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How to make a retail building envelope sustainable
retail, double-skin, architecture, BIPV, active facade
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AGC Active Glass / BIPV architectural concept

Active glass – an architectural gem

Integrating solar cells into double-skin facades for futureproof buildings
An architectural concept featuring photovoltaic technology for use in retail premises

For this concept, the architects focused on retail buildings, a segment which has not yet fully engaged with the European Green Deal and where behaviours have not really changed. Their priority is still on attracting customers inside through permanently open doors and heated air curtains.

Since architectural solar glazing (or BIPV – building integrated photovoltaics) is still rarely used in retail applications, this concept features a facade element designed specifically for use in retail premises. The active solar glass element combines the latest crystal-clear photovoltaic technology with a golden metallic film – delivering the perfect solution for tomorrow’s luxury retail outlets.

Not only will shops benefit from the electricity generated by this product, but they will also be protected from overheating thanks to the double-skin facade. The investment cost will be lowered by using the exact same glass element across the entire facade, or even across multiple projects. In fact, it can be ordered in large quantities, with spares kept in storage.

A closer look at the facade reveals multiple layers, the first of which, on the outside, is the glass itself. The second layer is the stripes created by the photovoltaic cells and the third layer is the bright white fritting, specially designed so as not to interfere with solar energy generation. Behind the multi-layer glass module, the building’s underlying steel structure is visible, but only indistinctly so, and changes appearance depending on the play of light and shadow throughout the day and as the seasons progress.

In front of the facade is a white glass panel embedded with LEDs forming the brand’s logo in a powerful post-COP 21 aesthetic that dovetails seamlessly with the luxury sector as represented by this wonderful custom glass gem.

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