Dimmable Glazing
Eckert & Ziegler AG relocated to the new 5,000 m2 headquarters last year in time for their 20th anniversary, which was designed by Berlin architecture firm Hofmann Architekten. With its unique architecture, it is a true eye-catcher: The conference room, located in the elliptically shaped roof, projects 4.5 meters over the façade and features huge glass elements. In order to maintain the exceptional appearance of this part of the building, the owner and the architect decided against an external shading system and instead voted for dimmable solar control glass by EControl-Glas. The solar factor and light transmission can now individually be adapted to the amount of solar irradiation.

The Eckert & Ziegler group is one of the worldwide largest manufacturers of radioactive components for medical, scientific and metrological applications, with locations in Great Britain, France, India and the US. Due to increasing numbers in sales and employees, the company started a contest for a 5,000-square-meter extension of its headquarters at the biomedical science campus Berlin-Buch in 2011.

The owner wanted to incorporate its company logo - an ellipse encased by a rectangle - to be structurally integrated into the design. This was fulfilled by Hofmann Architekten in the form of an energy-efficient design, featuring an exposed conference room in the geometrical shape of the logo. "With the extending roof and the rectangular, red-painted roof elements, the building is clearly recognizable as the Eckert & Ziegler headquarters, even from the air," explains architect Jan Hofmann. The conference room, with all-around and nearly room-high glazing, offers a 180-degree view over the Berlin district of Buch.

Credits board
Project : Eckert & Ziegler headquarters, Berlin, Germany
Building owner : Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen- und Medizintechnik AG
Architect : Hofmann Architekten, Berlin, Germany
Façade construction : Hauk Metallbau und Sicherheitstechnik GmbH, Nauen, Germany
Glass product : ECONTROL 48/9
Photo Credit : Linus Lintner Fotografie/ EControl-Glas

Why Dimmable Glazing?

Due to concavity and southern orientation of the building, approx. 60 square meters of façade glazing are exposed to direct sunlight almost all day long. In order to keep the room from heating up as well as to prevent distracting glare, highly efficient solar protection was needed. "A variable external shading system would have been difficult to install and maintain due to the shape of the building. Rigid solar protection, however, does not let enough light during the winter months. The solar gains are minimal then," explains Hofmann.

Also of major importance were the aesthetic demands of the owner, "The outside of the building had to be as smooth as possible. A shading system would have ruined the conference room's optical representation of the Eckert & Ziegler logo. We thus opted for the dimmable solar control glass ECONTROL 48/9," says Hofmann. Its solar factor is continuously adjustable between 33 and 9%. This eliminates the need for additional shading and the view from the conference room remains unobstructed. The transparency at maximum coloration is still 13%.

Dimmable Glazing

And this is how it works: The internal nanostructured coating of the EControl glazing is tinted blue by the so-called "electrochromic effect," as soon as a low voltage (3 volts) is applied. When set at 'light', 48% of the daylight will enter the room, a good value for modern solar control glazing. At a Ug value of 0.7 W/(m²K), ECONTROL 48/9 also provides excellent protection against heat losses.

"EControl glazing has proved to be the perfect solution for our energy-efficient and optically sophisticated concept. The innovative electrochromic technology also perfectly fits a modern, future-oriented company such as Eckert & Ziegler", adds Hofmann.

The new office of Eckert & Ziegler AG has an extending roof with rectangular, red-painted roof elements.