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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Energy-generating concrete facades

Heliatek concrete facade

LafargeHolcim and Heliatek create prefabricated cladding solution with integrated solar energy system

LafargeHolcim and their partners Heliatek have developed a unique photovoltaic energy-generating concrete facade that is said to have the capability to double the energy generation traditionally achieved by roof-based solar systems.

LafargeHolcim and Heliatek have closely collaborated over the last two years to create a cladding solution combining Ductal concrete and HeliaFilm – Heliatek’s flexible and ultra-light solar film. With this new solution, prefabricated Ductal panels are delivered to site complete with an integrated solar energy-generation system.

The cladding boosts a building’s ability to generate energy independently and offers a reliable, decentralized and decarbonized energy supply. It is said that a 10-storey commercial building with 60% of its facade covered with the Ductal/HeliaFilm cladding system could generate approximately 30% of its annual energy requirement.

Gérard Kuperfarb (pictured), group head of growth and innovation at LafargeHolcim, said: ‘LafargeHolcim seek to offer sustainable, high-performance construction solutions that improve energy efficiency for buildings.

‘With this Ductal/HeliaFilm solution, building owners and developers as well as architects and engineers will be able to mitigate the energy costs of a building while enjoying the many benefits of a very light, low-maintenance and long-lasting cladding solution.’

With 30–40% of global energy consumption used for the heating and cooling of buildings, insulation regulations are being strengthened all over the world. Decentralized energy generation in buildings is one of the critical levers to mitigate the impact of buildings on climate change, reduce operating expenses for owners, and optimize the use of national power grids.

Heliatek, one of the technology leaders in the field of organic electronics, have developed a range of thin, ultra-light (1kg/sq metre) and highly aesthetic solar films. With a CO2 life-cycle impact close to five times less than traditional crystalline photovoltaics, HeliaFilm is said to be the ‘greenest’ photovoltaics solution in the world.

‘Co-operation like the one we have with LafargeHolcim is at the core of our strategy. Our HeliaFilm is the active element that transforms building cladding into a power station. This is the path to green, localized electricity,’ said Thibaud Le Séguillon, chief executive officer of Heliatek GmbH.

Earlier this month, a prototype of the new photovoltaic facade system was presented at the Batimat construction fair, in Paris, and a pilot project is planned in 2018.

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Submitted by Frank Flannery (not verified) on

good idea

Submitted by Xavier Valladares (not verified) on

Can you share more detailed and technical information including peak power output, efficiency, nominal efficiency, thickness of the cladding system, etc? How does it compare with other cladding photovoltaic systems including thin films or laminated glass pvs? Thanks, XV

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