Photos by Messe Dusseldorf.
Building designers are demanding more from curtain-wall and façade products, said glasstec 2012 presenter Thomas Rampp, principal architect with Lang Hugger Rampp GmbH, München, Germany. Not only do they want facades to make a statement aesthetically, they want them to provide the highest performance possible.
As part of a presentation on the façade’s role as an integral element in energy-efficient building design, Rampp said that designers are looking to advancements in glass and high-performance façade products to achieve performance goals.
And European glaziers and suppliers are listening. At glasstec 2012, companies introduced curtain-wall technologies ranging from double-wall systems; to integrated solar; to specialty coatings and films, triple insulating glass units and dynamic glass products. On the following pages are examples of several advanced façade technologies that made a splash during the show.
Specialty double-skin façade
One cutting-edge façade system on display in the glass technology live pavilion was the glass for the Rey Juan Carlos hospital in Madrid. Designed by architectural firm Rafael de La-Hoz, the hospital incorporates a curved, double-skin glass wall with a bubble-like appearance. The outer wall, pictured, consists of Cridecor screen-printed laminated glass from Cricursa.
Crystal grid façade
Steel and glass system engineer, designer and supplier Roschmann GMBH, showed a sample section of the Channoine Cosmetics building’s exterior façade, above. The striking crystal façade is backed by an inner façade that consists of a floor-to-ceiling curtain-wall system featuring triple insulating glass. Multiple air inlet vents are integrated in the outer façade for ventilation, and venetian blinds with concave/convex formed blades were installed between the facades.
The building design combines aesthetics and performance, with climate and energy serving as two prevalent themes of the architecture, according to Roschmann officials.
Arnold Glas displayed an example of the building integrated photovoltaic system installed at the Montabaur Castle conference center in Germany. The BIPV system gives the conference center’s glass dome structure a “tortoise shell” appearance, while supplying both sun protection and solar power, according to company officials. The building uses geothermal energy for heating and cooling that is mostly generated from the PV glass in the façade. In addition to providing energy, the integrated solar cells in the insulating glass units―absorb about 80 percent of heat radiation.
Lithodecor a supplier of glass and natural stone veneer building systems, showed its Airtec photovoltaic system, in which frameless photovoltaic panels are used as a ventilated façade. The Airtec system, above, features CIS thin-film solar modules from Odersun AG and Lithodecor anticipates being able to offer both standard system sizes as well as individual made-to-order solutions.
“Energy efficient buildings [are] not ‘nice-to-have’ anymore, but a mandatory requirement to meet low carbon goals. With Odersun, we have found the right partner with the technology and products to enable innovative and aesthetic façade solutions,” said Clemens von Trott zu Solz, managing director of Lithodecor’s façade division, in a company release.