Knauf’s thirst for using less water
Of the core issues surrounding the plastering sector of the construction industry, an area where Knauf saw they could make an immediate impact is water usage. As one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of building materials, and plasterboard being where Knauf Group’s UK ventures began, Knauf has been working hard to address the water usage issue on site.
Taking active and positive steps to conserve resources, and working to reduce waste at all levels of the business is at the forefront of Knauf product development. Knauf Airless Ready-mixed Finishes exemplify this approach as it is a highly efficient spray-applied alternative to traditional plaster for finishing walls and ceilings.
Traditional plaster requires large quantities of water to mix with it before being applied – roughly 0.5 litre of water for every kilo of powder. Knauf Airless Ready-mixed Finish is made up of just 28% water, with just 4.2 litres of water used in the manufacturing process to make 25kg of product.
Based on a 15,000m2 project, Knauf Airless Ready-mixed Finish uses 6,628 litres of water, whereas traditional plaster requires 18,975 litres of water: a total saving of over 12,000 litres of water. This equals a saving of over 1 litre of water for every m2 – around 65% less water. Taking 25kg of product, traditional plaster only covers around 10m2 whereas Knauf Airless covers up to 22m2 at 1mm.
Furthermore, water supply is greatly reduced for the application of Knauf Airless Ready-mixed Finishes unlike its traditional forebear. For high rise buildings, you often need a water standing point every 2-3 floors. All of this leads to better building moisture control, which is beneficial for the contractors, the workers and the developers.
Knauf’s product development team didn’t stop there when trying to improve the sustainability of plastering options as all Knauf Airless Ready-mixed Finishes’ packaging is 100% recyclable. Furthermore, as the products are pre-mixed, it means fewer products needed in total, meaning less packaging used and less dust pollution.
Knauf UK continues to move towards a more sustainable future beyond that of enforced Government standards. This is primarily through the project of producing externally verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for each of their products.
These rigorous evaluation documents provide transparent and honest calculations for customers. Preparing them requires an in-depth analysis of the production process examining both the sustainability of the product itself and its wider environmental impact.
To learn more about Airless and to see it in action please watch the Knauf Airless Finishes Event Video.