Project Description

The National University in Bogota is the largest and one of the most important higher education institutions in Colombia. For this reason a past graduates, now a successful businessman Luis Carlos Sarmiento, decided to make a donation to improve the educational facilities further. The result is one of the most modern and advanced buildings in Colombia.

The architect chosen to design this ‘state of the art’ facility was Camilo Avellaneda. The main building covers an area of 8 607 square meters, inside there are specialized classrooms, auditoriums and one of the most important science libraries in Colombia, with close to 80 000 books and access to 49 000 magazines.

The building is designed to be used by approximately 10 000 students and
1 000 teachers, with energy efficiency another primary objective.. Each zone was carefully planned with the objective of using natural ventilation to avoid any requirement for mechanical air handling systems. In addition to its sustainable design, the building has a high standard of internationally renowned architectural finishes throughout, including: Façade panels from Belgium, Danish furniture, Swedish flooring and the roof was specially produced in Germany.

Project Requirements

The architect decided to use a white Glass façade cladding panel system from Belgium; which is an autoclaved, compressed, fibre cement panel with special characteristics that make it extremely durable in aggressive environments, with excellent UV and ageing resistance. The Glass panels were imported by Colombit, an Etex Group Company. Glass panels can be installed with mechanical systems or structural bonding systems, both have to fulfil highly demanding mechanical strength requirements.

During evaluation of the most appropriate installation system for this project, the advantages of the Sika structural bonding solution versus mechanical systems became clear and included:

  1. Uniform tension over the whole façade.
  2. Stress caused by thermal movement, wind loading and other external loads are all effectively dampened by the Sika elastic bonding system.
  3. Clean and economic installation.
  4. Fast-Track construction.
  5. Highly aesthetic, easy to clean and maintain surfaces, free of unsightly fixings and irregularities.

In addition to providing this safe and durable installation system, the joints were efficiently sealed and made watertight with a high quality Sikaflex joint sealing system that would also ensure weatherproofing with high resistance to UV and ageing.

Sika Solutions

  1. The Glass panel is initially positioned on the facade surface.
  2. Each panel was 3.05 m x 1.22 m therefore requiring adhesive strips to be used at 37.5 cm centres.
  3. After marking the position of the adhesive strips, the Glass panels and the facade are primed with Sika® Primer-206 G+P, the primer is applied approximately 2 cm wide every 37.5 cm.
  4. Sikalastomer® 95OR tape is applied over the primer, this tape helps to hold the panel and control the structural adhesive thickness during its curing process.
  5. The structural adhesive Sikaflex®-252 is applied in a defined profile either side of the tape.
  6. The Glass panel is positioned and placed over the adhesive.
  7. During the installation, small wedges are used to ensure the correct dimensions of the structural adhesive and the joints between the panels.
  8. After the panels are installed and the adhesive has cured, the joints are sealed with the high quality joint sealant, Sikaflex® AT-Façade.

Sika Products

In addition the following Sika products were used in the project

  • Sika® Primer-206 G+P
  • Sikalastomer® 95OR
  • Sikaflex®-252
  • Sikaflex® AT-Façade

More information about Sika products in the Colombian market

Project Participants

Architect: Camilo Avellaneda
Main Contractor: Construcciones Planificadas
Specialist Cladding Contractor: ECA Lda