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Energy-efficient windows & facades at BAU 2011

Design

Windows, facades and all the components and fittings associated with them have for many years been one of the most important sections at BAU.
Corresponding products and systems in aluminium, steel, glass, wood and plastics will be on show in an extensive, continuous display covering around 40,000 square metres of space in the exhibition halls at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre.
Innovations in window and facade construction, too, are being shaped by the mega trend of sustainability, with the emphasis on energy-efficient solutions. Other important themes are comfort and security. BAU is considered as the
world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems.

Rising sales in the window and facade market: In 2009 the German window and facade market managed to buck the general downward trend in investment in
the construction sector, and turn in an increase in sales of 3.6%. For 2010, according to industry association Verband der Fenster-und Fassadenhersteller (VFF), growth as high as 4.1% is expected. That would be the third year in succession that the window and facade segment has enjoyed rising sales, this being fuelled exclusively by renovation and modernisation work.
In particular the grants available from the Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau banking group have encouraged people to have their old windows replaced by new ones.
The incentives offered by central government to increase energy efficiency in public buildings have also played a role. At BAU 2011, the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs will be revealing the latest on these programmes, whether they are to continue and in what form.

Energy regulations tightened again: Financial incentives are just one way in which governments in Germany and many other countries are seeking to encourage people to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The building regulations have also been tightened once again – in Germany, Italy and Poland, to name just a few. In Germany the required thermal insulation values for the entire building envelope and individual components within it were increased by around 30% in the new energy-conservation regulations (Energieeinsparverordnung – EnEV: www.enev-online.de) of 1 October 2009. The manufacturers have reacted by improving their designs (further information: www.ift-rosenheim.de).
“The manufacturers have geared up in good time to the tightened regulations and are now presenting some interesting products and solutions, many of them leading the way internationally,” said Ulrich Sieberath, Director of the research
institute, ift Rosenheim. Optimised windows and facade systems that conform to the new regulations will be on show at BAU 2011.

New technology improves energy efficiency: Many different ways are being explored to improve the energy efficiency of windows and facades, and therefore the overall energy performance of building. One way is to use new materials and coatings with lower thermal conductivity, others include reducing the width of the profiles, improving the connection details, new ways of incorporating the glass, and perimeter seal systems that give better thermal insulation. Associated measures involve integrating photovoltaics and solar-thermal systems, connecting the building envelope up to the building systems and improved use of daylight. The glass manufacturers, too, who will be taking up an entire hall (C2) at BAU, covering 10,000 square metres of space, are pushing ahead strongly with improvements to the thermal insulation properties of glass. Triple insulating glass filled with argon or krypton is already standard, and making a big contribution to reducing heat losses through glazing.
In the pipeline are innovations such as vacuum glazing systems, which give excellent insulation, coupled with a slim frame system and low weight. Solutions that are ready for the market now will be on show at BAU 2011.

Intelligent facades for greater comfort and security: Alongside sustainability, with an emphasis on energy-efficient solutions, the window and facade
manufacturers’ attention is focusing on themes like comfort, security and universal design. Here significant improvements are expected thanks to the use of electronic and electromechanical components. For example, ‘intelligent’ windows and facades, in which building systems technology is integrated, can
regulate indoor climate, lighting and solar shading.
Sensors measure factors such as air quality, humidity, room temperature and light strength and as soon as a pre-set value is reached – a value set to suit the users – an automatic response is activated. Solutions of this kind will be on display at BAU 2009.

‘Plus-energy’ houses are the future: The future belongs to buildings that deliver more energy than they consume: they are known as ‘plus-energy houses’.
Innovative windows and facades can make a valuable contribution here, too, in that PV elements can be integrated directly into the roof or facade cladding.
Examples of how this works have been submitted as models for the ‘Solar Decathlon Europe’ competition (for more information, go to: www.sdeurope.org). 20 teams of students from all over the world, among them four German teams, are taking part in this competition. The winners will be announced in June 2010 in Madrid. The best buildings will be presented at BAU 2011. Accompanying this, the German Ministry of Economics is planning a symposium entitled ‘Energy research for the buildings of the future’.

Windows and facades in the supporting programme at BAU: In other events in the BAU supporting programme, too, windows and facades play an important
role. For example, the special display by ift Rosenheim (www.ift-rosenheim.de), called ‘Sustainable building with windows and facades’ shows how to build
innovative ‘plus-energy’ houses and achieve sustainability using high-quality building components. Designers, clients and investors will be able to collect
product-neutral information on technology, future requirements and the necessary certification for sustainable buildings.
Also explained in the special display, using product samples, will be how the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) can be used as a basis for certification in accordance with the DGNB, LEED or BREEAM schemes. In another special display, put on by the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance1) (www.bau.fraunhofer.de), the focus will be on high-performance materials and intelligent building control systems.

BAU 2011 website: www.bau-muenchen.com

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