BAU 2015 is a 180,000 m² showcase of materials, technologies and systems – an area the size of 25 football pitches filled with state-of-the-art technology in the international building and construction industry. In a five-part series, we look at the main focuses in the individual sections at the show. In Part 5, the spotlight is on flooring, stone/cast stone and steel.
Flooring (Halls A5, A6)
Visitors to BAU can look forward to a broad spectrum of new products in elastic and textile flooring, in parquet and laminates – plus extensive information on moldings and profiles, applications and laying techniques. Sustainability and individual design options are ever more noticeable in the portfolios of the manufacturers. “Consumers value a healthy environment in the places they live and work, fitted with products from sustainable manufacturing,” explained Ivo Schintz, Chairman of FEB – Fachverband der Hersteller elastischer Bodenbeläge e.V., a trade association of manufacturers of elastic flooring. “And the FEB members are catering to this with their products, in terms of quality, safety and design for modern living and enhanced wellbeing.” An example of this is the increasing popularity of plasticizers based on renewable raw materials. In commercial and residential construction design flooring is a growing trend. Decors with a photo-realistic design are a popular choice, as are sophisticated surface structures with an interesting look and feel. In terms of wood, oak decor is offered in all kinds of variations, but a limed finish is also still in demand. In general the trend is for more color, more structure and more decor!
Stone / Cast stone (Hall A4)
As the oldest building material in the world, stone is by virtue of the way it was created, both sustainable and free of pollutants. At the same time it fits in very well with modern requirements in terms of aesthetics and quality, durability and cost-effectiveness. Each type of stone is unique: the rich variety of colors and the diversity of surface finishes that are available mean this material is predestined for both indoor and outdoor applications, as flooring or on facades. In garden and landscape design light-colored stone, from granite to limestone, is in demand, in shades of gray and yellow. In interiors classical white (marble) or black (gabbro, slate) stone is on trend. Structured surfaces (sandblasted, with or without brushing) are especially popular. A new development are relief-like structures produced by milling or high-pressure water jets.
The current trend in facades is for light-colored limestone or sandstone in shades of white, beige or gray. And this is being used in innovative ways, one example being the three-dimensional effect created on the facade of the E-Science-Lab in Zurich, designed by Baumschlager Eberle. This building is clad in a fine projecting structure of horizontal balconies and vertical travertine panels; as a result, the building looks different when viewed from different angles. This project won a Deutscher Naturstein-Preis (German Natural Stone Award) in 2013. The association that awards this prize every two years (Deutscher Naturwerkstein-Verband) will again be putting on a joint presentation at BAU in 2015, along with its member companies.
Steel / Stainless steel (Hall B2)
The key role that steel and stainless steel plays in building construction is amply reflected in the diversity of different types of steel and steel products that are available. The applications for these materials range from urban infrastructure and bridges, earthquake- and flood-protection, high-rises and intelligent facades to lightweight construction in steel, industrial, commercial and residential building and the design of urban spaces. In Hall B2 at BAU planners, architects, engineers and the processing trades can update their knowledge and find out about new developments; this display is also a valuable source of information for building clients and young entrants to the building profession.
At a large 400 m2 joint stand (B2/318) bauforumstahl and its member companies will be showcasing steel solutions and products, including fire protection and corrosion protection through galvanizing, all under the motto of “Efficiency 4.0: Designing the future with steel”. Visitors to this display will find the full spectrum of products and services that is available for building with steel, from steel manufacturers, building firms, wholesale suppliers etc. As in previous years topical themes in the construction industry will be explored in a Lecture Campus. This Lecture Campus is being organized in cooperation with the Bayerische Architektenkammer, the Bayerische Ingenieurekammer-Bau, the universities of Munich, the Institut Bauen und Umwelt (IBU), the association of German engineers (VDI), and others. The range of themes extends from current examples of architecture in steel, green buildings, practical advice for building with steel and the challenges presented by the new norms, to BIM, future trends and training and careers in the industry. (More information on the presentation by the steel industry at BAU 2015 will follow in BAU Press Release no. 15).