The AltusGroup partnership of architectural and structural precast producers has become the exclusive U.S. and Canadian sourcepoint distributor of Graphic Concrete technology for imparting durable patterns and images onto precast surfaces such as facades, walls, spandrels and soundwalls.
|Graphic Concrete Ltd. offers a namesake process enabling durable patterns and images to be produced on precast concrete surfaces. The technology was invented in the 1990s by interior architect Samuli Naamanka, who envisioned an industrial product for large-scale surfaces and a tool with which architects could be more visually creative.
Graphic Concrete is a patented technology that has been used extensively in projects across Europe, the Nordics and Australia. It transfers custom or stock patterns as a surface retarder via membrane placed at the bottom of the form. Concrete is cast atop the membrane. After a panel or product is cured and extracted from the form, the retarder is washed away with a high-pressure washer, revealing an image that results from the contrast between the fair faced and the exposed aggregate surface. Selection of various aggregates and pigments can dramatically expand possibilities in the finished surface.
“[This technology] offers architects the versatility to deliver distinctive, intriguing and iconic imagery to precast concrete surfaces,” says Graphic Concrete Ltd. CEO Kimmo Knaapila. “Precast concrete has always been celebrated for its aesthetic versatility. Graphic Concrete allows architects to easily add a true sense of artistry and creativity to create surfaces that range from sublime to breathtaking. The Graphic Concrete membrane is environmentally friendly and the patterned concrete surface is very durable and virtually maintenance free.”
The agreement with Graphic Concrete builds on the AltusGroup’s expanding portfolio of precast innovations. Producer members will use the Graphic Concrete technology on CarbonCast Enclosure Systems, the group’s mainstay precast concrete high performance sandwich walls and architectural insulated cladding products, plus Arcis Rainscreen thin section panels and other precast elements that can take advantage of the image technology.
“Our nimble and driven group continues to embrace novel and innovative technologies that improve the performance and aesthetic beauty of precast concrete to the benefit of the building team,” observes AltusGroup Executive Director John Carson. “We expect a rapid adoption of the Graphic Concrete technology among our current members, which will expedite the availability of this proven surface treatment from Florida to British Columbia and everywhere in between as new precasters are expected to join the organization for the right to use Graphic Concrete.”
“Our goal is to enable architects and designers to turn their visions into reality,” adds Blair Davies, head of Graphic Concrete, North America. “Our products can be tailored and the outcome of each project is unique. We believe in building a better built environment through the use of Graphic Concrete.”