Butong: Walls of life
By Emma Rodin | Photos: Butong
Born from the curiosity to explore what’s possible, Butong is on a mission to change built environments. Concrete panels of a patented material with the same name have placed Butong as industry leaders, and role models too. Offering vertical gardens with a strong emphasis on sustainability, this business is showing the world what growing architecture looks like – literally.
The material, also called Butong, is made by pressing a cast substance between two sheets of bubble wrap, creating two mesh-structured panels. It’s light, versatile and cost effective. “Our method saves up to 80 per cent of the raw material by replacing it with air. We end up with a CO2-optimised façade product that can be used with or without plants,” explains Lars Höglund, CEO at Butong.
The concrete panels can be formed and coloured to fit a specific design and come with little need for maintenance. No wonder they’ve become highly sought-after among property owners, both in Sweden and internationally.
It’s not all about maintenance though. What makes Butong special is the environmental focus and impact of both brand and product. Höglund and his colleagues strive to keep their global footprint at a minimum, being responsible in every part of the process. Butong as a material has the power to help reduce rising temperatures in cities, improve air quality, reduce noise and even support biological diversity.
Reflecting on the brand’s booming popularity, Höglund has a theory. “I think the increased interest goes hand in hand with cities growing bigger and becoming more crowded. To have organic life in our cities, we need to think vertically instead of horizontally, and that’s where we come in.” This is all part of a bigger brand vision, where vertical parks and walls of entire neighbourhoods are bursting with life.
To find bespoke solutions for each client, Butong works closely with architects. This is a win-win partnership where a client receives a product tailored for their needs, while architects get a chance to be expressive and wear their creative hats. Passion goes into every single project and the results speak for themselves.
Facing the challenges of the future, Butong inspires creative solutions that go way further than the borders of their industry. They believe that the sterile walls of today will vanish to be replaced by the living, breathing cities of tomorrow – and we’re all invited along on the journey.
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