Article Interview with Ted Panton of GGLO

Article Interview with Ted Panton of GGLO

​​​​​​​Ceraclad: A Cost-Effective and Compelling Product for Architects


Ted Panton

A strong advocate of design solutions centered on livability and urbanism; Ted understands that the ultimate measure of success of any project is how it connects people. His approach to planning vertical, mixed-use programs in urban settings seeks to balance the feasibility, entitlement, and place making attributes embedded in every site. Ted has championed the use of wood technology for its tectonic and carbon-positive benefits. His mass timber projects have been presented in workshops and conferences across the U.S, including the 2017, 2018 and 2023 International Mass Timber Conferences.

An interview with Ted, an architect who visited the CERACLAD factory and R&D center in Japan.


Ted is a Principal and Architect with the firm, GGLO, in Seattle Washington. He specializes in designing residential and commercial buildings with sustainable and innovative materials. Last year, he had the opportunity to visit the CERACLAD factory and R&D center in Japan, where he learned about our state-of-the-art production process, design options, and the history of the CERACLAD product. CERACLAD is a fiber cement siding system that offers performance, durability, and broad aesthetic choices for various architectural projects. Ted shared his impressions and insights about CERACLAD with us in this interview.


Q: Thank you for joining the CERACLAD Factory Tour last year. What impressed you the most about the CERACLAD factory and R&D center?

A: The factory tour proved to be engaging and informative. Seeing the transformation of materials from a liquid state to a solid board was enlightening, providing a comprehensive view of the entire production line. What stood out were the large-scale mockups showcased at the factory – a valuable experience for architects to observe how textures come across at full scale. Exploring the contrasts between the Japanese and American markets added an interesting dimension to the tour.

The triple-coated process, although remarkable, revealed a gap in awareness among many of our clients. In Japan, the emphasis on longevity and durability is evident, whereas in the U.S., some development group with a shorter-term focus, may be unaware of these noteworthy product features.

The Nara R&D center left a lasting impression, offering a unique opportunity to provide feedback, gain insights, and delve into the historical aspects of Ceraclad. The advanced technologies showcased were nothing short of impressive. For the group, being newcomers to Japan, the experience was not only educational but also deeply enriching, as we marveled at the unique culture and the warm hospitality we received.


Q: What are your thoughts on the CERACLAD Custom Running Bond as a design option?

A: We saw a mockup of this product at the R&D center. For architects and designers, it’s always nice to have options. There is a time and place for everything. From my perspective, running bond creates a dynamic and elegant geometry for a facade. The new technology for the gasket joiner is what we are most excited about. It allows for a seamless and waterproof installation. As this product becomes available in our market we would love to try out the CERACLAD Custom Running Bond in our project work.


Q: What was the highlight of your Japanese architecture tour?

A: The architecture tours were amazing. We visited several sites that demonstrated the sophistication and diversity of Japanese architecture. It’s worth noting the build quality and level of finish of the built environment are impressive throughout Japan, something any architect would appreciate.

The cottage village was informative, it provided an interesting take on how prolific Ceraclad is in Japan. It was nice to see how the product is utilized in a domestic setting.  In the future I would recommend touring commercial installations as well, as I think seeing larger scale applications would be valuable.

The manufactured housing tour in Tokyo was enlightening as well, offering a unique perspective on the residential market in Japan. The adoption of off-site construction methods, such as modularization and componentization, is far beyond what we typically see in the US, and the level of quality is impressive.  The local vendors were knowledgeable and provided valuable insights into the delivery of residential product in Japan. 


Q: CERACLAD has about 45% of the market share in the fiber cement industry in Japan. What do you think about that?

A: Impressive! While CERACLAD is considered a semi-premium product in the States, its great to hear its popularity is even greater in Japan, underscoring the product's quality and reputation.  We look forward to the opportunity to advance its use here in the US.


Q: Why do you keep using CERACLAD? We are honored and grateful for your loyalty and trust.

A: CERACLAD is a unique product that has substantial design attributes at a reasonable cost.   The system overall exhibits robust, tectonic qualities that we as designers appreciate. Perhaps most importantly, the products’ affordability allows us to explore their use as a primary material in a project setting.  Contractors we work with are very comfortable with this product, which also inspires confidence. 

As I mentioned, the substantial thickness (16 mm) contributes to a sense of durability and quality.   While there are a variety of finishes available, I’m particularly drawn to Modern Stripe, which in many ways resembles terracotta or other similar ceramic products. The balance between price point and quality further enhances its appeal.

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