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Cardellicchio, L (2020) Self-cleaning and colour-preserving efficiency of photocatalytic concrete: case study of the Jubilee Church in Rome. Building Research & Information, 48(02), 160–79.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Photocatalytic concrete; titania particles; ageing pattern; self-cleaning façades; building geometry;
- ISBN/ISSN: 0961-3218
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/09613218.2019.1622405
The Jubilee Church in the south-eastern outskirts of Rome is one of the first buildings constructed with super white reinforced concrete with self-cleaning photocatalytic cement. However, 16 years after the opening of the building, the self-cleaning and colour-preserving properties arising from the titania particles (TiO2) within the concrete mix are not meeting the design requirements and the concrete is showing premature evidence of decay. While the form of the decay is affecting the appearance of the building and not its structural soundness, the ageing pattern of the building's components is resulting in a high maintenance cost, one not easily affordable within the ordinary budget supported by a small parish. This study comprises the first comprehensive step in understanding the causes of the accelerated ageing pattern of the concrete, highlighting methods to improve the long-term durability of the concrete and therefore reduce the cost of its maintenance. Moreover, this research offered the opportunity to test the durability and the effectiveness of the TiO2 in the real conditions on an actual building featuring non-standard geometries. The findings highlight how the ageing pattern directly connects with the geometry of the building and inadequate consideration of the local weathering at the design stage.