SWISSPACER Symposium stresses smart solutions

  • 15 Nov 2017

SWISSPACER’s most recent Symposium, whereby smart windows, façades and innovative materials were all discussed, looked at all the radical changes happening in this particular industry.

The Symposium, in its third year, saw SWISSPACER invite leading industry experts to Salzburg, Austria.

‘fenestra-vision’ included window and façades builders, window systems companies, scientists and planners to discuss the impending changes to the industry, with all agreeing digitalisation is inevitable.

Keynote speaker Dr. Eckhard Keill, Chairman of the Board of Roto Frank AG, talked about the technology behind the latest smart homes and the potential obstacles and risks.

According to a recent Gartner study, the demand for smart homes, the public perception and understanding of them is approaching its peak; however the market will not be ready for new developments for another five years.

Emphasis was focused on the abilities of the individuals involved along the ‘value chain’, all the way down to the window installer. Experts at the Symposium all agreed new, attractive professions will be created in this new era, such as System Integrators.

Andreas Bittis, Product Manager at Saint-Gobain Building Glass, detailed an interesting scenario with regards to intelligent products and processes during his presentation.

Not only is the focus on smart solutions, such as switchable glass, but mainly on communication between components, disciplines and users, as well as the availability of more information resulting from this.

An intelligent RFID chip, for example, makes seamless documentation of the process achievable; from the production of a window, to user behaviour, maintenance cycles, all the way to disposal. Based on this information, Andreas is sure new business models can be created.

Jochen Wilms, founder of W Ventures, highlighted just how quickly a market can turn, citing within five years, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and more have replaced industry heavyweights like Shell or Texaco as the most valuable companies in the world.

“The window industry will not be able to enjoy the stability of recent years for much longer,” he said.

The window and façades industry will take on special responsibility here as it could control buildings via the building envelope. Jochen encouraged the construction industry to form a “Star Alliance” to properly address the upcoming changes.

Maarten Verhezen, Manager at Nest, the smart thermostat, picked up on the shift in perspective his company has undergone.

 The brand, which belongs to the Google parent company, alphabet, has taken a user-centric point of view as the focus of its business model. He claimed that “Nest wants to create a construction industry network.”

Aluminium window systems manufacturer, Schüco, has already made one big step towards digitalisation, by launching Schüco Digital as an independent business unit that groups all these activities.

Prof. Winfrid Heusler, Senior Vice President Global Building Excellence at Schüco, emphasised in his presentation that “components across various sectors are needed to successfully tackle interdisciplinary challenges. Combining the real and virtual world will have a disruptive impact on the construction industry.”

The benefits of a ‘digital twin’ were highlighted by Prof. Klaus Sedlbauer, Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP). ‘Digital twins’ can be used as a basis for planning, to simulate aspects of use and coordinate technical construction solutions that can mimic the reaction of external conditions.

He also introduced the topic of smart building materials. Building envelopes of the future will manage functions like a human body, and the façade will control the building. Intelligent components, such as textile façades, will also make a contribution here.

The final panel of experts, moderated by Prof. Sieberath, head of the ift Rosenheim Institute, spoke about possible developments in relation to PVC as a profile material.

There was a strong consensus this material will not be replaced, even in decades to come. Arno Bender, Head of System Support at Aluplast, says: “The benefits of recyclability are great; ultimately, all PVC frames removed can be recycled in full.”

The experts also cast a first glance towards the Fensterbau Frontale trade show, where new developments in adhesive technology and new BIM solutions from Aluplast will feature, as well as 76 and 88mm systems from Profine that provide a better solution with components.


Sonnenwiesenstrasse 15,
8280 Kreuzlingen,

t: 07834 162 485
e: [email protected]

Visit the SWISSPACER website

Leave a Reply

Latest news


Wrightstyle cautiously welcomes PM’s pledge

Wrightstyle, the Devizes-based supplier of advanced glazing systems, has cautiously welcomed the government’s pledge to ‘build, build, build’.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Glazing, news, Windows


Helsinki Olympic Stadium welcomes visitors through 3,000 ABLOY secured doors

The entirely renovated Olympic Stadium in Helsinki features modern ABLOY access solution technology, with almost 3,000 new doors and locking points installed.

Posted in Access Control & Door Entry Systems, Architectural Ironmongery, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Case Studies, Doors, Posts, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Security and Fire Protection

Saint-Gobain Weber

How to reduce noise pollution in homes with Saint-Gobain Weber

With health and well-being at risk, Saint-Gobain Weber offers some easy steps to reduce noise pollution in homes.

Posted in Acoustics, Noise & Vibration Control, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Services, Health & Safety, Insulation, Interiors, Research & Materials Testing, Walls


Changing face in facades - Gilberts

Specifiers and installers of louvres and natural ventilation solutions have a new source and point of contact for expert support, with David Millar joining Gilberts Blackpool.

Posted in Air Conditioning, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Services, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning - HVAC, Recruitment