The intelligent networking and automation of building functions is the key factor for efficient and sustainable building management.

Schüco International KG will be presenting automation solutions for intelligently networking the building envelope of commercial and residential buildings (smart homes) at this year’s Light + Building, the world’s leading exhibition for light and building technology, in Hall 11.1 at Stand C50. In January 2018 Schüco became a member of the Connected Comfort brand alliance.

The intelligent networking and automation of building functions is the key factor for efficient and sustainable building management. The building envelope specialist from Bielefeld provides smart solutions in a timeless design, which can be integrated into standardised building management systems.

After all, intelligently inter-compatible automation solutions provide a high level of comfort thanks to a healthy indoor climate, protection against break-ins and a reduction in the building’s energy balance.

Picture credits: Schüco International KG The Schüco VentoTherm Advanced ventilation system is a window-integrated ventilation and extraction system with air filter, heat recovery and sensor control which allows continuous air exchange when the window is closed.
Picture credits: Schüco International KG The Schüco VentoTherm Advanced ventilation system is a window-integrated ventilation and extraction system with air filter, heat recovery and sensor control which allows continuous air exchange when the window is closed.

 

Networked system platform

Schüco Building Skin Control networks components in the whole building envelope with each other. Via a KNX or BACnet gateway, the system platform can be connected to a standardised building management system.

Numerous functions – such as automatic closure of windows in the event of rain, time-controlled window ventilation and energy-saving night-time cooling – can be managed centrally with just one piece of software. They are quick and intuitive to operate using the Schüco Building Skin Control app.

Picture credits: Schüco International KG The Building Skin Control system platform networks the Schüco units in the building envelope with each other. It can be connected via open interfaces to standardised building management systems.
Picture credits: Schüco International KG The Building Skin Control system platform networks the Schüco units in the building envelope with each other. It can be connected via open interfaces to standardised building management systems.

 

Intelligent ventilation systems

Schüco offers window-integrated ventilation solutions for new and existing buildings. The portfolio ranges from external air inlets for damp protection to effective ventilation systems with heat recovery.

With VentoTherm Advanced, Schüco presents a new intelligent ventilation and extraction system with demand-driven sensor control. The integrated heat exchanger reduces ventilation losses and pre-heats the inflowing air to a comfortable temperature.

Schüco VentoLife has been specifically developed to meet the needs of residents in large cities and urban areas. A multi-stage, high-performance filter effectively removes the smallest particulate matter, pollen and substances that are harmful to health, thereby ensuring optimum air quality in the building.

Picture credits: Schüco International KG Schüco VentoLife ventilation system: The multiple air filter technology effectively removes the smallest particulate matter and substances in the air that are harmful to health, thereby ensuring optimum air quality in the building.
Picture credits: Schüco International KG Schüco VentoLife ventilation system: The multiple air filter technology effectively removes the smallest particulate matter and substances in the air that are harmful to health, thereby ensuring optimum air quality in the building.

 

Multifunctional door management

The Schüco Door Control System (DCS) is a smart door management system which offers access control, door communication and emergency exit control. Individual module combinations are possible.

The range of modules includes a code keypad, fingerprint or RFID card reader, camera, microphone and loudspeaker, LED spotlight and house number display. The units are flush-fitted in the door profile in a timeless design, as is the DCS Touch Display, which is over 4 inches in size.

It combines door communication functions with access control functions in one single module and is as intuitive to use as a smartphone. A scrollable doorbell list, numerical code, intercom system with video camera and door opener, and a house number display provide a high standard of comfort, security and design.

Other highlights at the Schüco exhibition stand include intelligent sun shading control with the KNX weather centre, NSHEVS security solutions with Schüco TipTronic SimplySmart SHEVS and SHEVS control units – as well as the keyless access control system Schüco BlueCon.

Picture credits: Schüco International KG The Schüco Door Control System features a variety of access control and door communication options.
Picture credits: Schüco International KG The Schüco Door Control System features a variety of access control and door communication options.
Picture credits: Schüco International KG The DCS (Door Control System) Touch Display is installed flush in the door profile and combines all door communication and access control functions.
Picture credits: Schüco International KG The DCS (Door Control System) Touch Display is installed flush in the door profile and combines all door communication and access control functions.

 

For more information, visit
www.schueco.com/building-skin-control
www.schueco.com/ventilation
www.schueco.com/dcs

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Glas Trösch glazing for spectacular views at the Buergenstock Hotel.

The Buergenstock Resort stands proudly above Lake Lucerne in the Swiss canton of Nidwalden, its unique views once making it a popular retreat for such well-known figures as Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, and Konrad Adenauer.

The complex has now been given a full makeover – creating a new luxury resort consisting of several hotels, “residence suites”, and a large spa area.

At its centre is the new Buergenstock Hotel, a five-star superior establishment. Due to the hotel’s exposed location and the prevailing temperature fluctuations, its glazing needed to provide increased protection from both heat and cold.

The product chosen was triple insulating glass with SILVERSTAR COMBI and low-e coatings from Glas Troesch, which ensure reliable protection in summer and winter. It means that the views can resultantly be enjoyed to the full without sacrificing any indoor comfort.

The distinct L-shaped structure rests on a glazed base, lending the building a palpable sense of lightness. Thanks to a bright façade made of shell limestone, the architecture projects a welcoming atmosphere and looks stunning from a distance, while the reflective glass surfaces further emphasise the hotel’s handsome aesthetics.

The hotel features 102 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, a restaurant, a ballroom, and a bar with views of Lake Lucerne. The glazed entrance area that houses the lobby, bar, and lounge is an ideal place for hosting private and public events – an opportunity for dancing and partying in a spectacular setting.

The clean style and colour scheme, together with the modern glass features, lend the building an elegant exterior and make it easily visible from afar. (© copyright Buergenstock Hotels & Resort)
The clean style and colour scheme, together with the modern glass features, lend the building an elegant exterior and make it easily visible from afar. (© copyright Buergenstock Hotels & Resort)

 

Heat and cold under control

While the piazza in front of the hotel forms a welcoming entrance area, a large terrace offers views out over the picturesque countryside. The southern end of the terrace forms an architectural unit with the L-shaped structure and features rows of stores with glazing on both sides and a glass-covered area.

The glass front, designed as a mullion-transom façade, grants both hotel guests and passers-by (the terrace is open to the general public) unhindered views of the unique panorama.

Protecting it from excessive heat and cold is triple insulating glass with SILVERSTAR COMBI Neutral 51/26 in position two and the SILVERSTAR ZERO Eplus low-e coating in position five: with a total energy transmittance of just 24 percent, solar radiation is effectively reflected and the interior spaces, which are almost fully glazed, are protected from heat.

To ensure the good indoor climate is maintained in both the summer and the winter, the triple insulating glass provides protection not only from overheating but, thanks to an extremely low Ug-value of 0.6 W/m2 K also keeps snow and ice out on cold days.

The Buergstock railway station was integrated within the building. This gives guests direct access to the hotel. (© copyright Leonardo Finotti)
The Buergstock railway station was integrated within the building. This gives guests direct access to the hotel. (© copyright Leonardo Finotti)

 

A spectacular view

Guests can bask in luxury at the Buergenstock Hotel: every room has views of the lake, and some feature glazed bay windows for an even more spacious panorama.

The two top floors are fitted with extra window areas – floor-to-ceiling glazing here guarantees an exclusive panorama from the suites. Insulating glass was used exclusively; thanks to SILVERSTAR COMBI Neutral 51/26 and SILVERSTAR ZERO Eplus coatings, it features highly effective solar and thermal protection and ensures a pleasant indoor climate.

The total energy transmittance here is 25 percent; the Ug-value is just 0.6 W/m2 K. To meet a wide range of requirements, the composition of the insulating glass was adjusted for use in different parts of the structure – as an example, the corner glazing was fitted with additional laminated safety glass to ensure fall protection in line with regulations.

Large windows with clear optics and frames doubling as seating ensure that the panorama is revealed to its best advantage. (© copyright Buergenstock Hotels & Resort)
Large windows with clear optics and frames doubling as seating ensure that the panorama is revealed to its best advantage. (© copyright Buergenstock Hotels & Resort)

 

An Energy efficient concept for the Healthy Living Waldhotel

Glas Troesch products do not only ensure an excellent indoor climate at the Buergenstock Hotel; they are also in use at the Waldhotel designed by Matteo Thun & Partners. The “Healthy Living Hotel” features 161 premium suites and espouses an ecologically minded and energy efficient concept.

Local building materials and roof planting help to create a building that harmoniously blends into the natural surroundings. The triple glazing used here, together with the SILVERSTAR ZERO Eplus premium low-e coating, helps to dramatically reduce energy consumption.

The views can even be enjoyed while taking a relaxing bubble bath. The near frameless windows help to make maximum use of the transparent area. (© copyright Buergenstock Hotels & Resort)
The views can even be enjoyed while taking a relaxing bubble bath. The near frameless windows help to make maximum use of the transparent area. (© copyright Buergenstock Hotels & Resort)

Glas Troesch glazing for spectacular views at the Buergenstock Hotel.

Signboard:

Project: Buergenstock Resort Hotel/Waldhotel-Healthy Living
Location: Obbuergen (CH)
Completion: 2017
Architect: Buergenstock Hotel: Ruessli Architekten, Lucerne (CH)/Waldhotel Healthy Living: Matteo Thun & Partners, Milan (IT)
Metal construction company: Ruch Metallbau AG, Altdorf (CH)/ Josef Meyer Stahl und Metall AG, Emmen (CH)
Insulating glass manufacturer: Glas Troesch Buetzberg/Glas Troesch Oberkulm (CH)
Products: SILVERSTAR COMBI Neutral 51/26; SILVERSTAR ZERO Eplus
Coating: Glas Troesch Burnhaupt (F)

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SCHOTT is introducing a new, innovative portfolio of structured glass substrates that offers highly accurate and versatile features: FLEXINITY™.

Structured thin or ultra-thin glass wafers are used as a substrate for sensors, batteries, and diagnostic technology. The breakthrough will enable new applications and further miniaturization of electronics through thinner glass wafers and structures that are more precise. The technology offers the lowest structuring radius of just 150 micrometers (μm) and a feature size tolerance lower than ± 25 μm.

International technology group SCHOTT has developed a unique process that enables freedom of design and high precision in structured glass wafers. SCHOTT will highlight its new FLEXINITY™ portfolio of structured glass solutions at booth 1207 at Photonics West in San Francisco from January 27 to February 1.

“Component manufacturers have been on the hunt for more precise, lighter, and thinner structured glass wafers, but mechanical structuring methods have reached their limits,” said Matthias Jotz, Product Manager at SCHOTT Advanced Optics. “New applications that have been waiting for smaller components are finally possible.”

SCHOTT’s new FLEXINITY™ structuring portfolio offers complete freedom of design on glass wafers and thin glass. With FLEXINITY™, any shape is possible. Credit: SCHOTT
SCHOTT’s new FLEXINITY™ structuring portfolio offers complete freedom of design on glass wafers and thin glass. With FLEXINITY™, any shape is possible. Credit: SCHOTT

 

Meeting tomorrow’s demands – today

An increasing trend toward miniaturization in IC packaging, biochips, sensors, micro-batteries, and diagnostic technology has pushed demand for high-precision structured glass wafers, even as technology to create them has reached its limits. This has made it difficult to shrink wafers any further, and limited the pace of innovation.

SCHOTT’s new FLEXINITY™ structuring portfolio offers complete freedom of design on glass wafers and thin glass. With FLEXINITY™, any shape is possible, and the process allows extremely tight tolerances and structures.

Structured wafers are available made of glass types from SCHOTT’s unique down-draw glass portfolio, or plano-plano-processed BOROFLOAT 33® borosilicate glass.

 

Various glass types and thicknesses: freedom of choice

SCHOTT’s structured glass wafers are available in 4-inch to 12-inch wafers, in thinness ranging from 0.1 to 3.0 mm. The smallest structuring radius is set to 150 μm and the feature size tolerance is lower than ± 25 μm.

Customers can choose from several different glass types, such as borosilicate glass (MEMpax®, D 263® family, BOROFLOAT 33®) and alkali-free glass (AF 32® eco).

The breakthrough technology gives manufacturers in different industries the ability to meet the challenging demands of the future, starting today.

SCHOTT has already created sampling capabilities; mass production will be ready 2019.

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Solar panels have come a long way from their big and bulky designs, but many people still don’t like the way they look on their roofs or façades.

While it is possible to hide solar cells in glass or roof tiles, Studio Solarix, founded by architect Marloes van Heteren and artist Reinier Bosch, decided that solar panels needed a design overhaul. They developed an energy generating design solar panels, which is customisable in colour and texture!

Generate solar energy with design solar panels on your façade!

The Solarix panel was inspired by photosynthesis in nature, in which the skin of plants is the main energy source. By covering the façade of a building with the panels, you both create a nice looking façade, as well as a green and local energy source for the building.

Generate solar energy with design solar panels on your façade!

The panels are made from a Cradle-2-Cradle composite with an integrated glass panel with solar cells. The panel is completely customisable in colour and texture, but also in size, giving architects much more design freedom.

Generate solar energy with design solar panels on your façade!

The panels are generate about as much energy as conventional solar cells. They are installed slightly angled to make them more efficient. It also gives the façade a somewhat playful look.

Generate solar energy with design solar panels on your façade!

To give the solar panels an extra dimension, LED strips can be integrated into them. The LEDs turn the generated energy into light, so that the façade can communicate with its surroundings.

Generate solar energy with design solar panels on your façade!

Generate solar energy with design solar panels on your façade!

Photos: Marielle van Uitert

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Give your projects the tint of luxury, and a hint of royalty with AIS Sunshield Royal Gold, the exciting new shade from India’s leading heat reflective soft-coat glass.

ais_sunshield_banner_internalFeatures and Benefits:

  • Advanced solar control technology for reduced glare, protection from UV radiation and effective cooling comfort
  • Improved energy efficiency of homes and commercial spaces
  • Ideal for a wide range of architectural and aesthetic applications
  • Available in 3.5mm, 4mm & 5mm thickness, and a wide number of sizes
Parameters Single Glazed
3.5 mm
Single Glazed
4 mm
Single Glazed
5 mm
Solar Factor 50 52 52
Shading Coefficient 57 60 60
Visible light Transmittance 43 41 40
Visible light Reflectance
External 24 24 23
Internal 27 27 26
U Value W/m²K 5.8 5.8 5.8

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Lots of room for over 600 birds in a safe evironment.

600 chirping animals from around 100 different bird species have a whole lot of space – almost 2,700 m2 – in the new and most modern aviary in Europe at Berlin Zoo.

Aviary at Berlin Zoo - ISOLAR ORNILUX® mikado by Arnold Glas

In three large, bright free-flight halls, the birds can move through the air in a way that is appropriate to their respective species.

Aviary at Berlin Zoo - ISOLAR ORNILUX® mikado by Arnold Glas

The large glass facade is not a problem for birds of different sizes and plumage: Thanks to Isolar Ornilux bird protection glass from Arnold Glas, they recognise the glass panes as an impenetrable obstacle. The reason is a special coating that most birds will see clearly but that is almost invisible to the human eye.

Aviary at Berlin Zoo - ISOLAR ORNILUX® mikado by Arnold Glas

Every year, three million adults and children visit Berlin Zoo, and for many of them, the 5,000 m2 aviary is a special attraction. The treetop walk that has been integrated into the new building holds a special fascination for animal watchers of any age.

Aviary at Berlin Zoo - ISOLAR ORNILUX® mikado by Arnold Glas

It allows visitors to watch the birds flying around from a height of five metres. The free-flight halls present the natural environments of the continents Africa, Australia and South-East Asia, so that the bird species can live in an environment that is adapted to their needs. The enclosure provides the birds with much more freedom of movement than conventional aviaries.

Aviary at Berlin Zoo - ISOLAR ORNILUX® mikado by Arnold Glas

Aviary at Berlin Zoo - ISOLAR ORNILUX® mikado by Arnold Glas

 

COATING ALLOWS BIRDS TO RECOGNISE GLASS FACADE AS AN OBSTACLE

The Isolar Ornilux mikado bird protection glass, which was installed in the aviary on an area of no less than 350 m2, ensures the safety of the birds.

The special glazing has specific coatings that make the glass panes visible to the birds. The coating is almost invisible to the human eye. The unobtrusive coating makes UV light visible and is based on the scientific knowledge that most birds, unlike humans, are able to see UV light.

Aviary at Berlin Zoo - ISOLAR ORNILUX® mikado by Arnold Glas

Thanks to the expansive glass facade, the aviary is very bright with a lot of natural light. This is achieved in part by the light transmission value of the glass of 76 percent. The g-value of 60 percent prevents the area heating up in summer, while the Ug-value of 1.1 W/m2K keeps the heat inside the aviary in winter.

Aviary at Berlin Zoo - ISOLAR ORNILUX® mikado by Arnold Glas

Product brochure ISOLAR ORNILUX® 

Data sheet ISOLAR ORNILUX® mikado 

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More and more glass building wall appear in our modern city, especially in busy areas. The more buildings, the more creative designs. Passersby are easily absorbed by those creative buildings. That’s why advertising has higher value in central area.

NEXNOVO transparent LED display wall mainly focus on glass building advertising and related solutions. It breaks limited application of traditional LED display. Transparent LED display could keep building’s original appearance and function, and at the same time, act as advertising display.

New application of NEXNOVO glass wall for South Tower in Japan

It occupies less space and leaves little effect on other structure or machine. It weighs 12-15kg/sqm and asks for little requirement for building load. Cabinet dimension could also be customized to fit exact window size, which brings your glass windows a better advertising display.

New application of NEXNOVO glass wall for South Tower in Japan

Transparent LED screen shines all over the building made of steel and concrete. With the development of technology, NEXNOVO products will provide more creative solutions for skyscrapers around us.

New application of NEXNOVO glass wall for South Tower in Japan

New application of NEXNOVO glass wall for South Tower in Japan

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The BR frameless system allows for fire-resistant doors to be installed as part of the partition.

POLFLAM® fire-resistant glass BR in class EI 30 and EI 60 is applied in the BR frameless system. Partitions made using that system can be as high as 4200 mm and the length of the partitions is unlimited after subsequent glass units are added.

The system allows for fire-resistant doors to be installed as part of the partition. The doors do not require any frames, either. The BR system partitions can be fixed to walls made of different materials: phermacell, hollow brick, checker brick, perforated brick or full brick, concrete or reinforced concrete.

A chain of Gardencity restaurants at Poznań International Fair. The glazed walls made of POLFLAM® BR glass on several floors have been covered with decorative finishining
A chain of Gardencity restaurants at Poznań International Fair. The glazed walls made of POLFLAM® BR glass on several floors have been covered with decorative finishining

They can be joined well with plaster-wall partitions. The BR system makes it possible to combine – within a single unit – transparent sheets with opaque ones made in RAL and NCS palette colours.

palette colours

Product charts:

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Solar has become the driving force behind the boom in renewable energies and solar capacities are growing rapidly. The trend now is to integrate solar cells into building facades and vehicles, mainly their glass surfaces.

Labs and startups are in a race to solve the final technical challenges. Their goal: the massive development of see-through photovoltaics.

Rapid expansion and record-low production costs, sometimes as low as USD$30 USD per megawatt hour in India, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and Chile: those are the conclusions for photovoltaic electricity in 2016 drawn up by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

In this report, Renewables 2017the agency explained this success by the combined impact of public policies and lower costs for renewable energies (RE) in general and solar PV in particular.

Solar Power Driving Change

With connections about 165 GW worldwide, including Chinese solar electric trains, REs made up the bulk of the new energy capacity that came online in 2016.

When Solar Panels Become Transparent | SUNPARTNER Technologies

Photovoltaics lead the way: 74 GW of new capacity in 2016, nearly half of that in China. By 2022, the IEA expects that 920 GW of capacity will be added for renewables — an increase of 43%. This growth will be largely driven by photovoltaics, which are “entering a new era,” says the IEA.

When Solar Panels Become Transparent | SUNPARTNER Technologies

These trends coincide with other major developments. For example, since the majority of the Earth’s population is concentrated in cities, energy will have to be produced closer to the demand. In addition, new technologies such as self-consumption will accelerate the growth of distributed energy generation.

In addition, European directives stipulate that starting in 2020, all new building must be “almost net zero” energy. In France, to obtain the newest building certification, Energie + Carbone –, new construction must produce 40kWh/m2 at ground level of renewable energy for commercial and 20kwh for residential so that they achieve a high level of energy performance.

To meet these requirements, solar has considerable advantages over other kinds of renewable energy. For example, how could a methanizer be installed near a building? Or wind turbines on the roof? With the existing state of technology, these other options are not possible.

 

Untapped Potential

Another argument for solar: the PV potential of cities is largely under-exploited. With all the roofs, tiles, facades, and windows, the opportunities for harvesting solar energy are immense.

A team of American researchers has calculated this potential in an article in the journal Nature Energy. Two of the authors, Christopher Traverse and Richard Lunt, are researchers at Michigan State University’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science while the others, Richa Pandey and Miles Barr, work for a US company, which Richart Lunt also co-founded.

They found that a solar facility covering 20% of the state of Nevada would provide all the electricity needed for the United States of America. Yet they also note that conventional PVs would only meet a small percentage of the planet’s energy needs, far behind what fossil fuels can provide today.

 

Building Integrated Photovoltaics

We have long known of the benefits of transforming surfaces to capture and store light energy. Recent advances have also enabled PVs to retain aesthetics without compromising basic functions. Researchers are now focusing on maximising the power generated and certain other technical challenges need to be overcome.

According to this research team, the solution is photovoltaics that are applied on, or better yet, integrated into, buildings: BAPVs and BIPVs.

The boom in BIPVs is indisputable: the market was $ 3 billion in 2015 and promises strong growth for the coming years. However, there is room for improvement in the energy generated by BIPVs, as their output cannot yet provide the planet’s total electricity needs.

 

Putting Windows and Facades to Work

These researchers believe that providing the energy needed to meet all demands would require a massive effort. To quantify this, they first calculated the surface area of all the roofs in the US that could produce solar energy: over 8 billion m2.

Of this total, only 16% meet the conditions for satisfactory generation, which would generate 1,400 TWh annually, or 40% of the USA’s electricity demand. However, this area could be doubled if the other spaces contributed, such as windows and facades. If these surfaces are added, the US will be energy neutral, at least on paper.

To do this, researchers believe that transparent photovoltaic technology is the key. Two types of solutions exist: i) non-selective solar, which absorbs the entire spectrum of light but have a transparency of 0 to 50%; and 2) selective PVs, which generate energy from part of the spectrum (ultraviolet and/or near-infrared) and let visible light pass, reaching transparency of 50 to 90%.

 

Labs and Startups Hard at Work

Whether in development or already available on the market, these solar solutions have to address certain challenges, such as wear resistance due to exposure to the elements (air, storms).

According to these researchers, when exposed electronic equipment has a lifespan of ten years, less than the buildings they are installed on. As these technical challenges are being solved, a world of possibilities has opened up for transparent photovoltaics: building surfaces, windows, electronic displays and vehicles.

These challenges have sparked the interest of laboratories and startups around the world. The Michigan State University researchers mentioned above are working on transparent solar windows and display screens, as well as devices for the Internet of Things, by transforming the energy of certain light wavelengths into electricity.

 

The Smart Solar Mobility Project

Sunpartner Technologies also has expertise in this field. In addition to its photovoltaic surfaces and smart glazing for buildings and IoT using Wysips® technology, Sunpartner has just started a solar project for the transportation sector.

The Smart Solar Mobility Project brings together companies working to provide flexible photovoltaics for the automotive, railway, aeronautical and shipping industries.

A German company also offers flexible organic films that integrate directly into existing buildings. The company has recently equipped the roof of a French school, enabling it to generate 15% of its electricity needs.

 

Solar Power and the Future of Humanity

Another team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of Colorado (NREL) has developed a “reversible” window. Through a complex chemical reaction, this window switches from a transparent state, letting light into a building, to an opaque state to intercept photons and transform them into electrons.

In Tokyo, researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science have developed a window that filters out red and blue light, using it to generate electricity, while allowing green components of light, essential for human vision, to pass.

All these advances confirm the ideas of another researcher: Richard Perez, a well-known specialist on solar energy and professor at the State University of New York (Albany). According to him, solar can provide 100% of the planet’s energy needs. He proves his argument with a diagram showing the largely unexploited potential of solar power.

When Solar Panels Become Transparent | SUNPARTNER Technologies

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Chris Byers, Managing Director of Euroseal explains, how the changing face of the Extrusion sector means that businesses are becoming increasingly open to the idea of outsourcing.

Apple is famous for the clean, minimalist designs of its products and has invested carefully in cultivating a premium brand image, selling at high margin and with low operating costs.

It leaves manufacture to big sub-contractors like Foxconn, which means it doesn’t have to spend what would run to billions of pounds on internal production, plant and logistics.

Dealing with thousands of staff in factories is another headache Apple avoids by using a third party manufacturer, so apart from the staff who operate its retail outlets, they have no requirement to hire and manage hourly staff.

In brief, Apple sticks to its strengths – effective brand building and exemplary customer service without the investment needed to bring manufacturing engineers in-house.

Apple sells millions of products each year without making a single device.

Extrusion outsourcing: How systems companies can learn from hi-tech sectors

 

So, what of our own industry?

Unlike the tech industry, outsourcing (although it exists) is far less prevalent in the Extrusion sector, with systems companies sceptical about embracing outsourcing models despite the potential to cut operating costs.

However, as Chris Byers, Managing Director of Euroseal explains, the changing face of the sector means that businesses are becoming increasingly open to the idea of outsourcing.

“While the margins have always existed, there is now a greater call for systems houses to look at alternative or hybrid systems of manufacture, because those margins have been eroded by increased material and energy costs.

“This is something not helped by continuing uncertainty around Brexit and more difficult trading conditions – let’s not forget that most polymer used in the UK window system production is imported from the EU.

“There’s also a pressure to invest. Window system extrusion has moved forward and that requires investment in lines and capacity. That means significant capital spend at a time when continuing market uncertainty makes investment in big ticket items far less appealing.”

Extrusion outsourcing: How systems companies can learn from hi-tech sectors

 

Innovation, improvement, trust

Economic uncertainty drives companies like Apple to have third parties deliver production of their devices and manage manufacturing investment for them, so they can focus on marketing and sales.

The cost of controlling inventory, transportation costs, capital tie-up and salary overheads are all effectively side-stepped, allowing companies to centre attention on innovation and improving their products.

These arrangements truly flourish when trust is established with the manufacturer, something which Apple has cultivated in its relationship with a high-quality turnkey provider like Foxconn.

Extrusion outsourcing: How systems companies can learn from hi-tech sectors

 

Why outsource extrusion to Euroseal?

Euroseal offers a complete extrusion service, from initial concept to delivery.

This includes, design and CAD creation and manufacture of tooling, to extrusion, quality control, personalisation and packaging – plus shipment either for your own distribution or direct to customers. It also offers financial support to its customers to invest in tooling on larger volume runs.

With nine extrusion lines including five high capacity twin screw machines and four single screw machines, including co-extrusion, it also operates one of the UK’s most technically advanced extrusion facilities.

This gives it the capacity to extrude profiles from 40g to 6kg per metre and 0.7mm to 10mm thick, to exacting tolerances, with twin screws running to more than 200kg per hour and manufacturing a diverse range of thermoplastic extrusions, including rigid profile and co-extrusions in PVC, wood composite, HDPE, Polystyrene, Polypropylene and ABS.

Extrusion outsourcing: How systems companies can learn from hi-tech sectors

 

Investment and commitment to quality

Because of the investment Euroseal has made in its own process controls and system, we are one of the few specialist extruders to have partnered with window systems companies in the UK.

We work to BSi Kitemark standards, providing a complete audit trail for every profile we extrude. This includes printing bar length every 0.5m with the date, time and machine it was extruded on and by which operative – so everything is auditable and transparent.

This gives our customers full visibility of everything that we do, so much so, that we supply daily and weekly production data using the customer’s own documentation.

Extrusion outsourcing: How systems companies can learn from hi-tech sectors

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Euroseal - Innovative extrusion solutions

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Berkeley Lab researchers make thermochromic windows with perovskite solar cell.

Smart windows that are transparent when it’s dark or cool but automatically darken when the sun is too bright are increasingly popular energy-saving devices. But imagine that when the window is darkened, it simultaneously produces electricity.

Such a material – a photovoltaic glass that is also reversibly thermochromic – is a green technology researchers have long worked toward, and now, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have demonstrated a way to make it work.

Researchers at Berkeley Lab, a Department of Energy (DOE) national lab, discovered that a form of perovskite, one of the hottest materials in solar research currently due to its high conversion efficiency, works surprisingly well as a stable and photoactive semiconductor material that can be reversibly switched between a transparent state and a non-transparent state, without degrading its electronic properties.

The research, led by Peidong Yang of Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, was published this week in the journal Nature Materials in a study titled, “Thermochromic Halide Perovskite Solar Cells.” The lead authors were Jia Lin, Minliang Lai, and Letian Dou, all in Yang’s research group.

The scientists made the discovery while investigating the phase transition of the material, an inorganic perovskite. “This class of inorganic halide perovskite has amazing phase transition chemistry,” said Yang, who is also a professor in UC Berkeley’s departments of Chemistry, and Materials Science and Engineering.

“It can essentially change from one crystal structure to another when we slightly change the temperature or introduce a little water vapor.”

Sped up video show materials going from low-T to high-T phase. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)
Sped up video show materials going from low-T to high-T phase. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

When the material changes its crystal structure, it changes from transparent to non-transparent. “These two states have the exact same composition but very different crystal structures,” he said. “That was very interesting to us. So you can easily manipulate it in such a way that is not readily available in existing conventional semiconductors.”

Halide perovskite materials are compounds that have the crystal structure of the mineral perovskite. Its unique properties, high efficiency rates, and ease of processing have made it one of the most promising developments in solar technology in recent years.

Researchers at another DOE lab, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), recently made a related discovery, using a chemical reaction in a hybrid perovskite to demonstrate a switchable solar window.

The Berkeley Lab researchers did not originally set out to develop a thermochromic solar window. They were investigating phase transitions in perovskite solar cells and trying to improve the stability in the prototypical organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite methylammonium lead iodide. So they tried using cesium to replace the methylammonium.

“The chemical stability improved dramatically, but unfortunately the phase was not stable,” said Dou, who was a postdoctoral research fellow and is now an assistant professor at Purdue University. “It transformed into the low-T [temperature] phase. It was a drawback, but then we turned it into something that’s unique and useful.”

The material is triggered to transition from the low-T to high-T phase (or from transparent to non-transparent) by applying heat. In the lab, the temperature required was about 100 degrees Celsius. Yang said they are working to bring it down to 60 C.

Lin, a Berkeley Lab postdoctoral fellow, said moisture, or humidity, was used in the lab to trigger the reverse transition. “The amount of moisture needed depends on the composition and the transition time desired,” he said. “For example, more bromide makes the material more stable, so the same humidity would require longer time to transform from the high-T to low-T state.”

The researchers will also continue to work on developing alternative ways to trigger the reverse transition, such as by applying voltage, or engineering the source of the moisture.

“The solar cell shows fully reversible performance and excellent device stability over repeated phase transition cycles without any color fade or performance degradation,” said Lai, a graduate student in Yang’s group. “With a device like this, a building or car can harvest solar energy through the smart photovoltaic window.”

The research was supported by DOE’s Office of Science. Other co-authors of the paper are from UC Berkeley, Stockholm University, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Advanced Light Source at Berkeley Lab, both DOE Office of Science User Facilities, were used to collect some of the data.

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The new Cummins Technology Center will house 2,000 engineers and features a 120,000 square-foot VS1 facade of glass and terracotta. The geometrically complex wall will be the largest faceted wall in the world.

In 2013, Cummins Corporation broke ground on a new technical center in Pune, India. Cummins designs and manufactures diesel and other alternative fuel cars, and has technical centers in 30 countries around the world.

The new Cummins Technology Center (CTC) in Pune will employ 2,000 engineers from the region.

Cummins’ forward-thinking and innovative work is manifested in the stunning architecture of the new campus, which features the worlds largest faceted wall made possible by VS1.

Cummins Technology Center in India: World's largest faceted wall

VS1’s radial fittings make possible complicated geometry, such as the multi-faceted CTC facade. Other systems would have required a horizontal member, but VS1 managed the extremely complex geometry of the facade without them. This achievement allows for unobstructed views between bays.

Cummins Technology Center in India: World's largest faceted wall

VS1 also accommodates multiple panel types to be used on the same primary framing system; the CTC facade features a pattern of laminated glass and ceramic tile panels. VS1 was selected as the system of choice after an international bidding process over conventional solutions which would have used a more costly steel and drilled-glass approach.

Cummins Technology Center in India: World's largest faceted wall

 

VS1 DETAILS

  • World’s largest faceted wall: 120,000 square-foot VS1 wall
  • Complex, multi-plane geometry
  • Terra cotta cladding panels
  • 70ft long mullions with multiple mitered bends
  • Suspended glass canopies
  • All glass vestibules with sliding and swing doors
  • Custom laminated terra cotta glass

 

PROJECT DETAILS

Location: Pune, India
Architect: Venkatraman Associates
Facade Design: Innovation Glass LLC
Facade Contractor: Innovation Glass India Pvt. Ltd.

 

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Thin glass is revolutionising the performance spectrum of glass and glass panes.

Thin glass – as thin as a razor blade or a human hair – is a reliable method to protect smartphone touchscreens, sensitive filters and sensors.

Yet despite its extreme thinness, it is also highly resilient and scratch-proof. Furthermore, thanks to its flexibility and bending properties, it permits totally new applications in architecture, mobility and other industries.

Thin glass is opening up new markets and turning visions into reality. How this works can be seen at glasstec 2018 in Düsseldorf.

Just as smartphones, tablets and e-book readers have changed the way we communicate and convey knowledge, scratch-proof touchscreens have produced totally new qualities in the manufacturing of glass, thus enhancing the performance of this material which has accompanied the history of mankind’s development since the first advanced civilizations.

Ultra-thin protective glass seems more like film than glass and is so bendable and flexible, that it can even be rolled up and transported to customers on rolls (Fig. 1, 2). Special manufacturing processes are now available, allowing for the production of ultra-thin glass films which – at 25 μm (0.025 mm) – are even thinner than a human hair or razor blade.

Glass on rolls – thanks to thin glass. By creating AS 87 eco, Schott has produced the world’s thinnest glass ever. At 25 μm, it is thinner than a human hair. (Photo credit: Schott AG)
1) Glass on rolls – thanks to thin glass. By creating AS 87 eco, Schott has produced the world’s thinnest glass ever. At 25 μm, it is thinner than a human hair. (Photo credit: Schott AG)
2 The benefits of thin glass can also be seen in logistics: drawn onto rolls and then placed on a trailer, it can easily be shipped for further processing or to its installation venue. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)
2) The benefits of thin glass can also be seen in logistics: drawn onto rolls and then placed on a trailer, it can easily be shipped for further processing or to its installation venue. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)

 

Thin glass – manufacturing methods and definition

The starting material for production is molten glass which then passes through rollers and is drawn upward or downward from a tank in what is known as an up-draw or down-draw process (Fig. 3, 4).

The up-draw process involves drawing the molten glass upward. This manufacturing method is suitable for somewhat thicker architectural glasses, between 1 and 10 mm. (Photo credit: Schott AG)
3) The up-draw process involves drawing the molten glass upward. This manufacturing method is suitable for somewhat thicker architectural glasses, between 1 and 10 mm. (Photo credit: Schott AG)

It is then left to cool down on the production line as a film with the required thickness, ranging from 25 μm to 10 mm. Alongside these two methods – which, incidentally, are older than float glass manufacturing – thin glass can also be produced with different specifications, using overflow or micro-floating processes.

4 To obtain extremely thin glasses between 250 and 210 μm, manufacturers use the much faster down-draw process whereby the glass is drawn downward from the melting tank. (Photo credit: Schott AG)
4) To obtain extremely thin glasses between 250 and 210 μm, manufacturers use the much faster down-draw process whereby the glass is drawn downward from the melting tank. (Photo credit: Schott AG)

Whichever method a company chooses, the decisive element for the properties of thin glass is the formula of the molten glass, which differs from one manufacturer to another and is a well-guarded trade secret.

Thin glass is in demand for a wide range of products in numerous industries (Figs. 5 and 6) and can be classified quite differently, depending on its thickness.

5 Still only a vision, yet it’s an idea that only works with thin glass: frameless lines of windows, glass cubes and round glazing. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)
5) Still only a vision, yet it’s an idea that only works with thin glass: frameless lines of windows, glass cubes and round glazing. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)

Whereas in construction and architecture, glass is considered to be thin if it is below 3 mm, with virtually no reasonable or practicable use for thicknesses below 1 mm (and no measuring in micrometres). The needs are quite different elsewhere. In media technology, for instance, 2-mm glass would be regarded as rather thick.

6 In furniture making, too, thin glass provides an alternative to plastic and can be combined with other materials, such as wood and metal. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)
6) In furniture making, too, thin glass provides an alternative to plastic and can be combined with other materials, such as wood and metal. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)

This industry commonly measures thickness in micrometres, and ultra-thin glass down to 20 μm tends to be treated as film (Figs. 7 and 8) and shipped on rolls. In the construction industry thin glass can therefore be produced under a conventional floating process where minimal thicknesses are commonly around one millimetre.

7) In media technology, in particular, ultra-thin, bendable glass is very much in demand. (Photo credit: Corning Inc.)
7) In media technology, in particular, ultra-thin, bendable glass is very much in demand. (Photo credit: Corning Inc.)
8 Chemically tempered thin glass provides ideal protection for displays on smartphones and tablets. (Photo credit: Corning Inc.)
8) Chemically tempered thin glass provides ideal protection for displays on smartphones and tablets. (Photo credit: Corning Inc.)

The benefits of thin glass are its material and constructional qualities, on the one hand, and its low weight, on the other, e.g. in combination with other glasses, such as multiple insulating glasses (Figs. 9 and 10).

9 Thin glass allows a considerable reduction of weight in multiple insulation glazing. (Photo credit: Lisec Austria GmbH)
9 Thin glass allows a considerable reduction of weight in multiple insulation glazing. (Photo credit: Lisec Austria GmbH)

The stability and resistance of thin glass can be further enhanced through chemical tempering – something which is particularly in demand for displays and protective covers on smartphones. Other applications are protective covers for microscopic instruments and near-infrared filters for smartphone cameras.

10 The inner panes in quadruple glazing can be made of thin glass. They are well protected and can be coated like any other glass. (Photo credit: Lisec Austria GmbH)
10) The inner panes in quadruple glazing can be made of thin glass. They are well protected and can be coated like any other glass. (Photo credit: Lisec Austria GmbH)

 

Thin glass in construction and architecture

The construction industry, too, uses thin glasses to cover a wide range of applications where polymer solutions have their limits (e.g. the coating on solar panels). Compared with a plastic film, glass is far more heat-resistant, keeps its shape, is gas-tight and has outstanding visual qualities.

Thin glass is being used more and more for the middle pane in triple glazing, where it allows a clear reduction of thickness and weight.

A pane structure comprises an outer float glass pane (4 mm in thickness), a semi-tempered middle pane (2 mm) and another float glass pane on the inside (3 mm). Compared with conventional glazing (4/12/4/12/4), this combination reduces the weight from 30 to 22.5 kg/m2. The benefits of light, thin glazing are particularly noticeable in refurbishment projects.

In architecture thin glasses not only reduce weight, but also excel with their combination of breakage resistance and high flexibility, allowing specific customisations. Moreover, they permit new and variable options in shape and design, as it is possible to add specially treated coats to thin glass, e.g. through grinding or screen printing.

However, such applications are still more a matter of vision than everyday use (Figs. 11 and 12). Other forward-looking applications include integrated functional coats such as OPV (organic photovoltaics), where energy is harvested via windows and switchable PDLC coatings (polymer dispersed liquid crystal). This technology permits the creation of cloudy, opaque viewing guards which only become transparent under an electric current.

11 Thin glass is opening up totally new design options in architecture. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)
11) Thin glass is opening up totally new design options in architecture. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)
12 Thanks to its stability and bending properties, thin glass may also be thinkable, for instance, for connecting hinges in structural glass engineering. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)
12) Thanks to its stability and bending properties, thin glass may also be thinkable, for instance, for connecting hinges in structural glass engineering. (Photo credit: Timon Peters, Technical University of Darmstadt)

One specialist in this type of technology is the Austrian company LiSEC whose vacuum coating process with diffusion-proof edge seals also protects functional coats from humidity and environmental impact. At glasstec 2018 LiSEC will present, among other things, suitable machines for the treatment of thin glass (Fig. 13).

13 The Austrian company Lisec will be presenting numerous machines for the processing of thin glass at glasstec 2018 in Düsseldorf. (Photo credit: Lisec Austria GmbH)
13) The Austrian company Lisec will be presenting numerous machines for the processing of thin glass at glasstec 2018 in Düsseldorf. (Photo credit: Lisec Austria GmbH)

Thanks to thin glass technology, curved glasses, too, may well become increasingly established in architecture. Tempered thin glass can be bent into the desired shape on site either through cold bending or installation bending (Fig. 14) and can then be used as single glass or as a coat. It is an inexpensive alternative to hot bending at the factory. Furthermore, cold-bent glass has excellent visual qualities, due to fewer distortions.

14 Cold bending makes it possible to place curvatures on glass immediately before installation. (Photo credit: Lisec Austria GmbH)
14) Cold bending makes it possible to place curvatures on glass immediately before installation. (Photo credit: Lisec Austria GmbH)

 

Thin glass in media technology and automotive engineering

Thin glass in the micrometre range makes glass particularly flexible, and indeed without compromising on stability and hardness. One company that specialises in the development and production of ultra-thin glass is SCHOTT, which uses its own down-draw technology.

Its project AS 87 eco has led to what is currently the world’s thinnest glass, at only 25 μm (Fig. 15), and is now mass-produced for sensitive applications (e.g. fingerprints) and optical components (camera filters) in smartphones, where it offers reliable protection. The market for this type of glass is enormous.

15 Thin glass has long been a mass product, and German manufacturers such as Schott have been pioneers in the development of ultra-thin glasses. (Photo credit: Schott AG)
15) Thin glass has long been a mass product, and German manufacturers such as Schott have been pioneers in the development of ultra-thin glasses. (Photo credit: Schott AG)

There has been a steady rise in the demand for fingerprint sensors alone and also for special solutions to protect such sensitive components. Whereas in 2014 the number of units shipped to customers was 316m, this figure rose to nearly 500m in 2015, and the forecast for 2020 is currently as high as 1.6 billion units.

Fire-polished protective glass is amazingly hard and is therefore also used for smartphone displays. Moreover, it is as thin as a razor blade, which makes the precision of the manufacturing process particularly remarkable. With a thickness tolerance of only ten micrometres or less, it promises a high level of reliable safety and quality.

Thin glass is also becoming more and more desirable in the automotive industry – for the interior, for freely shaped windscreens and for the cockpit.

Here, too, digitisation has long been a well-established feature. It is a domain where highly resistant, scratch-proof ultra-thin glass below 250 μm can be used to its full advantage, particularly in convex and concave geometries.

Glass does not age and is therefore superbly suited for the panelling of vehicle interiors. Whereas, in the past, such applications involved a risk of injury in an accident and were therefore unthinkable, thin glass has now achieved such a high level of stability, almost unlimited mouldability and superior optical qualities (e.g. for touchscreens), that it has opened up totally new paths in automotive engineering and has become the alternative to plastic.

Its optical qualities and homogeneity are far better, and its chemical and thermal resistance are so high that it can easily withstand humidity, UV radiation and high temperatures.

 

Tomorrow’s visions can be admired at glasstec 2018

Furthermore, flexible thin glass is also opening up new innovative options in virtual, mixed and augmented reality (i.e. the computer-aided enhancement of our perception of reality). One vision for tomorrow’s electronics is to achieve a good level of bendability (Figs. 16 and 17) without compromising on the outstanding visual qualities, clarity and valuable tactile properties of glass.

16 Developments in media technology have caused a boom for ultra-thin glasses on the market. (Photo credit: Schott AG)
16) Developments in media technology have caused a boom for ultra-thin glasses on the market. (Photo credit: Schott AG)
17 A fascinating and literally tangible vision: bendable smartphones and tablets. glasstec 2018 will feature the latest developments and visionary trends of these and other applications in the glass industry. (Photo credit: Schott AG)
17) A fascinating and literally tangible vision: bendable smartphones and tablets. glasstec 2018 will feature the latest developments and visionary trends of these and other applications in the glass industry. (Photo credit: Schott AG)

glasstec, Düsseldorf, 23-26 October 2018

International Trade Fair for Glass – Production, Processing and Products

From 23 to 26 October Messe Düsseldorf will be the venue of glasstec 2018, the well-established leading global trade fair on glass as a material. In sheet glass the main focus at glasstec 2018 will be on interactive glass, while in container glass it will be on energy-efficient and emission-reducing technology for glass production.

The most important target group for exhibitors is the glass industry, followed by mechanical engineering, architecture, the construction industry, the German trade sector and increasingly also the trade sectors of other countries.

The last glasstec in 2016 attracted 40,105 visitors from 121 countries and had 1,237 exhibitors from 52 countries, presenting their latest products, machines, developments and visions.

One element that makes the trade fair especially attractive to exhibitors is the large number of decision-makers among trade visitors, of whom three quarters come from middle to senior management and who either come to glasstec with specific investment plans or who want to find new suppliers.

What matters to trade visitors is meeting qualified contacts, concentrated demonstrations of innovative strength and a visionary outlook on future developments and business opportunities.

All this is presented at the special show glass technology live in Hall 11. The show is managed by Prof. Ulrich Knaack (Technical University of Darmstadt), who is extensively networked with numerous other universities, including Dortmund and Dresden in Germany and Delft in the Netherlands.

Four glass cubes will be presented here, featuring innovative solutions from the areas of interactive façades / display glasses, energy and performance, construction glasses (solid and thin glasses) as well as forward-looking technologies. Hall 10 as the glass conference venue will feature ideal thematic combinations of theory and practice in the form of conferences.

 

Claudia Siegele

Born in Stettfeld (Baden) in 1963. Studied architecture at the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe from 1988 to 1994. 1994 to 2004: editor for the German construction industry magazine db deutsche bauzeitung; has run her own architectural studio in Ubstadt-Weiher since 2. 2004: founded the editorial office frei04 publizistik in Stuttgart together with Dr. Ursula Baus and Christian Holl. Technical author and author of books on architecture, civil engineering and energy-efficient construction. Technical journalist and editor for a range of printed and online publications, including  Gebäude-Energieberater,  and Marlowes. Currently living in Karlsruhe.

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Expansion of Amazon headquarters features design by artist Spencer Finch

Sometimes, an artist’s vision can be so subtle that you don’t realize you’ve become part of the picture.

When development firm Vulcan Real Estate asked world-renowned artist Spencer Finch to design an architectural canopy to connect the two new office buildings at the center of Amazon’s expanded headquarters campus in Seattle, his first course of action was a walk in the woods.

Seeing the shapes formed by the overlapping leaves above and the different patterns of light filtering through the trees was all the inspiration Finch needed to achieve Vulcan’s objectives of adding a creative, artistic element to the classic canopy design and reflecting the local culture, all while providing an open, welcoming feeling in an urban setting.

Such was born Finch’s “There Is Another Sky.” Situated four stories above an outdoor plaza, the decorative canopy features an abstract circular design pattern imprinted on technographic interlayer film by Goldray Glass and then laminated between two lites of Starphire® glass by Vitro Architectural Glass. This process ensured the correct depth and vibrancy of color, while making the glass safe for use in overhead installations.

Goldray’s Technographic Interlayer process uses a polyester film that can be printed with high-resolution images, and can achieve virtually all color profiles. The result is a versatile decorative glass product that can accommodate a wide range of images and designs for both interior and exterior applications.

Finch developed the pattern with five hues and five opacities to control and vary the amount of light that filters through.

To achieve the effect Finch was seeking, a finished segment of the canopy was placed over the plaza with a crane before final installation.

The canopy is one of the hallmarks of a 400,000-square-foot expansion of Amazon’s headquarters in the South Lake Union neighborhood. The redevelopment project, designed by ZGF Architects to create a modern, flexible workplace, also features an overhead bridge, restaurants, retail space and a public area with a flowing stream, heated outdoor seating and lush landscaping.

The patterns and colors within the canopy shift the light to create a space for reflection and call attention to the places people inhabit, making them feel as if they’re “walking beneath a forest canopy,” says Finch.

For more information about the technographic interlayer process by Goldray Glass, visit www.goldrayglass.com. For more information about Starphire glass by Vitro Architectural Glass, visit www.vitroglazings.com.

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Materials scientists develop smart windows for controlled shading and solar thermal energy harvesting.

Climate protection and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions have been on top of global development agendas. Accordingly, research and development projects have been conducted on national and international levels, which aim for the improvement of the CO2-footprint in diverse processes.

Apart from particularly energy-intensive sectors of the industry, the building sector in particular is among the biggest CO2-emmitters: from residential homes, manufacturing facilities and storage depots to big commercial buildings, about 40 percent of the energy consumption within the EU are due to the heating, cooling, air conditioning and lighting of buildings.

Considering next-generation smart windows and façade devices, one aspect of this problem is addressed in the research project Large-Area Fluidic Windows (LaWin) which has been coordinated at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, since 2015. A new type of such smart windows was now presented in the upcoming issue of ‘Advanced Sustainable Systems’.

In their paper ‘Large-Area Smart Window with Tunable Shading and Solar-Thermal Harvesting Ability Based on Remote Switching of a Magneto-Active Liquid’ the Jena materials researchers introduce prototypes of a window that changes its light permeability at the touch of a button, and, at the same time, can be used for solar-thermal energy harvesting (DOI: 10.1002/adsu.201700140). The subject will be featured on the title page of the journal.

Liquids in windows and façades

Our project’s key feature is the use of liquids in windows and façades, for example, as heat carriers or to enable additional functions,” explains Lothar Wondraczek, the project’s coordinator. “To this end we develop new glass materials, into which large-area channel structures are integrated. These are used for circulating functional fluids.

In latest prototypes, the liquid is loaded with the nanoscale magnetic iron particles. These can be extracted from the liquid with the help of a magnet. Vice versa, they can be re-suspended by simply switching-off the magnet.

Depending on the number of the iron particles in the liquid, the liquid itself takes on different shades of grey, or it will even turn completely black,” Wondraczek explains. “Then, it becomes possible to automatically adjust the incidence of light, or to harvest solar heat which can then be put to further use within the building.”

The efficiency in terms of heat gain per area is comparable with that of state-of-the-art solar thermal facilities. But unlike those, the present system can be readily integrated in a vertical façade. Switching between on and off – the release or capture of particles – happens in a separate tank. An electrical connection at the windows is not necessary.

 

Indoor air conditioning, tunable shading and harvesting of solar heat

The greatest advantage of large-scale fluidic windows is that they can substitute air conditioning systems, daylight regulation systems and for instance warm water processing,” stresses Wondraczek, who holds the chair of Glass Chemistry at the University of Jena. Developing cost-effective large-size window glass modules is key.

On the one hand the glass elements need to include the channels, on the other hand they maintain their performance over the whole lifespan of the building. Finally, they have to provide the ability for integration with standard window manufacture technologies in frames of double or triple glazings.

With the present prototypes which were manufactured on a scale of around 200 square meters, the research consortium demonstrated that those requirements can be fulfilled.

Over the period of 2015-2017, the project received a grant of 5.9 million Euros from the European Union within the framework of the Horizon-2020-Programme for Industrial Leadership. A further 2.2 million Euro have been added by eleven industry partners who have been members of the consortium. After the end of the first funding period, commercialisation of first applications is planned for this year.

 

Original Publication:
Heiz, B. P. et al. (2017): A Large-Area Smart Window with Tunable Shading and Solar-Thermal Harvesting Ability Based on Remote Switching of a Magneto-Active Liquid, Advanced Sustainable Systems, DOI: 10.1002/adsu.201700140.

Contact:
Prof. Dr Lothar Wondraczek
Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Fraunhoferstr. 6, 07743 Jena
Germany
Phone: +49 (0)3641 948500
Email: lothar.wondraczek@uni-jena.de

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Based on a design by architectural office Nattler, iconic skin, manufacturer of innovative construction elements for glass façades, has produced an imposing glass sandwich façade for a new Media Markt in Dortmund/Hörde.

The basement of the electronic market is covered with a glass envelope on a total area of 770qm. The glass façade is digitally-printed with strolling people and creates an interesting contrast to the curved expanded metal façade on the upper floor and the reduced design of the concrete base.

„Looking at the growing online business, the retail sector may come under pressure to offer good prices and to provide a real shopping experience at the same time. The new Media Markt is a real eye-catcher showing the possibilities of construction elements. Elements like GSP® give designable buildings a special character”, says Hans-Joachim Frey, sales manager at iconic skin.

iconic skin delivered digitally-printed GSP® elements for new Media Markt in Dortmund
©MatthiasReithmeier

 

Customized construction elements

The Glass Sandwich Panel GSP® combines wall, insulation and glass surface in one construction element. The sandwich panel contains the inner wall and the insulation, on which a 6mm TVG pane is bonded. The glass pane functions as designable surface and elements can be applied according to the design specifications.

In Dortmund an extraordinary design had been chosen. For the promotionally effective exposed surface of the Media Markt, one third of the 200 elements has been printed with an art motive. „Crossing“ is the name of the artwork from artist Joerg Maxzin, based in Augsburg.

iconic skin delivered digitally-printed GSP® elements for new Media Markt in Dortmund
©MatthiasReithmeier

It shows passers-by, who give the building an additional dynamic and underline the inviting effect of the Media Markt. About 60 GSP® elements has been printed digitally to create a weather-resistant, scratchproof, non-fading surface. Another 150 GSP® plain-colored elements have been roller-coated printed (light grey, RAL colour 7035).

GSP® offers nearly unlimited possibilities of design, which were also used for the design of this new construction. Additionally to the color and print compositions, some  panels were arranged to  were  create  2D and 3D motions. Corner elements were assembled polygonally to reproduce the swinging body of the building. Reveals, such as recessed doors, create exciting interruptions within the façade.

iconic skin delivered digitally-printed GSP® elements for new Media Markt in Dortmund
©MatthiasReithmeier

 

Quick errection progress

All GSP® elements were produced in Gersthofen and transported in special transport frames to Dortmund. Construction documentation as well as the assembly of the panels has been managed by metal construction company Bernd Zienert.

The GSP® elements (Type GSP-PUR100-V) were installed on a solid wall with a substructure. The sandwich panel offers additional insulation (u-value of 0,25 W/(m²K).

The high level of prefabrication of the panels enabled a rapid construction progress and a quick closing of the façade. Within four weeks the whole GSP® façade was erected. The official opening of the Media Markt was celebrated in March 2017.

iconic skin delivered digitally-printed GSP® elements for new Media Markt in Dortmund
©MatthiasReithmeier

 

About GSP® Glass Sandwich Panel

With GSP®, glass sandwich façades are created by combining opaque and transparent façade elements. GSP® is suitable for different support structures – as an opaque façade component, it can use all advantages for skeletal construction.

But it can also be used as an insulating element with a glass surface for solid construction as a warm façade. GSP® can be applied to structural glazing façades, punched or ribbon window façades or mullion-and-transom façades.

GSP® by iconic skin thus allows for a highly efficient and cost-effective façade solution for various building types, e.g. in office, retail and hotel constructions or for educational facilities.

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AluK is delighted to have been specified to provide our SC140 sliding doors for this ground-breaking project.

Formerly known as ‘Dream City’, LOHAS (an acronym of Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) Park is a mass residential development in Hong Kong which, when completed, will be the largest single residential estate in the New Territories.

AluK is delighted to have been specified to provide our SC140 sliding doors for this ground-breaking project.

The mass estate will comprise of 50 residential towers, offering 21,500 apartments and accommodating 58,000 residents. It will have a gross floor area (GFA) for domestic purposes of up to 1.6 million square meters and a retail GFA of up to 50,000 square meters.

So far, AluK has installed 400 sliding doors for the project. By the end of phase 5, expected to be completed in July 2018, we will have installed 1,600 two-sash sliding doors.

The SC140, a 140 mm non-thermally broken sliding system, was selected for this project by developers MTR Corporation to be used for all doors with a lift and slide solution. This incredibly practical, functional system allows for a maximum load of up to 300 kg/sash (up to 400 kg/sash with an additional trolley) and glass thickness up to 40 mm.

Designed for the construction of high-quality frames, the SC140 offers residents a robust sliding door with reinforced polyamide wheels and ball bearings, as well as a stunning open view to the world outside. To find out more about our SC140 system and sliding doors visit our website.

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SILVERSTAR ALARM – protection with maximum creative freedom.

When it comes to the protection of property and persons, windows are among a building’s weakest points. As criminals most often obtain access via this vulnerability, upgrading to a glass with an integrated alarm system is a worthwhile investment.

For planners, the installation of alarm-triggering circuitry, however, often means that the aesthetics of the façade are spoiled by visually distracting elements.

Glas Troesch has now developed the SILVERSTAR ALARM tempered safety glass to a level such that the alarm system can be applied invisibly to the glass. This glass thus offers all-round protection without limiting planners’ creative freedom.

SILVERSTAR ALARM is ideal wherever enhanced security is required in combination with the desire to retain a modern architectural look with great transparency.

The alarm glass enables the creation of façades that require no further protections such as fencing or grilles. Thanks to the latest iteration of SILVERSTAR ALARM, the alarm-triggering circuitry is now also hidden from view – meaning there are no limits to creative freedom.

 

Protection and aesthetics united

Transparent, printed, or resistant to attack: SILVERSTARM ALARM can be fitted with solar or thermal protection coatings, or finished with digital printing technology.

Where enhanced safety requirements exist, the alarm glass can also be combined with high-security laminated safety glass. If using thicker or thinner glass, the performance of the alarm-triggering glass remains unrestricted, ensuring reliable and all-round protection.

 

Better safe than sorry

SILVERSTAR ALARM is connected to an alarm system using electrically conductive loops and will trigger a signal at even the slightest contact. Thanks to a single conductor loop, there is also no risk of an unwanted interruption in the circuit that could potentially trigger a false alarm. The alarm glass is ideal for use in residential buildings, office buildings, retail stores, or industrial facilities.

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Glas Trösch

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With projects increasingly calling for minimal sightline disruptions, AluK’s technical experts developed Infinium to conceal the outer frame and sash into the opening.

Boasting impossibly slim 21mm sightlines, Infinium, the company’s new in-line sliding door offers truly panoramic wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling views, making it an ideal choice for specification in new build penthouse apartments, luxury hotels and high-end properties.

With projects increasingly calling for minimal sightline disruptions, AluK’s technical experts developed Infinium to conceal the outer frame and sash into the opening.

Understanding that flexibility and customisation are crucial to specifiers, Infinium is available in single and dual colour options, with a range of anodised or powder coat finishes available, ensuring Infinium fits seamlessly with the project’s overall design aims.

Specifiers benefit from additional customisation options, with Infinium available in 38mm and 52mm glazing options, with double and triple glazing on the same outer frame. Beyond this, Infinium offers both double and triple track configurations, with opening panels up to 3000mm x 3500mm.

Ensuring that sightlines aren’t impacted in any way, Infinium has been engineered to feature cleverly concealed lateral locking handles, with a lock that fully integrates into the 21mm interlock profile.

Infinium makes it easy to achieve up to six sashes for large spaces, or for projects that demand increased glazed space. Far from ignoring function in favour of form, AluK’s design team has developed Infinium to feature engineered aluminium rollers as standard, ensuring that panels require the lightest touch to open and giving the system a luxury feel and operation. The design also enables specifiers to make the most of the usable living space within their projects.

Infinium’s ease of operation doesn’t mean a lack of robustness, with the system engineered to be strong enough to take a maximum sash weight of 400kg, and boasting U-Values as low as 1.3W/m2 double glazed and 1.0W/m2 with triple glazing.

Nigel Headford, Sales Director at AluK, said: “We are incredibly proud of Infinium. Having listened to architects and façade consultants about their customers’ drive for large, open glazing to create beautiful spaces, we wanted to be able to engineer in several features that make Infinium perform beautifully, too.

“The multiple glazing and finishing options that Infinium offers means that each system can be truly customised to meet the demands of the project. That said, our flexible approach means that we can partner with customers from an early design stage on jobs that require something truly unique.”

To ensure a uniform level of high quality, AluK has appointed only a select number of partners to manufacture and install Infinium.

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Logo - Aluk

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The US Embassy in London opened its doors to the media for the first time last month, nearly nine years after the Department of State’s Overseas Building Operations first announced a design competition for the project.

Having outgrown the current, Eero Saarinen-designed embassy in Grosvenor Square, the Department of State selected KieranTimberlake to build a new home for diplomacy that was open, transparent, and welcoming while still being secure and environmentally responsible.

“In the form and expression of the new Embassy, we envisioned a holistic fusion of urbanism with site, of building and urban form with landscape,” said James Timberlake in his remarks to the press.

“We wanted to create a new embassy that is both evocative and that performs, one that represents our democracy and our relationship with the United Kingdom beautifully but at the same time conserves and produces energy.”

The result is a 12-story transparent cube that features a faceted solar shading system and a high-performance envelope made of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) that minimizes solar gain and glare while maximizing natural daylight and access to views.

These measures, along with solar panels installed on the roof and an ambitious landscape strategy that manages the site’s stormwater, have led the Embassy to target both LEED Platinum and BREEAM Outstanding certifications and put the building on track to achieve BREEAM net carbon neutrality.

“This project is efficient, but beautiful in doing so,” Timberlake said, adding that “the visual whole is that of a crystalline, radiant beacon that is a respectful neighbor and an environmental steward.”

 

READ MORE ABOUT THE US EMBASSY IN LONDON

SOURCE
KIERAN TIMBERLAKE

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