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Get inspired by copper architecture

Copper is one of man’s oldest building materials. While still a highly durable roofing material, today’s architectural copper products offer much more, as Aurubis Finland’s Nordic Surfaces range and new solar energy application show.

Aurubis Finland produces a comprehensive portfolio of copper castings and rolled copper for the electrical, electronics, and construction industries, as well as other applications where high electric and thermal conductivity are needed. Over 90% of the company’s output is exported.

Copper products from Aurubis open up a range of exciting opportunities for architects, all the way from external cladding that wraps complex structural forms in a continuous, integral skin to individual facade or roofing elements that lend a distinctive character all their own when used in conjunction with other high-quality materials.

Aurubis works closely with architects in developing tailored surfaces and other techniques and believes that early involvement in the design process can be very beneficial. Examples of areas where Aurubis has explored new ideas with architects and designers include textured surfaces, profiled sheets, and perforated and expanded sheets and woven mesh. The company has also extended installation techniques beyond traditional standing seam methods to panels, cassettes, slats, and louvers.

Impressive visuals, and solar power too

Aurubis Finland supplied close to two hectares of copper sheeting for the new WTC Doha Tower in Qatar, designed by MZ & Partners.
As part of its efforts to continually extend copper’s potential in construction, Aurubis has developed a number of factoryapplied treatments that give its products a variety of pre-oxidised and pre-patinated surfaces – without taking away the integrity of the underlying copper as a natural, living material. The carefully controlled processes it uses to do this mimic those that take place naturally over time and utilise copper mineral compounds, rather than chemicals. Variable intensities of pre-patination are available in addition to solid patina colours, including patina flecks revealing the dark oxidised background material – all featuring properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas.

Aurubis’ Nordic Surfaces range includes a rich palette of colours and surface textures, including green, blue, bronze, and brown. As all these surfaces form an integral part of the copper and are not coatings or paint, the visual effect they offer continues to develop over time, depending on the local environment, ranging from quite rapid to minimal.

Some examples of recent buildings to benefit from Aurubis Finland’s input – in the design process and through its products – include the Sven Harry Karlsson Museum in Stockholm, the Helsinki Music Centre, and the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Aurubis Finland recently took its prepatinated range even further with the launch of the Nordic Solar system, which integrates solar thermal collectors into the façade of a building. The semi-selective surfaces of the company’s copper sheeting collect solar energy and transfer it via fluid-filled piping behind the façade to heat exchangers. Invisible from the outside, the system is ideal for supplementing roof-mounted solar panels or use as a stand-alone system.

> Petri Konttinen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)