Terracotta Warriors of the Sustainable Green Built Environment

By LOPO China 

Terracotta Warriors of the Sustainable Green Built Environment

By LOPO China
November 2021

The pursuit for greener and more sustainable buildings has developed impressive innovations in building materials. Yet, the adage old is gold still rings true for some building materials and terracotta sits high on that list. The ancient building material, that translates from Latin as “baked earth” has long outlasted empires that built them, from the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and Chinese.

With such an impressive track record, terracotta building materials such as tiles, cladding, pavers and façade systems made by companies such as LOPO International Limited should not be overlooked by architects and developers as an essential element of building design.

Terracotta is made from high grade weathered or aged clay mixed with sand and fired at high temperatures to a hardiness and compactness not achievable with bricks. As a 100% natural and recyclable material, it helps contribute to a lower embodied carbon footprint for buildings. In the hot climates of Southeast Asia, the low-thermal diffusivity of the material further helps shield and cools indoor areas from the punishing tropical sun.

If the word terracotta invokes ideas of “old school and quaint” building designs, fret not. Modern technology and continuous design innovations have made it possible to infuse beautiful new designs and ease of use. “Most of our products are customized by architects based on each specific project. We worked closely with architects to develop and manufacture their desired architectural terracotta products,” says Mr. Kevin Yang, Sales Director of LOPO.

The fact that terracotta can be molded into three dimensional geometric shapes, not just flat, is something that more architects should explore in close partnership with manufacturers to achieve unique designs and functionalities. “Architects are our muse who inspire us to continue to innovate and explore the unknown. LOPO China have been worked with many famous architect firms like PES-Architects, Foster + Partners, DOMANI etc. and complete many amazig projects” he adds. 

The benefits of this age-old material extend beyond design considerations and well into the maintenance during its lifecycle. The UV resistant properties of terracotta means that your building’s façade color will not fade for decades. The glazing process also makes this unique material water highly resistant to water penetration. When implemented with the rainscreen principle it is not impossible for terracotta facades to last 50 -100 years with little maintenance. All outstanding properties that should be taken into consideration as part of the building material’s entire lifecycle.

The ongoing conversations about recycling buildings are important ones. Terracotta is an easily recyclable building materials.  For example, old tiles and facades can be easily ground down and repurposed for road constructions with little additional manufacturing input.

LOPO’s architectural terracotta products are made across its three factories in China, all manufactured to ISO 9001 and EU/ASTM standards. Their extensive product catalogue has been used in various leading architectural projects and was even featured in The Hamburg House at the Expo 2010 Shanghai, featuring the theme "Sustainable Urban Development and Ecological Climate-friendly Construction." Having exhibited at the digital BEX Asia 2021, the company continues to expand its projects footprint in Southeast Asia where its products have been used in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia etc.

Eager to find out more about how you can realize your next project’s design ideas with architectural terracotta? Then reach out to LOPO China at www.lopochina.com or mail to sales@lopochina.com

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