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Glass facades

Facades have to first of all separate the insides of the building from the outside. The traditional facade is also called a passive facade when there are the only additions are modern tools. Active facades, on the other hand, can have a lot more to offer.

Passive facades

A passive wall serves as a barrier against moisture, wind, rain, cold and warmth, noise, vermin and unwanted visitors.
Of course, the passive facade is also used as an invitation card for the building. The facade and the materials that are chosen determine the appearance. These materials are often chosen in other ways than for homes.

Active facades

The active facades mostly have an extra layer.  These are often of glass, which, thanks to specific features, adds extra protection and can add to the appearance.

Skin facade, atrium and facade climate

The cavity between the facade and glass is usually directly connected to the outdoors. When it comes to a wide cavity, we speak of a second skin facade. When it comes to an extra wide skin facade, we speak of an atrium.
When multiple layers of glass are placed on a small cavity that is not in contact with the outside, we then speak of a climate facade.

Added features of glass facades

The glass that is added to the facade can have the following features:

  • Isolation glazing for extra climate control. Both the temperature and UV radiation can be protected against. More about these glass features can be found under Insulation glass.
  • Decorative glass gives you a unique and contemporary look. Anti-reflective glass, mirrored glass, acidified glass or glass that comes with a decorative element.
  • Curved glass; with the use of heating, the glass can be curved in different decorative and functional forms. More information can be found at Bent glass.
  • Safety glass; glass reinforced by film layers, heating and gluing. Discover the possibilities in the category Safety glass

A second skin facade is increasingly applied in the UK. In the housing sector this is manifested in such examples as conservatories and glazed balconies.
This facade is becoming more popular with residential construction, despite the high costs and space. A second-skin facade has many advantages. In the first place, it increases comfort and simultaneously reduces the cooling load in the summer and the heat load in winter. The second skin also limits the wind load on the facade. This makes it possible to apply solar shading at high altitudes and use natural ventilation (with open windows). The second skin can have a noise dampening function and protects the facade, which leads to less maintenance. On top of that, it is possible to enlarge the usage space; think of the conservatories of homes and the atriums of large office buildings. Climate facades have isolation glass on the outside. Heat from the air ventilation is used to recover warmth thanks to continuous mechanical ventilation. A second skin facade has single glazing. In the facade behind the second skin, neutrally colored glass can be applied. It depends on the function of the second skin whether or not a neutrally colored isolation glass is used. If solar heat is to be utilized, as is often the case with housing, then HR++ glass can be applied with a solar factor (SF) of 60%. When warmth must be kept out, for example in offices with a high internal heat load, then it may be better to use a glass type with a lower SF-value.