal or fungal infestations: In cooler climates, heavy rain and snow can seep into any tiny crevices in a wall. Over a period of time and in damp climates, fungi grows in these perfect breeding grounds. Moreover, once a miniscule amount of algae embeds itself into a crack, it can spread across a wall’s exterior. Surely, a striking and efficient green paint is preferential to this?

These three factors can drastically affect the durability and the intensity of a façade’s colour, ruining the impact of a building’s overall exterior. Yet, an adverse climate does not have to be the antagonist to a building’s external walls. Current advancements into paint’s nanotechnology can allow companies to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to protecting external façades.

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Examples of these technologies are as follows. Cooling technology contains fade resistant pigments designed to reduce the amount of heat retained by walls facing direct sunlight. Typically, these kinds of façade products, including Baumit’s PuraColor and GranoporColor, are UV resistant ensuring complete longevity and colour brilliance from all angles. Whether it is red, black or turquoise, any colour will be able to face the most powerful sunrays.

As well as eliminating colour fade, solutions such as PuraColor protect the external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) from overheating. ETICS is a recognised and global building method which sets standardised criterion for efficient, secure wall installation. As the external façade is the first point of contact for adverse weather conditions, it is imperative that products protect ETICS from harsh sunrays and extreme water alike. These particular kinds of advancements mean dark shades not only retain their colour in even the fiercest sunrays, they also ensure the building’s overall safety is uncompromised. 

Other colour technologies are equipped with the ability to repel water. These solutions offer optimum diffusion methods so the walls can breathe and will not fall prey to the spread of damp. Façade solutions with a nanoporous structure act as a secure membrane, preventing small dirt particles from penetrating the façade during inclement weather.

These colour technologies are available in almost every colour in the spectrum, meaning that practicality no longer outweighs a desired colour choice. With these advancements in mind, any colour can go the distance regardless of adverse weather conditions. Designed to ensure longevity and high-performance, these new colour technologies guarantee that any façade will retain its stunning beauty even in the rain and snow.

Find out more about Baumit EWI and Render Systems: Download our product catalogue


CASE STUDY: SEVEN COLORS, UKRAINE

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The layout of this residential complex was based on block development concept. Seven Colours is a different view of architecture and construction. It is often cloudy in Lviv, so the architects decided to add a bright not to the city’s skyline, making it the foundation of the concept. A façade always makes the first impression. The main features of this building are strict geometry, panoramic windows, attractive design, reliability, and performance.