Ubiquitous Energy has produced the first demonstration commercial window façades using over 1 square meter of the company’s truly transparent solar technology, ClearView Power™.

The fiberglass-framed ClearView Power™ window units demonstrate the transparent photovoltaic technology’s aesthetic beauty, high transparency, and color neutrality.

“These window demonstrations are the result of many years of development and represent the great progress achieved with ClearView Power™. Recent advances led to the creation of these prototype façades, which are the world’s first large-area, truly transparent solar window façades,” said Ubiquitous Energy co-founder and CTO, Miles Barr.

Each façade is made of six insulated glass units (IGUs) that are each 14 inches by 20 inches in size, totalling over 1 square meter of ClearView Power glass.

The windows produce solar electricity in sunlight that can provide power to buildings for a wide range of applications including lighting, while simultaneously maintaining the performance of standard commercial window glass: over 50% transparency, neutral in color, and low emissivity (low-E) for energy efficiency.

The lightweight, fiberglass window frames representing the latest and best in lightweight and high insulation framing were custom created by Alpen High Performance Products.

“With support from our partners, we are excited to be closing in on the realization of our vision to commercialize this technology for broad adoption within the $100B+ architectural glass market,” said Ubiquitous Energy CEO, Keith Wilson. The company plans to begin pilot installations of the demo size window units in 2019.

Applied directly to glass using standard glass coating equipment, ClearView Power™ is a highly transparent, color neutral coating. Using standard thin film coating equipment, ClearView Power™ selectively absorbs and converts non-visible light (ultraviolet and infrared) to electricity while transmitting visible light.

Additionally, ClearView Power™ doubles as a low-E and solar control coating in addition to its electricity generation by blocking infrared light that is commonly known as solar heat. The transparent solar coating can be applied to vertical surfaces of buildings turning traditional windows into aesthetically pleasing, highly energy efficient, and electricity generating windows that are desired by architects, designers, and occupants.

Ubiquitous Energy Demonstrates First Large-Area Window Façades Incorporating Truly Transparent Solar Technology



Separate glass with any desired contour? Without generating dust and reworking the edges? This is possible, even quickly, with specially shaped ultrashort laser pulses.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is developing a technology that – with refractive and diffractive optical elements – gives laser beams a form optimally adapted to the respective task. In addition, the applications go far beyond separating glass: In the future, head-up displays for the automotive industry will also be produced.

The smartphone displays raised the question of how round shapes in tempered glass can be separated, both quickly and easily. The question has significantly advanced the development of laser systems for ultrashort pulse (USP lasers). For glass can be modified with these pulses and be broken along virtually any contour without releasing residues.

The laser pulses do not scratch the surface, but generate small mechanical stresses inside the material volume, which result in a clean edge when the material is separated. For this, however, a special intensity distribution is needed in the laser beam, with a long beam waist and a steeply sloping intensity profile.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany. With the specially shaped laser beams, glass is marked in the volume or on the surface and cut out.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany. With the specially shaped laser beams, glass is marked in the volume or on the surface and cut out.


How are customized laser beams developed?

Modern diffractive optical elements (DOE) can shape light into almost any desired shape. Thanks to their diffraction structure, the laser beam can be adjusted precisely. Thus, special beam profiles or complex patterns can be generated from a single beam. Alternatively, the DOE distributes the energy of a single beam to a whole array of similar partial beams.

Complex diffraction structures are a special feature of DOEs. Developing such hightech optics begins at a computer: There, scientists calculate tiny phase patterns, which produce the desired beam distribution. Using a programmable spatial light modulator, they then test the calculated structures with pixel-based phase adjustments and analyze the generated beam with a microscope.

After a few iterations, the optimal structures of the DOE are lithographically inscribed in glass. As pure glass optics, DOEs can also be used with over 100 watt USP lasers. In addition to diffraction-based DOEs, refractive optical elements (ROE) are also commonly used for beamforming because they can refract beams at a power in the multi-100 watt range.


New applications for DOEs in the automotive industry

With their high thermal stability, DOEs and ROEs bring significant benefits as they increase the productivity of USP laser systems. For example, scientists at Fraunhofer ILT have developed DOEs that form a whole array of up to 196 similar beams from one powerful USP laser beam.

However, even when individual beams are used for processing, these optical elements open up many new exciting possibilities. Specially shaped USP laser beams can structure surfaces, introduce stress into glass volumes or change the refractive index locally.

Scientists at Fraunhofer ILT, together with the Chair for Laser Technology LLT at RWTH Aachen University and partners from industry, are exploring the extent to which beams of USP lasers can be shaped. Within the framework of the Digital Photonic Production DPP research campus – a funding initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – TRUMPF and 4JET Technologies, among others, are participating in these R&D activities.

Specifically, the partners are working on processing glass for head-up displays for the automotive industry, for example. To do this, the experts in the “Femto DPP” project are producing micrometer-sized defects in the glass.

These reflect LED light at a certain angle, just as it is needed for head-up displays. The laser used in the machining can also be used to generate predetermined breaking points, which are introduced in a controlled manner for subsequent rapid glass cutting. In the future, the processing should also work on any curved glass panels.

When using USP laser pulses, the team at Fraunhofer ILT has mastered the entire process chain from beamforming simulation to plant and process development. Details of this development as well as many new applications will be presented at the “5th UKP-Workshop: Ultrafast Laser Technology” on April 10 and 11, 2019 in Aachen.



Customers of the Bystronic glass HEGLA Preferred Partnership have made investments to stay ahead of an ever changing market.

Whilst innovation and technological advances continue to be priorities for both companies, the design engineers are skilled at simplifying manufacturing processes to improve profit margins for customers.

Automation combined with process optimisation have for a long time placed Bystronic glass and HEGLA as leaders in the glass processing field. With decades experience in adapting to developing markets the team is adept at evaluating rapid change in the sector and producing a full range of products that can cater to future market demands.

The new high-output cutting system for laminated safety glass, known as StreamLam, is one such product with its triple positioning system and a double-decker principle. This machine can cut up to three sheets of glass simultaneously and comprises two cutting machines.

Designed for both commercial applications and domestic the StreamLam can achieve up to 30% more output than standard alternatives. By integrating one or two Remaster residual sheet storage units, this system is ideal for processors looking to expand. Whether as a new installation or as a replacement for an existing line the StreamLam can provides substantial cost saving benefits for those looking to develop their product range.

The vision of a Smart Factory is very much a new reality with next generation production floor logistics at the heart of new innovations. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) from HEGLA provide a simple transport solution for mobile storage racks, including A and L-frames.

As with all new potential investments, the HEGLA team evaluates customer needs and prepares tailored solutions to optimise manufacturing methods. AGVs can easily be integrated into the production software and will perform logistical tasks, between the cutting lines and downstream processing on the production line.

Currently the AGVs have a load capacity of up to 2.5 tons and can be integrated into a manufacturing control system or a guidance system. These help to organise the production flow in a facility and are synchronised with the production cycles. Customers individual requirements are evaluated to transport glass safely between different stations for processing.

Steve Goble, HEGLA UK comments, “With the HEGLA AVGs forming an integral part of the control system routes and orders can easily be adapted – either via system control or by the operator.”


Every day, around the world, windows fail, falling away from their structures. Sometimes there are lethal consequences.

FeneGuard® is a brand-new patented system that protects against accidental window falls.

In the event of an accidental failure, this system ensures that the window sash remains held in place by a stainless steel cable.

Benefits of using FeneGuard® safety cable:

  • Affordable extra window safety system
  • Easy and fast installation
  • Discreet appearance, with low visual impact
  • It can be installed on all aluminium, wooden or uPVC window frames
  • Certified load-bearing capacity of 200kg

Find out more on www.feneguard.com



NUST MISIS Scientists Discover “Impossible” Material according to the Laws of Modern Chemistry.

An international team of physicists and materials scientists from NUST MISIS, Bayerisches Geoinstitut (Germany), Linkoping University (Sweden), and the California Institute of Technology (U.S.) has discovered an “impossible” modification of silica-coesite-IV and coasite-V materials, which shouldn’t exist if modern laws of Chemistry are correct.

Their structure is an exception to the generally accepted rules for the formation of chemical bonds in inorganic materials formulated by Linus Pauling, who won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for that discovery. The research results were published in the international scientific journal Nature Communications on November 15th, 2018.

According to Pauling’s rules, “vertices” connect the fragments of atomic lattice in inorganic materials, and since the compound by “faces” is the most energy-consuming way of forming chemical bonds, it should not exist in nature.

However, scientists have shown experimentally and proven using calculations conducted on NUST MISIS’s supercomputer that such a connection is possible if we put materials in conditions of ultrahigh pressures. The results obtained open up a completely new path in the development of modern materials science as well as a fundamentally new class of materials that exist in extreme conditions.

“The metastable phases of high-pressure silica, coesite-IV and coesite-V, were synthesized and described: their crystal structures differ sharply from any previously considered models. Two open coesite contain SiO6 octahedras, which unlike in Pauling’s rules, are connected via common edges, which is the most energetically costly way [to form] for a chemical bond. Our results show that possible silicate magmas in the earth`s mantle may have complex structures making them more compressible than previously thought”, said Professor Igor Abrikosov, head of the theoretical research group and the NUST MISIS Laboratory for the Modelling and Development of New Materials.

The research group, led by Professor Igor Abrikosov (NUST MISIS, Russia, and Linkoping University, Sweden), specializes in the study of the properties of materials under ultrahigh pressure. Placing materials in extreme conditions is one of the most promising ways of creating qualitatively new materials, which opens up fantastic opportunities for societal developments. For example, in one recent scientific work, scientists created material-nitrides which were previously considered impossible to obtain.

In the process of studying the modification of silicon oxide, the information about the structure and its mechanical properties are key for understanding the processes occurring in the Earth’s mantle, which exist at unthinkably high temperatures and pressures deep in our planet’s core.

Scientists have discovered that a special form of silicon oxide—polyester-coesite—undergoes a number of phase transformations at a pressure of up to 30 hPa and forms new phases (“coesite-II” and “coesite III”), which in their crystal lattice retain SiO4 tetrahedrons as their main structural element.

In the new experiments, scientists went further, compressing silicon oxide in a diamond anvil at over 30 hPa, and as a result saw structural changes in this phase using single-crystal x-ray diffraction. The results they obtained were unexpected — these structural changes will force an adjustment to generally accepted scientific canon, finding an exception to the tried-and-tested veracity of Pauling’s rules.

Two completely hitherto unknown coesite modifications (coesite-IV, and coesite-V) with structures (Pic. 1) exceptional and “impossible” from the classical crystal-chemical point of view were discovered: they have penta-coordinated silicon bordering with SiO6 octahedra, and simultaneously consist of four-, five-, and six-coordinated silicon. Some fragments of the atomic lattice are also connected by faces rather than vertices, which according to the generally accepted Pauling rules, is not possible.



Building on the stunning success of its award-winning Heritage Flush Window, Deceuninck has launched an equally stunning new Flush Door to its Heritage Collection.

The Flush Door has the only dedicated open-out flush door sash on the market, perfectly complementing the Heritage Flush Sash.

The new Flush Door combines beautiful style with outstanding performance. It has been designed to replicate traditional timber and aluminium and comes in 26 colourways from stock.

Deceuninck’s latest product is also #BestInClass for weather performance and energy efficiency, with Class 4 600 Pa Air Permeability, Class E1050 Pa Water Tightness (full frame) and Class A3 1200 Pa Wind Resistance.

The doorset achieves an ‘A’ energy rating with U-Values as low as 1.0 W/m2K with triple glazing and 1.3 W/m2K with double glazing. The Flush Door also comes with dedicated PAS24-approved hardware and is Part M compliant for easy access.

From a fabricator’s perspective the Flush Door is a welcomed addition. It uses the same platform as Deceuninck’s Heritage 2800 system and comes with dedicated assembly jigs and pre-formed sash corner gaskets for ease of fabrication.

The Flush Door also has dedicated reinforcement to prevent the need for glass bonding, while dedicated sash and frame-positioning blocks improve performance and make it easier to transport.

Deceuninck Managing Director Rob McGlennon says: “Following the astounding success of our Heritage Flush Window we’ve added another product to the Flush family. Our new Flush Door looks fantastic and is #BestInClass for performance. We’ve designed the door to look and perform the very best, which was made possible thanks to the bespoke PAS24 hardware.

“The Flush Door suites with the Heritage Flush Window for a seamless, high-end look that enhances both traditional and contemporary homes. Like all products in our Heritage Collection it is available in 26 colourways from stock, which we’re extending to 30 colourways in 2019.”



The 462 Meter Tall Lakhta Tower is St. Petersburg’s Newest Landmark.

Resembling a needle, Europe’s tallest building spirals 462 meters into the sky. The ,Star of St. Petersburg‛, as the building is already being called, occupies a 170,000 m² footprint on the shores of the Gulf of Finland in the Primorsky District, some 10 km northwest of St. Petersburg’s city center. Designed by the RMJM partnership under Tony Kettle’s direction, the project was managed by ZAO Gorprojekt; and the work planned by Samsung Production.

As a modern business center with many public functions, the building is intended to form the hub of a new downtown and take the strain off the historic city center. The high-rise will serve as the new headquarters of Russian gas producer Gazprom, which is also the client, but on completion, there will also be, among other things, a sports facility, a planetarium, a restaurant, and an amphitheater, where aquatic shows will be staged.

Trosifol® in Europe’s Tallest Building
Image © Anton Galakhov/OOO Gartner/Gazprom

ver 3,000 people are involved in the construction proper, with some 600 Russian and international companies and over 20,000 people from 18 countries involved in the project’s full realization. Construction got underway in 2012 and completion is scheduled for the end of 2018.

Anyone who closely followed the 2018 World Cup in Russia had the opportunity to admire the new Lakhta Tower due to its proximity to the St. Petersburg World Cup stadium, with the city’s new landmark being captured by the cameras of the world’s broadcasting stations time and again.

Only shortly before the start of the World Cup did the fitters from façade constructor Gartner − aided by roped industrial climbers − install the last of the 3 x 4 m glass panes at heights of over 300 m, without helicopter assistance. This oversized needle, with its curved glass façade, now stands majestically over the Gulf of Finland, welcoming approaching cruise ships from afar.

The ,Star of St. Petersburg‛ occupies a 170,000 m² footprint on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, some 10 km northwest of St. Petersburg’s city center.
The ,Star of St. Petersburg‛ occupies a 170,000 m² footprint on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, some 10 km northwest of St. Petersburg’s city center. Image © Kamil Nureev

Glass atriums, each two storeys high on all five exterior sides, can be naturally ventilated and, coupled to other energy-saving technologies, make the tower a truly ‚green building‛, with a LEED Gold label being envisaged. The highly thermally insulated façade, its improved use of daylight – thanks to panoramic glazing − and natural ventilation play key roles in this respect. The Lakhta Center is already one of the world’s tallest buildings capable of being naturally ventilated.

Trosifol™ partner Josef Gartner GmbH in Gundelfingen in southern Germany installed the 100,000 m² façade − equivalent to the size of about 14 soccer fields and thus larger than the playing areas of all Russian World Cup stadia put together.

For this, Gartner produced some 16,600 individual elements of steel, aluminum, and cold-bent glass, all with different weights − up to 700 kg − and of different sizes. Since no two storeys are the same in this spiral skyscraper, the engineers had to calculate different dimensions for almost every element.

Since no two storeys are the same in this spiral skyscraper, the engineers had to calculate different dimensions for almost every element.
Since no two storeys are the same in this spiral skyscraper, the engineers had to calculate different dimensions for almost every element. Image © Rainer Hardtke


Façade of Cold-Bent Glass

The large rhomboid façade elements give the skyscraper a high degree of transparency. On the lower floors, the façade, with its 2.8 x 4.2 m elements, leans outward, but leans inward on its upper floors.

The individual elements with up to 8 cm thick stainless steel panels were prefabricated in Gundelfingen, Gartner’s headquarters. These shaped panels were cut by laser and water jet and welded and bolted together into complex units.

The 7.6 m-long upper spire of the tower weighing some 10 t and the 5.3 m long lower spire were each transported by truck in oversized consignments to St. Petersburg. The architects call this part the tip of the ,helmet‛, the helmet itself being the building’s topmost 100 meters.

The dynamic and slender shape of the new skyscraper has its origin in its geometry. The tower is at its widest in the middle and then tapers upwards to a point, with each of the 110 floors being a different size. The ground plan is based on five wings arranged around a circular core.

The floor slabs of the tower are twisted by an offset of 0.82 degrees in relation to one another. All the same, with its 163,000 m² of gross floor space, it seems to spiral smoothly and elegantly skywards. This effect is made possible by the façade of cold-bent glass that is bent by up to 40 mm. Unlike the other prefabricated façade elements, these glass panes had to be pressed from outside into their curved aluminum frames.

The Lakhta Tower makes use of two different solar protection glasses: firstly, highly reflective glass from AGC with a Stopray vision 72 CT coating and, secondly, Cool Lite SKN 176 II-coated, highly transparent glass from Saint Gobain, both of which feature high light transmittance and transparency despite high exterior reflection. For the glass construction, an 8 mm glass was chosen for the inside and a 2 x 8 mm glass sandwich − separated by a 1.52 mm thick PVB film for the outside. Between the two glass constructions is a 16 mm cavity filled with argon.

For the PVB film, the client relied largely on Trosifol® UltraClear: “On the basis of our analysis findings, we can recommend the use of glass with PVB. The PVB interlayer provides a better distribution of tension between the glass panes and an up to 16% higher capacity span for the thermally conductive outer layers,” explains façade manufacturer Gartner in its presentation to the site.

Trosifol® UltraClear is a highly transparent PVB film with very high adhesion and long-term strength, making it ideal for use in laminated safety glass in architectural glazing, as demonstrated in many highprofile applications across the globe. It is recommended particularly for laminated safety glass made up of fully tempered glass or heat-strengthened glass.

In addition to its strength, it also contains a highly effective UV stabilizer, delivering what is probably the world’s lowest yellowing value. In multiple laminates in particular, this results in a visible and measurable improvement in optical glass quality and was also an important factor on the Lakhta Tower.

The laminated safety glass was laminated by Trosifol™ customer Eckelt Glas GmbH in Austria.

Another Trosifol® product, SentryGlas® ionoplast film, was used in the 16.5 m long glass fins made by sedak in Gersthofen, southern Germany. For this purpose, sedak invested in a new oven with a new combustion technology regarded by the manufacturer as a technical and economic milestone for the toughening of coated panes up to 16.5 m.

The SentryGlas® interlayer from the Trosifol® construction product family is five times stronger and up to 100 times stiffer than conventional film/laminate materials. Thanks to this strength, the glass is capable of playing a prominent role as a construction material on the building envelope, as it opens up design scope that didn’t previously exist. For this reason SentryGlas® was selected for the glass fins on the Lakhta Tower that, anchored on the floor, serve effectively as columns supporting the entrance area and the terrace of the higher ground floor.

Along with its strength, the SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayer also maintains high transparency, even after years of use. Unlike other interlayers, the SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayer is much less sensitive to moisture over the course of its service life.

“The complex’s high-rise architecture is very much in keeping with St. Petersburg’s innovative spirit. The Lakhta Center is to be regarded as a global urban development project, which is second to none in terms of the share of public space that combines educational and cultural functions. Such an ambitious project has only been possible with the professionalism of the international teams served by the Russian project group. The skyscraper of the Lakhta Center has achieved its design height, and we expect the complex as a whole to be completed by the end of 2018,” says Elena Ilyukhina, Director General of the Lakhta Center and Executive Board member of Gazprom Neft PJSC.

Resembling a needle, Europe’s tallest building spirals 462 meters into the sky.
Resembling a needle, Europe’s tallest building spirals 462 meters into the sky. Image © Stanislav Zaburdaev


Lakhta Tower Makes the Guinness Book of Records

The Lakhta Center has meanwhile made the Guinness Book of Records − with the pouring of the foundation in March 2015. The task, lasting 49 hours was − to date − longest continuous concrete pouring process of all time. 19,624 m³ of concrete was used − some 3,000 m³ more than for the previous record holder, the Wilshire Tower in Los Angeles.

The 2 m thick concrete foundation piles are the world’s thickest and were anchored at a depth of 82 m using reinforcement cages. Along with the skyscraper, other building complexes are now approaching completion, including a multifunctional building with an atrium and the main entrance arch. The total area occupied by these complexes amounts to 400,000 m².

The Lakhta Tower became Europe’s tallest building on October 5, 2017.

Another Trosifol® product, SentryGlas® ionoplast film, was used in the 16.5 m long glass fins made by sedak in Gersthofen, southern Germany.
Another Trosifol® product, SentryGlas® ionoplast film, was used in the 16.5 m long glass fins made by sedak in Gersthofen, southern Germany. Image © Rainer Hardtke


Josef Gartner GmbH

Façades from Josef Gartner GmbH with its headquarters in Gundelfingen on the Danube dominate the skylines of cities the world over. With over 1,500 employees, Gartner designs and produces mainly customized and innovative façades in aluminum, steel, and glass. Its portfolio also extends to the planning, delivery, and assembly of interior finish and furnishing projects.

Gartner operates its most important agencies and subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the USA, Russia, and Hong Kong. The company founded in 1868 joined the Permasteelisa Group in 2001 and thus ranks among the biggest façade manufacturers worldwide.


Trosifol™ is the global leader in PVB and ionoplast interlayers for laminated safety glass in the architectural segment. With the broadest product portfolio Trosifol™ offers outstanding solutions:

  • Structural: Trosifol® Extra Stiff (ES) PVB and SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayer
  • Acoustic: Trosifol® SC Monolayer and Multilayer for sound insulation
  • UV Control: from full UV protection to natural UV transmission
  • UltraClear: lowest Yellowness Index in industry
  • Decorative & Design: black & white, colored & printed interlayers



Glass railing brings the outdoors in.

We love our fall colors in Wisconsin, so building anything that could potentially block our view is unthinkable. With customers who specify Wagner architectural glass systemstime and time again, we know we’re not alone. For bringing the beauty and light of nature into your project, there’s no better solution than glass railing.

Humans have an innate need to connect with nature, and many architects design with that in mind. Design that takes access to nature into consideration, also known as biophilic design, has been scientifically proven to positively impact the lives of those who inhabit these spaces. Recent studies show that biophilic design not only benefits mood and well-being but it also can promote physical healing – one reason that hospital designers work to bring nature indoors.

Whether biophilic design is part of your project goals or not, we can all agree that being near nature and being able to view nature is an important decision to make when specifying your building materials – and that includes architectural glass. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of glass railing using the words of some great thinkers as our inspiration.

“Good architecture lets nature in.” – Mario Pei

Aside from safety, the purpose of a railing is usually to offer some sort of immersion into the outside world. So it’s unfortunate that older balconies needed to be surrounded by wrought iron or brick, obscuring a great deal of the view. Thankfully, glass railing, like our no-post PanelGrip® collection, lets the outside in – whether you are out on the balcony or viewing it from indoors. This elegant, dry-glaze panel system, featuring an aluminum LEED Credit shoe, easily allows the beauty of nature into your setting during any season.  Wagner glass railings offer visibility.

“Look deep into nature. You will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

Lending themselves to nearly every type of building style and motif you can think of, glass railings offer the flexibility to adapt. Since they blend in with surroundings effortlessly, they do not take away from the view in or out. A glass railing system like our Legato™ features a variety of post shapes, mounting options, and configurations.

This easy-to-install system of 316 stainless steel rail railing plus glass infill (in various thicknesses) can be built to exacting, code-compliant specifications. For unobtrusive metal handrail and stair rail, glass can make the beauty of your interior or exterior project shine through. Wagner glass railings offer versatility.

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

– Frank Lloyd Wright

Beauty of Nature Shines Through Architectural Glass Railing

Not only do Wagner glass railing systems allow us to study nature and get closer to it, they are built to endure the harshest elements in nature. Both PanelGrip™ and Legato™ systems are durable, state-of-the-art architectural glass solutions, designed for use indoors and out. Both offer components manufactured to our highest standards with high performance materials and finishes. Wagner glass railings offer durability.

Is anything more inspiring than nature? By revealing nature and providing access to the outdoors, we believe architects and designers hold the key human happiness. Wagner glass railings offer the visibility, the versatility and the durability to bring nature to light. Ready to talk through some ideas for your next architectural glass project? Our quality control and customer service team are steeped in the knowledge of codes and standards. Clearly, we would love to help bring your vision to life!



Arup are consulting engineers for a series of recent projects involving curved glass: The High Roller observation wheel in Las Vegas and a revolving feature lift for the new Louis Vuitton townhouse in London.


Arup are consulting engineers for a series of recent projects involving curved glass: The High Roller observation wheel in Las Vegas and a revolving feature lift for the new Louis Vuitton townhouse in London both demand a high visual quality of their curved glass enclosures.

Two greenhouses for Bombay Sapphire’s new distillery near London rely on the geometrical strength of their curved glass and steel skin. The capsules of the High Roller, the recently opened world’s tallest observation wheel in Las Vegas, feature double curved insulating glass units. The insulated glass provides thermal comfort in the extreme desert climate and allows perfect views.

Gwenaël Nicolas was the designer for a new feature lift for Louis Vuitton in the Selfridges Store in London. The shaft for the revolving lift capsule features tall curved glass panels to very tight geometrical tolerances. The landings on the first and second floor are rings of cantilevering glass floors, designed to onerous load conditions.

The two greenhouses for Bombay Sapphire, designed by Heatherwick Studio, feature a dramatic curved freeform geometry. The houses are supported by their pleated skin made of curved glass and steel, the freeform geometry is approximated with a series of cylindrical glass panels.



Arup are consulting engineers for a series of recent projects involving hot bent glass. Curved glass is not only suitable to serve visual purposes, the benefits of its increased geometrical stiffness can also be utilised to develop more transparent glass designs.

The glass processing determines the properties and design freedom of the product – geometry, visual quality and strength can often be opposing each other. Especially for glass with double curvature the options for solar control are limited. The following three examples demonstrate different technical solutions for three very different designs with curved glass.


High Roller



The High Roller opened in the end of March 2014 in Las Vegas as the world’s tallest observation wheel, crowning Caesars Entertainments’ “The Linq” development off Las Vegas Boulevard. The wheel’s 28 cabins each carry up to 40 passengers for the duration of the 30 minute ride, allowing the passengers to take in views of Las Vegas and surrounding area, during both day-time and night-time operation.

The cabin geometry is a distinctive aspect of the silhouette of an observation wheel and varies throughout the designs: the on the London Eye the cabins are ellipsoid, the ones of the Singapore Flyer barrel shaped, for the wheel in Las Vegas the design team decided to employ a spherical design.

For the optimum 360 degree view, the cabins feature a ring of spherically curved glass along their equator. The mechanical space in the roof and underside of the cabins are clad with white fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) panels.

Spherically curved glass is typically annealed and sag formed in a kiln on either perimeter or full surface moulds. The three important performance aspects that concerned the design team regarding the cabin glazing were safety, thermal comfort and minimal visual distortion.

Image1: The High Roller, located along the Strip in Las Vegas, Arup
Image1: The High Roller, located along the Strip in Las Vegas, Arup



The desert climate imposes extreme heat during the summer months and chilly temperatures in winter. In an early stage it was decided to make the capsule glazing double glazed, at least in the fixed glazing areas.

Double glazing was important to control the internal glass surface temperature and to keep cooling or heating loads – and consequently the size and weight of the mechanical plant – as low as possible.

The solar control layer had to have a minimum impact on the view out of the cabins. The light transmission had to be low enough to control glare during the day and during the night, the internal reflection had to be minimal.

The spherical geometry of the glass was limiting the available options for solar control to the outer glass leaf: Any hard or soft coatings on the glass surface would crack during to the stretching of the centre of the glass panels in the hot forming process in the kiln.

California film could not be applied for a similar reason, the PET film can be stretched to a certain degree like for many car windscreens, but the amount of Gaussian curvature is limited and one of the principle curvatures needs to be small.

For the final design, a grey body tint for the plies of the outer glass leaf was selected as the best option to control solar gain and glare during the day whilst having a neutral appearance and low internal reflection during the night.

The resulting solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is 0.5 with a visual light transmission of 55% and an internal light reflection of 17%. The overall glazing U-value is below 0.44 BTU/h ft² K (2.5W/m²K). Solar PVB was not readily available at the time and might be a good alternative for any future projects with double curved solar control glass.



In an early stage it was decided to design the cabin glazing to provide containment only when the cabins are in vertical or slightly sloped position.

The glazing was therefore not designed for an accidental capsize scenario in case the drive mechanism in the support ring would fail. In such an event the wheel will be stopped and cabin evacuated, rather than allowing the 40 passengers to sit on the glass panels during the time the cabin is turned on its side.

The double glazed panels sit on either side of the horizontal cabin equator and are both overhead and outward leaning. There should be no large falling fragments in case of breakage of the inner or the outer panel therefore, both had to be laminated.

The double glazed units where assessed for static barrier and wind loads and the specification demanded soft body and hard body impact from inside and outside.

The glass processors preferred PVB for the lamination, because it is easier to stretch during the lay-up. The maximum service temperatures of the interlayer in the outer leaf were assessed and discussed with PVB suppliers to confirm durability of the laminate.

Image2: Capsules for the High Roller during assembly, Arup
Image2: Capsules for the High Roller during assembly, Arup


Internal loads

The high solar gains, absorbed by the body tint of the outer glass panel, lead to a significant warming of the air in the glazing cavity. The air expands with temperature, creating over pressure in the cavity. Because of the high geometrical stiffness of the doubly curved glass, the increased pressure cannot be reduced by pillowing as typical with flat glass.

Finite Element assessments of the stresses in the glass panels and the edge seal indicated that the glass would have to be chemically tempered to withstand the stress. To avoid the pressure build-up, the units “breathe” through a desiccant filter that dries the incoming air to avoid any condensation in the cavity during cold nights.

Similar filters are typically used on transformers; the devices are small enough that they can be hidden easily in the cabin structure. The filters are accessible for inspection or replacement should the desiccant be saturated.


Visual quality

There was a risk that the amount of glass layers would amplify any visual distortion in the glass, which was critical with the large viewing distances. An inspection method needed to be employed that allowed to evaluate any visual distortions in the glass and to allow an objective comparison between the products of different processors in an early stage.

The design team proposed an inspection method that is typical with automotive glass: Measurement of optical distortion in the glass and secondary image separation was specified as per United Nations Regulation ECE 43 for motor vehicle safety glazing for the first panel.

Quality control was to be carried out with the 45°, 1’’ (25mm), black on white stripe, ‘zebra board test’. Because of the outstanding visual quality the final glass was procured from specialist processor Sunglass S.R.L.

Image 3: visual quality inspection of different glass samples, Hugo Mulder
Image 3: visual quality inspection of different glass samples, Hugo Mulder


Helical Lift Shaft for Louis Vuitton



Since November 2013, a custom-built revolving glass elevator is the centrepiece of a new Louis Vuitton concession within the Oxford Street Selfridges store in London. The ‘store within a store’ with 10 000m², designed by French Japan-based designer Gwenaël Nicolas around the unique elevator with a slowly revolving cabin, affords customers a 360 degree view of Louis Vuitton’s accessory, men’s and womenswear departments.

The 15m tall elevator shaft features a display furniture in form of a double helix, which draws attention to the new vertical element that penetrates the century old structure of the Selfridges department store. Curved glass with no visible fixings forms the transparent cylindrical shaft between the two helixes.

Image 4 New lift for Louis Vuitton at Selfridges- ground floor, Felix Weber
Image 4 New lift for Louis Vuitton at Selfridges- ground floor, Felix Weber



The lift connects the ground floor with the first and second floors with floor heights reducing towards the upper floors. The rise of the helix is constant and defines possible door locations and size and the height of the glass panels. The final geometry is for two intertwined left handed helix with a pitch of 9.8m and a radius of 1.2m to the inner glass surface.

The geometry allows for 900mm wide door openings to tightly fit between the two helixes, but the doors are not aligned in height. The first stage of the lift is 6.9m, the second 4.9m, leading to an offset between the doors on ground and first floor of 149 degrees.

The doors on second and third floor could have been at the same position, however due to the floor layout it was decided to position them at opposite sides. In order to avoid two sets of doors in the lift cabin the decision was made to let the lift cabin revolve to address the different door positions.

German lift manufacturer GBH advised against a design with helical guide rails but for vertical rails and a cabin that revolves on top of the hydraulic piston to address the different door locations. The revolving capsule has become a key feature that makes the ride on the lift a special experience.

Image 5 Lift shaft under construction, Wintersgill Architects
Image 5 Lift shaft under construction, Wintersgill Architects



In very early stage of the project the decision was made to utilize the two helical display furniture pieces to hide a steel support structure and not to design a self-supporting structural glass tube. Lift guide rails, shaft glazing and display furniture are supported off two helical steel beams that are hidden in the back wall of the handbag display.

The helical beams are supported at their top and base and minimal steel studs connect them to the first and second floor slabs. The support strategy allows for a slender steel profile but also means that the two beams are compressed like a spring coil under differential floor movements.

The steel was designed by Arup and fabricated by T.P. Aspinall & Sons Limited who also took on the technical design and installation of the glazing package. Each beam consist of two tubular sections (88.9 x 6.3 CHS), 310mm apart and connected with two 448mm wide and 10mm thick plates, all material is S355.

Each beam was produced in 4 segments, on a jig of rolled components. The splices where designed to transfer the torsional bending in the helical beams.

Image 6 View though the cabin’s glass roof, Felix Weber
Image 6 View though the cabin’s glass roof, Felix Weber


Enclosure Glazing

The structural concept that utilizes the glass only as enclosure and not as primary element allowed for large curved laminated low iron glass panels with PVB interlayer. The hot bending process on a static mold offers large sizes, superior visual quality and tighter tolerances compared to glass from a roller bending toughening line.

The up to 6000mm tall and between 950 and 1150mm wide vertical spanning panels with 1200mm radius have enough geometrical stiffness to act as enclosure with a glass laminate of 2x8mm.

Glass processor Cricursa agreed to extremely tight production tolerances: the 3.9m long straight vertical edges could only be off by slightly more than 1mm to guarantee that the vertical gaps between the installed glass panels could be kept smaller than 3mm.

For wider gaps EN 294 would require a wet seal in the glass joints, which would have compromised the crisp appearance of the design. The glass panels have factory bonded curved stainless steel profiles at their curved top and bottom edge.

The structural silicone is designed to take the gravity component of the glass parallel to the bottom glass edge.

Small connectors are clamped to the top and bottom of the helical beams and connected to the glazing profiles via shear bolts. The bolts are orientated in a way that each panel rests on its bottom corner and is tangentially restrained at the top opposite corner, the other two glass corners are only restrained in radial direction.


Glass Floor

The first and second floor openings feature a glass “halo” of cantilevering laminated glass panels. The cantilevering concept avoids structural connections into the shaft glazing which can move in relation to the floor plates.

Each halo is made up of four glass panels, two large panels between the helixes and two smaller as infill in the opening of the helix furniture. The glass panels are a combination of heat strengthened and toughened low iron glass and laminated with SentryGlas interlayer. The lower three glass plies are held in a circumferential steel clamp, the upper two panels fill the height to the floor finish and provide a slip resistant finish.

Image 7 Testing of a glass floor panel at Vinci – 10 min concentrated load with centre ply broken, Franziska Gautschi
Image 7 Testing of a glass floor panel at Vinci – 10 min concentrated load with centre ply broken, Franziska Gautschi

The panels cantilever over a distance of 600mm and were designed and tested to carry a 4kN/m² distributed load and 3.6kN point load on any location as defined by BS 6399-1. The robustness concept and testing sequence was based on ASTM E2751-11:

  • A uniform static load of 4.0kN/m² applied vertically for a period of 24h hours
  • A concentrated load of 3.6kN acting on a 150mm x 150mm square contact area in the most unfavorable position for a period of 24 hours.
  • With the most onerous ply broken, the above loads for a duration of 10 min.
  • With all plies broken, the floor panels where tested to a static load of 90kg as described in the Centre for Window and
  • Cladding Technology’s Technical Note No 67.

The final Glass build up comprises of heat strengthened and toughened glass panels with Sentry Glass interlayer. The floor was tested successfully for structural capacity and robustness at Vinci Technology Centre in Leighton Buzzard.


Greenhouses for Bombay Sapphire



In September 2014, Thomas Heatherwick opened the Studio’s design of Bombay Sapphire’s new distillery and visitor center in the historic Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire (UK) to the public. In the center of the old mill site, standing in the river bed of the small river Test, two dynamic freeform greenhouses showcase the “ten botanicals” that Bombay Sapphire use for the unique production process of their gin.

The approximately 15m and 10m tall houses have a pleated freeform structural glass skin made of cylindrically curved toughened low iron glass and bronze colored stainless steel. Lowgrade exhaust heat from the gin production is used to heat the houses and allowed a single glazed design without penalties on energy use – the distillery project achieved BREEAM rating ‘outstanding’.

Image 9 Greenhouses for Bombay Sapphire, front elevation from courtyard © Iwan Baan
Image 9 Greenhouses for Bombay Sapphire, front elevation from courtyard © Iwan Baan

Heatherwick Studio and Arup had developed an innovative structural scheme for the two houses that did not require any visible bracing members between the longitudinal curved beams in the valleys and ridges. Forces between glass and steel where transferred via a series of bonded metal strips that are clamped to the beams, the concept is described in detail in [1].

After tender in spring 2012, Bellapart SAU where appointed on the basis of an alternative concept that employs tie rods in the cross glass joints, as described by Simon Pierce in [2]. Early mockup construction informed the development of the construction method.

The revised structural concept underwent several iterations that where discussed between Bellapart, Heatherwick Studio and Arup. The structural detail design was optimized for the large Mediterranean house, which appears highly transparent and light – and with 2x6mm glass it truly is a lightweight glass shell.

The same detailing was employed for the smaller house, giving it a slightly more opaque appearance which corresponds to the higher shading demand of the tropical plants.

Image 10 Greenhouses for Bombay Sapphire, side elevation of the tropical greenhouse © Iwan Baan
Image 10 Greenhouses for Bombay Sapphire, side elevation of the tropical greenhouse © Iwan Baan



Image 8 Glass joint and cantilevering glass floor, Louis Vuitton lift shaft, Felix Weber
Image 8 Glass joint and cantilevering glass floor, Louis Vuitton lift shaft, Felix Weber

Hot bent glass, employed structurally or as enclosure only, was integral to the success of the three designs. The projects will hopefully encourage more designers to play with its possibilities.

Informed decisions on processing method and resulting properties at an early stage allow time to manage client expectations, optimize the design and make best use of the properties of the product.

Further developments of solar control options especially for doubly curved glass, would broaden the potential spectrum of applications on building enclosures.



[1] Felix Weber: Designing pleated glass structures for iconic greenhouses; Glass Processing Days 2013, Tampere, Finland
[2] Simon Pierce: From design to reality – fabricating and building two pleated double-curved glass shell structures; Glass Processing Days 2013, Tampere, Finland


Between 14 and 19 January, representatives from the international building sector will be meeting at the leading global trade fair for architecture, materials and systems in Munich.

Around 2,000 exhibitors from 42 countries will be presenting their products on over 200,000 m2. Over 250,000 visitors are expected. Naturally we are also going to be part of this with insulbar insulating profiles and Thermix spacers, together with our materials, engineering and service expertise and interesting new products.

One example is our new insulating bars made from foamed polyamide, which are the perfect addition to our portfolio. Or insulbar shear-free, which minimises the bi-temperature effect in thermally separated doors. You can find out more about these at Ensinger’s trade fair stand in Hall B1, Stand 430.

The new shear-free insulating profile minimises the bi-temperature effect and reduces the temperature-induced deformation of metal doors.
The new shear-free insulating profile minimises the bi-temperature effect and reduces the temperature-induced deformation of metal doors.
Smooth shell, foamed core: the fine-pored structure in the core of the profile reduces the thermal conduction capacity. The compact, smooth structure of the surface ensures a perfect visual appearance and reliability in the coating process.
Smooth shell, foamed core: the fine-pored structure in the core of the profile reduces the thermal conduction capacity. The compact, smooth structure of the surface ensures a perfect visual appearance and reliability in the coating process.



Guardian SunGuard® SuperNeutral™ (SN) 70/37 coated solar control glass was selected for its beautiful, neutral, transparent appearance with low reflection, consistent colour, high solar protection and high light transmission.

Completed in 2015, Crystal is an energy-efficient, crystal-shaped office building located in the sought-after Vinohrady district of Prague. The unique architecture of the building was designed in Atelier 15 under the direction of Libor Hrdoušek and renowned Czech architect Radek Lampa.

The modern A-class office building has 14 floors and a total office space of over 14,000 square meters. There are business units, cafes, restaurants, and 130 parking spaces over four floors of underground garages.

For the glazed façade, the architects required high light transmission, excellent solar protection, a neutral appearance and a good level of light reflection so that the look of the building could be underlined in the reflections of the façade. Guardian SunGuard® SuperNeutral™ (SN) 70/37 coated solar control glass was selected for its beautiful, neutral, transparent appearance with low reflection, consistent colour, high solar protection and high light transmission.

©Pavel Šinagl

COUNTRY: Czech Republic

CITY: Prague



CLADDER: Nevšímal, Nymburk




This year the special show will address the four focal themes Interactive Façades/Display Glass, Energy and Performance, Structural Glass and New Technologies.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the global No. 1 trade fair glasstec, held in Düsseldorf from 23 to 26 October 2018, the proven special show glass technology live will provide new impulses: a cluster comprising four universities and renowned exhibitors will present innovative and visionary solutions covering four selected focal themes at the special show in Hall 11; complementing these the glasstec conference will combine scientific theory with hands-on practice.

Façade of the Crystal House in Amsterdam. Photo: Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee
Façade of the Crystal House in Amsterdam. Photo: Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee


Transparent Visions

The special show glass technology live forms an integral part of glasstec. This year the special show will address the four focal themes Interactive Façades/Display Glass, Energy and Performance, Structural Glass (thick glass/thin glass) and New Technologies.

In cooperation with four Technical Universities (Darmstadt, Delft, Dresden and Dortmund) and selected businesses Messe Düsseldorf will be showcasing forward-looking technologies in Hall 11. Furthermore, the glasstec conference will provide information on the latest developments while also picking up on current research projects from the special show.

The essential and typical characteristic of glass is its transparency – a property that laid the foundation for the appeal of this material millennia ago and that has not ceased to fascinate with its versatile applications until this very day. From the early period through antiquity to the Middle Ages glass manufacturing has been constantly refined and specialised.

By the introduction of industrial-scale production glass became an affordable mass-produced product on the one hand, and machine-based glass technology also opened up hitherto unknown possibilities for glass finishing, on the other. Last but not least, digitalisation brought completely new fields of application such as interactive façades and energetic functions.

Details of the Crystal House façade. Photo: Faidra Oikonomopoulou
Details of the Crystal House façade. Photo: Faidra Oikonomopoulou


glass technology live under new guidance and with a new concept

glass technology live at the world’s leading trade fair glasstec in Düsseldorf fuses both the said advances made in glass technology and the undreamt-of possibilities of this tradition-rich material. The special show has been part and parcel of the trade fair for 20 years now and has long since been considered a key impulse generator for the international glass industry.

Originally initiated by Professor Stefan Behling, Senior Executive Partner at Foster + Partners, and the Institute of Building Construction at the Stuttgart University and designed, organised and characterised by him and his team for over two decades, glass technology live now celebrates its 25th anniversary completely re-vamped: a cluster of four universities instead of one has worked out the conception for the special show.

Each one of the four universities addresses its own focal theme and presents ground-breaking exhibits from the area of technology, manufacturing and glass applications. The cross-industry spectrum of themes covers ranges from automotive through consumer products to construction and interior design.

While TU Darmstadt outlines visions in structural glass engineering and uses new technologies to make their realisation graspable, TU Delft introduces the matching new glass types and glass construction typologies. In contrast to this, Dortmund University covers interactive façades and the energetic functions of glass.

Rendering of the glass bridge on the TU Delft Campus. Illustration: TU Delft, Frank Auperlé
Rendering of the glass bridge on the TU Delft Campus. Illustration: TU Delft, Frank Auperlé

Dresden University, finally, worked out the potential that gluing holds as a joining technique for glass construction. Almost three quarters of the exhibits on display at the special show are first “releases”, university research projects, experimental concepts or award-winning works from student competitions.

Themed “Meet the Expert” sessions and the newly conceived glasstec conference give glass technology live visitors an additional opportunity to make personal contacts, attend interesting lectures and take part in topical expert discussions.


Innovations from Universities and Pioneering Exhibitors

The area occupied by glass technology live in Hall 11 is divided up into four segments dedicated to the aforementioned focal themes of the four universities. Here, some extraordinary exhibits can be found. The common denominator of all exhibitors is that they showcase completely new ways of using glass as a material.

Seen GmbH, for example, deals with reflecting shapes. Micro shapes with a metallic reflection in glass reflect light and colours here in all directions. The individual elements are highly customisable. The choice of surface ranges from highly and semi-reflective metals to multi-coloured iridescent colour coatings.

Metallic reflections for façade and interior. Photo: Seen
Metallic reflections for façade and interior. Photo: Seen

The shapes available are squares, rectangles or circles sized between two and twenty millimetres. Up to five different types can be fixed at any chosen distance on the transparent substrate that is introduced as a two-sided insert into laminated sheet glass or laminated toughened glass.

Uniform lines and grid structures are feasible as well as partial areas, graduated shades and logotypes. Elements coated on one side produce an intriguing effect. The different thermal expansion coefficients of the various surfaces produce a slight curvature in the individual shapes during the lamination process so that a three-dimensional effect is produced.

Different shapes and metals are as feasible as are individual arrays. Striking: the 3D effects produced by one-sided coatings. Photo: Seen
Different shapes and metals are as feasible as are individual arrays. Striking: the 3D effects produced by one-sided coatings. Photo: Seen


Elbe Philharmonic Hall – Glass Re-Staged

Opened in 2017 the Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg has set new standards in many ways. Its unique features are the bent, multiple coated and printed multi-purpose insulating glass sheets that produce special light effects on the building skin.

Josef Gartner GmbH, a company of the Permasteelisa-Group, clad the buildings with custom-made glass panes over a total area of 16,000 square metres. Never before had multi-functional insulating glass units been produced with a curvature along just one glass edge. To this end the glass panes were first printed, then coated and finally bent precisely according to specifications at a temperature between 500 and 600° Celsius.

Inside the Elbe Philharmonic Hall around the concert rooms so-called tuning forks made of GRFP accept three spherically bent sheets each. Photo/Copyright: Cordelia Ewerth
Inside the Elbe Philharmonic Hall around the concert rooms so-called tuning forks made of GRFP accept three spherically bent sheets each. Photo/Copyright: Cordelia Ewerth

About 500 of the approx. 2,200 glass elements inserted are spherically bent. Another 1,700 units were inserted flat but all elements are made of low-iron oxide glass to ensure particularly clear views. Both element sizes were produced with an outside curvature and with an inside curvature offset by 350 millimetres towards the inside.

Oval pivot windows allow the rooms to be naturally ventilated. Each pane of the façade features a chrome dot screen print and a second coloured dot screen print. The small reflecting chrome dots vary, thereby making each window element a one-off. In the area of the two concert rooms six inside terraces were built.

Opened in 2017 the Elbe Philharmonic Hall has become an architectural icon – boasting a host of unique façade solutions. Photo/Copyright: Cordelia Ewerth
Opened in 2017 the Elbe Philharmonic Hall has become an architectural icon – boasting a host of unique façade solutions. Photo/Copyright: Cordelia Ewerth

5 m high and 6.45 m wide so-called tuning forks made of glass fibre reinforced plastic accept three spherically bent panes each and open the façade to the loggia located behind it like an inside balcony.

In the flat wing of the building these tuning fork elements are 5 m wide and 3.33 m high and accept two spherically bent laminated security glass panes printed with dot screens. The latter will be on show as sample elements from the Elbe Philarmonic Hall alongside other Gartner exhibits at glass technology live.

The exhibit provided by Define Engineers, Carpenter/Lowings and seele is about gravitation in the broadest sense of the word. It demonstrates technological progress in glass processing, adhesive development, high-precision technology and manufacturing.

The Gravity model impressively shows the loads innovative glass can bear today. Photo: Define Engineers
The Gravity model impressively shows the loads innovative glass can bear today. Photo: Define Engineers

A car turned upside down is suspended from just two thin glass panes between a steel tripod. The laminated panes measure 1 x 2.20 m and consist of two 2mm, partially pre-stressed glass sheets provided by Glaston that were laminated with SentryGlas by sedak. The primary connection with the glass is realised with Dow’s transparent TSSA silicone structural adhesive.

Another superlative is the world’s biggest bent glass sheet with a curve length of 8,000 mm and a height of 3,200 mm in thermally pre-stressed glass presented by Northglass. A specially developed furnace technology allows heating and cooling the glass on transport rollers all the way. With this process the best optical quality of the bent glass can be ensured.

Manchester Town Hall, high-quality curved glass. Photo: Tianjin NorthGlass
Manchester Town Hall, high-quality curved glass. Photo: Tianjin NorthGlass


Niemeyer Sphere

In the listed brick buildings of the Kirow-Werke in Leipzig one of the last designs by architect Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012) is currently taking shape. The project is based on a spherical design that embraces the existing building while also forming a contrast with it.

The sphere consisting of white exposed concrete with two large, curved window “cut-outs” hosts two storeys. The window cut-outs are geodesic domes with a triangular division. The matching partner for realising this project was found in Merck and their Liquid Crystal Window-Technology” (LCW) for self-shading double-glazed units.

One prerequisite for the project was the development of a neutral grey shade that attains a very high degree of transparency in its initial state. This can be switched gradually either automatically or at the touch of a button to a very dark grey so that the energy transmittance can be reduced substantially if need be.

At the special show glass technology live in Hall 11 Merck presents a true-to-scale model of part of the building. This demonstrator is made up of 50 different triangular sheets measuring approx. 1.4 x 1.4 m and supported by a steel structure.

All the other manufacturers mentioned here by way of example will also be showcasing their special solutions in Düsseldorf. Whoever wants to know what the industry is speculating about today, what they will be discussing tomorrow and indeed producing the day after is urgently advised to visit the special show at glasstec 2018.

Interactive façades, display and thin glass, forward-looking glass technologies for generating energy as well as developments and possibilities in structural glass engineering: all of this can be marvelled at, touched and critically questioned.

Whichever message visitors take home from this special show: they will feel they know where the glass industry stands today in terms of technology, which challenges it has already met and which visions might soon become reality.


The Authors

Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Claudia Siegele, freelance architect and specialised journalist, Matthias Fischer, specialised journalist and textbook author.



NanoEC™ SPU™ is an integrated smart glass technology that allow passengers to shade their windows on-demand from 50% down to 3% light transmission.

Developed by Heliotrope Technologies, the NanoEC™ SPU™ product can be easily integrated in a standard IGU as either the outboard or inboard lite depending on desired solar/thermal performance. As a result, the need for manual shades/blinds is removed along with providing an enhanced experience for the passenger through comfort and unobscured views of the exterior landscape. Operators benefit from potential reductions in maintenance, operation, and installation costs with a weight neutral solution. NanoEC™ SPU™ can also be easily integrated into the growing trend of information systems for on-board and off-board applications, real time passenger information, entertainment and commercial advertisements.

Learn More



ScreeneX® is an LCD embedded glass technology that transforms windows and other glass elements into vivid digital Information displays for passengers. Conventional windows,doors and partition walls become a dynamic communication channel.

A window of real-time communication, ScreeneX®, is a new generation of information systems for on-board and off-board applications, real time passenger information, entertainment and commercial advertisements.

Featuring an embedded TFT – LCD panel inside the glass unit, ScreeneX® allows operators to control and tailor information displayed to passengers and consumers. Because the screen is embedded into the glass unit, the surface on both sides is as smooth and clear as regular glass.


P C Henderson is pleased to launch our new Twinbolt locking system for use with our leading exterior door hardware system, Securefold.

Twinbolt is a sophisticated locking system for exterior folding doors whereby one simple turn of a handle engages a 22mm throw to securely lock the doors at the top and bottom of the system. Designed as a stylish and more concealed alternative to flush bolts, which require manual locking in two separate areas, we anticipate the product to be a popular addition to the range.

Twinbolt locking systemNew features include the system being able to work with any euro cylinder lock meaning installers have the freedom and flexibility to use their preferred choice of lock – as well as an increased throw of 22mm, providing added security.

This also provides installers with greater flexibility in regards to the gap between the door and the frame, an important factor due to timber doors being known to expand and contract after installation.

A range of accessories are available to add to the refinement of the product including a stylish Malta Handle Kit and routing rubber cover strips available in a variety of colours.

Finer details such as the inclusion of a factory set handle height (1050mm) and easy adjustment of the top lock rod – to suit standard and non-standard doors heights – demonstrates the high standard of design and manufacturing from P C Henderson.

Andrew Royle, Sales and Marketing Director at P C Henderson, commented, “Although the previous version of Twinbolt worked extremely well, customer feedback told us that it required increased flexibility. The new system will accept any standard euro cylinder lock which makes the system a lot more future proof for any future lock or handle changes. The system as a whole is the perfect add on for our Securefold system, it’s discreet, stylish, convenient, requires effortless operation and we’re confident it will be received well by the market”.

Developed as a direct result of customer feedback, the system is available in five kit variants suitable for top hung, bottom rolling, mortice and non-mortice Securefold systems as well as our heavier weight capacity system, Securefold 150.

Securefold is a an exterior folding door hardware system which is available for top hung wooden doors weighing up to 50kg, 100kg or 150kg as well as bottom rolling doors weighing up to 80kg. A high security version of the product – Securefold Ultra – is also available which Twinbolt can be used with.

Watch the promotional video here:


This 3-star Sold Secure Diamond Cylinder sets a completely new standard in home security and is unlike any other lock cylinder on the market.

Everyone can see that an aïr bi-folding or lift & slide door is immensely pleasing to the eye, but this unrivalled stylishness counts for nothing if it fails to provide sufficient security.

Happily it does as we supply all aïr products with the Ultion cylinder as standard, one of the world’s most secure locking systems.

Unbeatable security

This 3-star Sold Secure Diamond Cylinder sets a completely new standard in home security and is unlike any other lock cylinder on the market. How is it so different to anything else?

It has an 11-pin configuration with a special lock-down mode that triggers if an attack is detected; we’re talking about lock picking, lock bumping or lock drilling.

It’s so secure that Brisant-Secure, the company responsible for developing Ultion, are confident enough to offer homeowners a FREE 10 year £1,000 guarantee against burglary as a result of an Ultion lock snapping.

Even with the key inside the lock, the Ultion remains completely snap secure. Paired with our Secured by Design certification, it makes the ultimate security system for your home.

Secured by Design

For anyone unfamiliar with Secured by Design, let us quote the Secured by Design website –

“Secured by Design focuses on crime prevention of homes and commercial premises and promotes the use of security standards for a wide range of applications and products.”

Its objective is to reduce burglary and crime in the UK by designing out crime through physical security and processes.

So, installing an aïr 500LS, 600LS or 800 to Secured by Design standard is something definitely worth considering, especially as the initiative has the full backing of the Police.

“This 3-star Sold Secure Diamond Cylinder sets a completely new standard in home security “

aïr and Ultion = a perfect match

Choosing to offer Ultion cylinders with aïr doors was an easy decision to make as we know that customers are increasingly concerned about security.


Air Logo


RoofLight Solutions Ltd is now able to supply or supply, fix and glaze an extensive range of Aluminium Curtain Wall Systems into new or existing structural openings to suit every budget, project size and performance requirements.

Their client portfolio is ever expanding and they have worked with property developers, construction firms, local authorities and the general public to meet their exact curtain wall requirements.

Curtain Walling UK is uniquely positioned in the marketplace as we are able to supply and install systems from a variety of different suppliers including SMART and our primary system supplier; Senior Architectural Systems (SAS).

This way of working allows them to supply an extensive range of systems to suit our client’s individual requirements. They are able to supply an almost unlimited choice of colours and finishes to both the inside and out, along with sloping and frameless vent options.

With such a range of products, their technical team is on hand to guide you and help you decide on the right system to meet your exact requirements.




The global Aluminum Curtain Wall market was valued at USD 25.1 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of more than 9.3% during the forecast period.

An aluminum curtain wall is a thin aluminum-framed wall, which contains in-fills of glass, metal panels, or thin stone. This frame is attached to building structures and does not carry the floor or roof loads of the building.

Use of aluminum curtain walls enhances the energy efficiency of buildings while reducing HVAC costs. The demand for aluminum curtain wall has increased over the years owing to increasing environmental awareness and growing trend towards energy efficient buildings.

The growth in construction industry and rising need to protect exterior walls of structures drive the growth of the market. The increasing construction of commercial structures such as factories, offices, and institutions supplement the growth of the market.

The increasing demand for energy efficient building solutions, and moisture management in buildings along with introduction of innovative aluminum curtain wall products in the market at competitive prices by market players further augment market growth.

Stringent government regulations regarding energy use, reduction in operation costs, and trend towards green buildings also boost the adoption of aluminum curtain walls. Growing demand from emerging economies, increasing consumer awareness, and growth of eco-friendly infrastructure are factors expected to provide numerous growth opportunities in the coming years.


Asia-Pacific Aluminum Curtain Wall Market By Type, 2017 – 2026

Asia-Pacific Aluminum Curtain Wall Market By Type, 2017 - 2026
Note: Inside circle depicts data for 2017 & outside circle depicts data for 2026


Segment Analysis

The global Aluminum Curtain Walls market is segmented on the basis of type, application, and region. Based on type, the market is segmented into stick-built, unitized, and semi-unitized. On the basis of application, the market is segmented into residential, commercial, and public.

This report comprises a detailed geographic distribution of the market across North America, Europe, APAC, Latin America and MEA. North America is further segmented into U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Europe is divided into Germany, UK, Italy, France, and Rest of Europe. Asia-Pacific is bifurcated into China, India, Japan, and Rest of Asia-Pacific. Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share in the Global Aluminum Curtain Wall market in 2017.


Asia-Pacific Aluminum Curtain Wall Market, By Type, 2017 – 2026 
(USD Million)

Asia-Pacific Aluminum Curtain Wall Market, By Type, 2017 - 2026 (USD Million)


Competitive Landscape

The leading players in the market include EFCO Corporation, HansenGroup Ltd., Kalwall Corporation, National Enclosure Company, Sapa Building Systems Ltd., Ponzio Srl, Kawneer Company, Inc., Josef Gartner GmbH, GUTMANN AG, Alumil Aluminium Industry S. A, HUECK System GmbH & Co. KG, and Schüco International among others.

These leading players in the market are introducing innovative products in the market to cater to the consumers. Global players are entering new markets in developing regions to expand their customer base and strengthen market presence.


Key questions answered by the report

  • What is the current Market Size and Forecasts of Global Aluminum Curtain Wall Market
  • What is the market opportunity for Aluminum Curtain Wall types
  • How big is the market size for different types in the Global Aluminum Curtain Wall Market
  • How much is the estimated market for Aluminum Curtain Wall in North America during the forecast period
  • What are the companies in this market and how are they classified
  • What are the available opportunities and who are the top market players in this space
  • Which are the major applications and what traction are they gaining in the market





The tall, wide-span panes create a frameless glass wall that’s the perfect design choice for homes that need a seamless connection from the inside living space to the outdoors.

Infinium has been engineered to be the perfect system for framing a view from a room. The tall, wide-span panes create a frameless glass wall that’s the perfect design choice for homes that need a seamless connection from the inside living space to the outdoors.

With the slimmest of interlock sightlines — just 21mm wide — Infinium creates a wall of glass with minimum interruption. The frame and sash of Infinium are concealed within the wall whilst the flush threshold and fully concealed hardware finish the look.

Infinium – Engineered with Precision

Infinium slimline sliding doors are available with a double track in configurations with up to four door sashes. Each door sash can be up to 3000mm wide and 3500mm high for the widest glazed area.

To bring natural light and the outdoors inside, but keep the elements out, Infinium offers U-Values as low as 1.0 W/m2K with the assistance of double thermal breaks and double or triple glazed units.

These large, heavy panes of glass sit on bespoke-designed aluminium rollers to give the sliding slimline glazing effortless glide. There is also the option to have automated sliding doors, with a custom-built motorised lock and sliding system, which means the doors can be opened and closed at the touch of a button.

Infinium: Truly Slimline Glazing

Whether you’re an architect planning a modern new-build with lots of glazed areas or working on a home transformation to bring more light into an existing building, Infinium is a stunning choice for your glazing.

The flush threshold and concealed frame gives the illusion of glass coming straight of the wall, with no frame at all – the stunning combination of expert engineering and beautiful design creates slimline glazing that takes framing a view to new heights.

A High-end Sliding Door Needs Top-quality Manufacturing

Infinium glazing can only be manufactured by approved fabricators, chosen by the systems company. We have been selected to manufacture Infinium, because of our award-winning, precise manufacturing. This means that Infinium minimal frame glazing will be delivered to site, ready to be installed.

Certified Installation

The Infinium system can also only be installed by certified installers, creating an exclusivity around the product that will give your installation company a fantastic USP. It will also minimize risk of damage on site so that homeowners and project managers are given complete peace of mind during Infinium’s installation.

Download a Brochure

Infinium is available now from AluFoldDirect. You can learn more about it in our brochure or visit the Aluminium Glazing Design Centrein Blackburn for a tour of our showroom with AluFoldDirect’s aluminium glazing experts. We help architects, developers, homeowners and installers to choose the best aluminium glazing products for their projects.