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Computer-Generated Surface Textures

Durable, Seamless Three-Dimensional Gypsum Wall Systems with Handmade Finishes

April 2012
Sponsored by Armourcoat Surface Finishes Inc.

By Celeste Allen Novak, AIA, LEED AP

Continuing Education

Use the following learning objectives to focus your study while reading this month’s Continuing Education article.

Learning Objectives - After reading this article, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss decorative computer-generated three-dimensional gypsum wallboard surfaces that are durable, contain recycled content and have a handmade finish.
  2. Specify correct substrates to enhance performance and maintenance of three-dimensional sculptural gypsum wallboards.
  3. Discuss decorative low-VOC finishes that meet Green Seal criteria for all pigment variables.
  4. Select a decorative wall surface that reduces labor, product waste and meets green building rating performance values.

Credits: 1.00 HSW

This course was approved by the GBCI for 1 GBCI CE hour(s) for LEED Credential Maintenance.

This test is no longer available for credit

In the United States and around the world, a growing design movement is incorporating new computer technology to generate new forms and textures. A progressive group of architects are discovering that mass production can be harnessed to provide affordable, customized and unique design statements for their projects. Three-dimensional gypsum sculptural panels are among a growing new collection of materials that are using a combination of computer aided production techniques with hand — finish craftsmanship.

Three-dimensional wall panels provide firms with a commercial product that can allow professionals to provide unique textural surfaces within a typical design budget and schedule for high-end interiors. They can be finished with textures and flowing patterns that suggest organic and complex textures and patterns. Gypsum three-dimensional sculptural wall panels can also be custom designed and the professional can develop unique patterns that can be applied to projects throughout the world. These panels have environmental benefits that include recycled content, the reduction of waste and increase in efficiency for labor and installation.

According to Daniel Nevitt, chief marketing officer of Armourcoat, “The seamless alternative to pre-cast panels would be a thick layer of plaster applied directly to the wall and sculpted by hand, but this approach is extremely expensive, labor and time intensive. More importantly, the designer has a limited ability to expressly design the wall finish —as this is a creative technique in the hands of the artist.” Recent alternatives to hand plastering techniques include computer generated and routed medium density fiberboard panels which are small in scale and have a low relief; or gypsum wallboards that are directly applied to walls for smaller scale repeating patterns. However, the latest trend includes large-scale three-dimensional gypsum seamless sculptural wall finishes, many without obvious repeats. These panels are constructed from a series of pre-cast panels bonded to a substrate that can create large seamless wall surfaces. They are specified either by selecting a range of pre-manufactured custom patterns and finishes or designed by the professional as a unique pattern. Certified installers are trained to finish these surfaces in handcrafted techniques.

The long, seamless three-dimensional seamless gypsum panel was created using advanced computer technology. The result is a unique flowing background at the Gourmet Burger Restaurant in Spitalfields, London, England.

Photo courtesy Armourcoat


Originally published in April 2012
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