"The Crystal" urban development centre in London sets architectural and technical standards – particularly in terms of sustainability. By developing solutions for individual requirements using standard components, Gretsch-Unitas played a part in turning this bold statement of modern building construction into reality.
Our expertise for development of customised solutions precisely tailored to customer requirements in particular was called upon for this building project in the British capital. One of the challenges was to implement Parallel-Projecting outward opening windows in a variety of different forms – from trapezoids to parallelograms to rectangles – arising as a result of the crystalline form of the building envelope. All windows can be steplessly opened and closed by motor-driven Quattro chain drives. Further requirements included the equipping of windows on the ground floor with pinch point monitoring via contact strips. The windows therefore meet the requirements for finger protection according to protection class 4.
The windows throughout the whole building are equipped with our concealed hardware and drives which play an important role, particularly in relation to the climate control concept and fresh air supply to the "Crystal". Inside the building itself, sensors determine the situation-dependent ventilation requirements every 30 minutes – depending on the weather conditions and the number of people in a room. The ventilation scenarios rely on the natural exchange of room air. This explains the window opening widths of up to 355 millimetres which ensure an optimum air exchange rate.
Advice tailored to the specific needs of the customer leads to success
We worked through the specifications and tender requirements with the aluminium-system provider and fabricator, and our solution therefore to a large extent reflects the fabrication requirements of the metalworking firm.
Quality assurance with durability tests
To guarantee a seamlessly high quality standard throughout the entire process, a durability test was carried out on the chosen design at the Gretsch-Unitas test centre in the lead up to production to demonstrate its fitness for use. In addition, a prototype element was built at the fabricator's premises before the start of series production. The result was windows that, despite their extremely complex forms and high equipment and design expectations, could be manufactured extremely economically and efficiently installed: during the installation, only the electronics needed to be connected to the junction box specially provided in the hardware zone in order to integrate the components in the building technology system.
GU solution: motor-driven, Parallel-Projecting windows with different forms