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Bavaria S.A. Corporate Headquarters, Bogotá, Colombia

Contexto Urbano designed Bavaria S.A.'s corporate headquarters with a building form to respond to solar radiation.

Contexto Urbano designed Bavaria S.A.'s corporate headquarters with a building form to respond to solar radiation. The 271,000-square-foot, seven-story, $40 million building, completed in July 2013, uses air- and building-cleaning technology and is clad in Alcoa Architectural Products' Reynobond aluminum composite material (ACM) finished with EcoClean coating. A central void is used as a thermosyphon to increase the air convection system and bring natural light to all spaces. Balconies control the sun's rays and are a primary system of natural ventilation.

Ventanar of Bogotá fabricated and installed approximately 52,000 square feet of Alcoa's 4-mm Reynobond ACM with a PE core in Pewter and Silver Metallic Colorweld 500 finishes and EcoClean coating. The Reynobond with EcoClean panels were installed with a dry joint rainscreen system to avoid the dust that remains when using a silicon joint system.

Ivan Bolaños, Contexto Urbano, says his firm considered a number of materials for the façade including marble, concrete and granite, but ultimately selected metal to establish the modern and strong brand image necessary for the 100-year-old company. "We used horizontal shapes and lines defined by color to frame the building and give it an image of solidity," he says.

The project is registered for LEED Gold certification, and the design and operation of the building is focused on minimal environmental impact, emission of greenhouse gases, consumption of resources and loss of biodiversity.

The titanium dioxide in EcoClean coating interacts with organic compounds on the surface and the air, oxidizing and breaking them down into carbon dioxide and water molecules that wash away with a small amount of moisture in the air. The result is a building façade that helps to clean the air while protecting the building envelope.

Air pollution from dust, soot and smoke from diesel vehicles is an ongoing issue in Bogotá, the second largest city in South America, where more than 1.5 million cars and 100,000 public service vehicles use diesel fuel.

Bavaria S.A.'s request for a sustainably designed structure led Contexto Urbano and SELCO, Alcoa's representative in Colombia, to conduct a test of EcoClean's capabilities.

Sergio Echeverri Lopez, SELCO, says EcoClean technology had just been introduced and no major installations had been completed at the time. A mockup of approximately 430 square feet of Reynobond ACM with the EcoClean coating was installed in downtown Bogotá, with photographs and notes taken every two weeks for eight months charting the appearance of the material.

"The material performed beautifully," Lopez says. "The client was thrilled and assured that the building will retain its pristine appearance throughout its lifespan without expensive cleaning costs."

Carlos A. Novoa, president of Ventanar, says Reynobond with EcoClean provided all the benefits of Reynobond ACM and was just as easy to work with. "The Bavaria S.A. building has maintained its bright look in the months since it was completed; even with new construction going on nearby, the effects of dirt and sand on the panels are minimal," he says. "In fact, it looks better than any other aluminum composite panel façade here in Colombia."

Amenities in the seven-story structure, located in the Atabanza neighborhood of Bogotá, include a roof terrace, 150 square feet of space per employee, a modern lobby, auditorium, company museum, cafeteria, pub, meeting rooms, gym and space to park 380 vehicles, 40 motorcycles and 36 bicycles. Sustainable characteristics focus on the conservation, saving and reuse of water, alternative energy, indoor environment quality, sustainable development of open spaces and material selections.

Architect: Contexto Urbano, Bogotá

Fabricator/installer: Ventanar, Bogotá

Distributor: SELCO, La Estrella, Columbia

Metal wall panels: Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, Ga.,