King Abdullah University of Science and Technology ... Terrart Large used.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology ... Terrart Large used.

Terrart adds new dimension to buildings

December 2017

Universal Building Materials Merchants Company (UBM), Saudi Arabia’s leading building materials specialist, is offering ceramic facades that have opened up a completely new dimension in design and are appreciated by architects all over the world.

Terrart is a suspended ventilated facade construction whose visible elements are exclusively made of terracotta. These façades have been developed by NBK, a Hunter Douglas company and a leading manufacturer of terracotta facades.

According to a spokesman for UBM, NBK’s facades offer outstanding building performance and numerous design possibilities.

“NBK’s self-developed facade solutions ensure that no water reaches the building envelope through the use of a back-ventilated system with pressure compensation. In addition, the natural stack effect ensures that the building is not only dry thus reducing maintenance, but also helps to save energy.”

The company’s advanced manufacturing processes produce large, extremely flat tiles, while the state-of-the-art drying and firing techniques employed ensure high accuracy in the production of units up to 180 cm long.

Highlighting its many features, the spokesman says NBK’s terracotta has the strongest compressive strength and break load in the industry. It is a low-maintenance material with an inert colour that will not fade with time and its low water absorption ensures dirt does not penetrate the tile and make it look dirty.  Furthermore, the tiles contain recycled content that may qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) credit. In addition, they do not use sealants and are graffiti resistant.

“The Terrart system can accommodate the finest custom-design details in shape, colour, texture and glaze for unique, tailored solutions – a new dimension for façade design with an urban tradition and modern appearance. The system, with its design versatility, sets new standards for custom architectural projects,” the spokesman says.

In terms of colours, the system is available in a spectrum of naturally fired hues, from white, sandy, yellow and taupe right up to shades of grey. There is also an immeasurable range of red tones spanning all the way up to brown and black tones. All Terrart terracotta elements have been produced with moulded-in colour and the single-firing method.

The textured finishes of Terrart are being increasingly exploited as a design feature in contemporary architecture with natural, ground or polished elements. “The range includes smooth surfaces, which bring out the material’s fine granularity, and numerous surfaces with distinct effects,” says the UBM spokesman.

“However, the beauty of natural ceramics lies in more than just its colour. Specific techniques produce surfaces with a unique character, enabling the creation of impressive facades. Whether the surface is combed, stripped, sanded or machined in any other way, the end result is visually unique,” he adds.

The Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter is a striking example of the application of Terrart in Saudi Arabia. “Its façades boast a uniform, natural texture and a vibrancy of colour that captivates with its detail-rich form. Terrart Large elements and Terrart Custom variants with different profiles and cuts, some in a Baguette design, lend the building a sense of lightness, with their interplay bringing it to life,” the spokesman explains.

Terrart Large was also used for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.

Hunter Douglas is a leading global manufacturer of window coverings, architectural products and facade solutions. Its architectural range includes sun-control solutions, suspended ceilings, and ventilated façade systems. The company offers an unparalleled breadth of solutions and expertise to manage heat and light inside and outside walls with windows, as part of sun control mechanisms.

Founded in 1979, UBM is today one of Saudi Arabia’s leading players, offering quality building materials including doors, door hardware and plumbing solutions to satisfy its clients’ entire  project requirements. The company has branches throughout Saudi Arabia and supplies a wide range of specialised building materials from stock as well as from direct imports for any specific requirement.

The Architectural Division of UBM was formed in October 2015 to serve the growing demand for top quality products from Hunter Douglas. By promoting reputed architectural brands that synergise with its existing line of business, UBM has seized the opportunity to further consolidate its position as a comprehensive “concept to delivery and beyond” service brand.  

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