The future covered area of Tour & Taxis is emerging and it already looks like a worldwide premiere. The future Gare Maritime will be covered with smart tinting glass that has been developed over four years by AGC Glass Europe. Not only does it allow managing the intensity of light, but also heat from the sun. Some explanations.
AGC Technovation Center,the research and development center of AGC has been established on the airport site in Gosselies since 2013. Here, the latest innovations of the Japanese glazing giant see the light of day, and in particular smart glazing for buildings.
Some of these innovations integrate organic photovoltaic cells capable of producing electricity without direct sunlight. But its final masterstroke is Halio. Glazing with variable light transmission that can be adjusted on demand. Not only does it allow managing the intensity of light, but also heat from the sun.
Leveraging the technology of electrochromism, this interactive glass uses an electrical pulse to go from total transparency to a darker shade, reducing blinding light. The complete transition takes less than three minutes and is noticeable in less than 20 seconds. The glass turns into an almost opaque surface, letting through only 3% of light.
The privacy of the occupants is preserved without cutting them off from the outside environment. The protection is also thermal: once the glass is dark, it only lets through 5% of the heat. This performance makes Halio a valid alternative to solutions with stores, sunshades or curtains.
First large-scale construction site
This integrated and multi-functional solution has drawn the attention of the promoter of the Tour & Taxis site in Brussels, Extensa. To give life and clarity to the old Gare Maritime – a building of 40,000 m2, soon to be revived – Extensa has selected the Halio technology to cover its broad glass facades. The temperature and the clarity can thus be regulated along the 220 meters of these two gigantic surfaces of smart glass.
These will be controlled from the offices of the site managers, thanks to a small control box. Like a thermostat. This glazing also comes with programmes that take into account the climatic conditions, the schedule and the position of the sun. The system can be controlled using a simple app on a smartphone or by voice control via the personal assistant Alexa by Amazon.