Cleaning up Europe's largest wooden structure in preparation for its 50th anniversary required an efficient method that could effectively clean a massive structure in a short period of time without causing any damage.
In the forests of Vlodrop, Netherlands is a 9,000 square foot wooden structure built without a single nail. The building is the European headquarters of Transcendental Meditaton. It is also used as a seminar center by the Maharishi European Research University (MERU). For Maharishi’s Vedic architectural principals, building a home is more than assembling four walls: it is about structuring a building in such a way that it is in perfect harmony with its environment in accordance with natural laws.
In preparation for the 50th anniversary celebration of the building, MERU wanted to refurbish the building’s East façade.
MERU needed a cleaning solution that could meet the following goals:
- A process that was able to tackle the immense size of the building
- A fast solution that could meet a strict deadline
- A cleaning medium that could effectively clean mold, moss and dirt from the wood without damaging the structures or surrounding gardens and vegetation
The Solution: Dry Ice Blasting
“This was a challenging project given the massiveness of the façade, the impact of the humid forest conditions on the building’s untreated exterior and the tight timeline. After receiving approval for the project, we had four weeks to get the work done."
- Georg Schulz, HS Dryice Blasting
After considering multiple cleaning options, including sand blasting, water blasting and polishing, MERU decided that dry ice blasting met all their needs.
Dry ice blasting uses recycled CO2 in the form of solid dry ice particles that are transported by high-velocity airflow to remove contaminants from surfaces. The dry ice particles sublimate on impact, transitioning from a solid to a gas, leaving no secondary waste behind.
Dry ice blasting was ideal for cleaning a wooden structure due to its' unique benefits, including:
- It is non-abrasive and will not damage the wood surface
- Non-flammable and water-free
- No secondary waste
- Environmentally responsible, safe and non-toxic
“We selected dry ice blasting because unlike sand and water, dry ice blasting does not generate any secondary waste that could potentially contaminate the garden in the front of the building,”
- Georg Schulz
1) Environmentally responsible and in accordance with philosophy
Dry ice blasting is an environmentally responsible cleaning solution that does not use harmful chemicals or produce any secondary waste, making it the perfect method for a philosophy built around harmony with nature.
2) Dry ice blasting perfectly handled the building's large size
Dry ice blasting systems easily removed the mold, moss and dirt from the building's massive façade. The method can be easily tailored to meet almost any need, from the most intricate details to more immense structures.
3) Wooden structures cleaned effectively without damage
The dry ice particles cleaned without any by-product and eliminated the added costs and environmental impact of secondary waste treatment and disposal.
On top of that, contaminants were removed without damaging the wood, providing a prepared surface for a wood preservative and three layers of paint applied after the cleaning process.
4) Project deadline met
With dry ice blasting, MERU easily had the building cleaned and painted in its tight four week deadline. The refurbished building was ready for the spotlight of the 50th anniversary celebration.
“MERU was extremely satisfied with the results, and the building looked great for the celebration.”
- Georg Schulz