- story by ENCI
BIODYNAMIC is a highly flowable mortar grout used for manufacturing non-structural architectural elements of complex geometry and thin section.
BIODYNAMIC was used to create the entire outer surface of Palazzo Italia, designed by Nemesi & Partners, which was the iconic location at EXPO 2015 in Milan. More than 750 individual BIODYNAMIC cement panels were installed, one by one, on the external wall. Some of them were up to 80% hollow.
The BIODYNAMIC product name is a summary of its innovative characteristics: the “bio” component comes from the product’s photocatalytic properties, originating from the active ingredient TXActive. This gives the product self-cleaning and de-polluting properties. In direct sunlight, the active principle contained in the material “captures” certain pollutants present in the air and converts them into inert salts, helping to purify the atmosphere from smog. Additionally, the mortar is made from 80% recycled aggregates, part of which consist of scraps taken from the cutting of Carrara marble. This creates a superior brilliance compared with traditional white cements.
The “dynamic” component of the name is a specific characteristic of the new material, whose particular fluidity allows complex shapes to be created, such as those found in the Palazzo Italia panels. With its high workability, BIODYNAMIC is able to penetrate into the framework and form the final design of the panel, thereby ensuring an extraordinary surface quality. And thanks to its low viscosity, the product is easy to use and saves energy. The new material has also outstandingly strong resistance compared with classic mortars. In fact, it is twice as resistant to compression and twice as resistant to flexion.
Another product feature is its durability: the levels of water absorption in prefabricated elements made with BIODYNAMIC are extremely low. This is the result of its compact matrix and low porosity. Surfaces made using BIODYNAMIC also demonstrate significant resistance to the weather (storms, freeze and thaw cycles, etc.).
BIODYNAMIC is easy to use: items of high aesthetic value can be made by just adding water. It can be used for various architectural solutions, with just one production stage required and without any post-processes.
Different colours can also be created by adding inorganic dyes and/or fine coloured aggregates.
Photos: Alessandra Chemollo / Daniel Libeskind / Mario and Pietro Carrieri