Trespa, Copper, or Trimo?

The three materials that we further researched for our project were selected from each of the survey categories.  Our choices for this particular phase were a Trespa rainscreen from the ICON Solar House, Copper panels from the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, and a panel system by Trimo.  Our evaluation criteria were based on those set forth by the project rubric which consisted of practicability, economy, sustainability, and innovation.

The Trespa rainscreen system is sourced from the ICON Solar House which we deemed would be an appropriate material despite its temporary nature within the context of the project.  The benefits of this material are its functionality as a skin which could reduce air condition costs and increase the comfort of the building’s inhabitants.  One issue with this particular material was its high cost compared to similar high-density laminates.

Our second material that was researched further was the copper panels which form the façade of another university’s nanotechnology building.  The advantages of copper are its durability, recyclability, and appropriateness based on its use as cladding in other nearby buildings such as Rapson Hall.  Its cost, however, was a great concern considering the costs associated with cladding a large building in copper.

The last material we researched and ultimately picked for our final design were a panel system by Trimo.  These particular panels had insulation built into the panels and could be attached to buildings quickly and efficiently to offset the high cost of the materials.  The insulation properties of the Trimo panels affected our final decision greatly because of the cold Minnesota climate were deemed more practical than the functions of a Trespa rainscreen.


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