FORGLAS | HarWin | InDeWaG: New materials for energy-efficient buildings

From 2012 to 2015, the EU pro­ject Har­Win deve­lo­ped light­weight win­dows from new polymer-glass com­po­si­tes, which aim to make buil­dings more ener­gy effi­ci­ent in accordance with the EU initia­ti­ve “Energy-efficient buil­dings” (EeB). Sin­ce 2015, InDe­WaG has been deve­lo­ping high­ly inno­va­ti­ve yet cost effec­tive tech­no­lo­gy for glass faça­des. Howe­ver, the foun­da­ti­ons for both inter­na­tio­nal rese­arch pro­jec­ts were laid by the Bava­ri­an rese­arch asso­cia­ti­on FORGLAS bet­ween 2009 and 2012.


The FORGLAS rese­arch team achie­ved many things, inclu­ding deve­lo­ping func­tio­n­al coa­tings for pla­te glass ele­ments and glass-based addi­ti­ves for ren­der and pain­ting in order to redu­ce the ener­gy requi­re­ments of new and old buil­dings with litt­le effort. A num­ber of indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­ti­ves con­fir­med the utmost rele­van­ce of the fin­dings for the Bava­ri­an glass and con­struc­tion indus­try.


HarWin’s aims inclu­ded 1) Signi­fi­cant­ly redu­cing the mate­ri­al and weight of win­dows and frames, 2) Fin­ding a way to recy­cle key com­pon­ents, 3) Impro­ving the use of natu­ral light, and 4) Con­trol­ling the flow of heat through glass and frames. Fur­ther­mo­re, its light­weight win­dows are easy to inte­gra­te into exis­ting and new buil­dings and help to signi­fi­cant­ly cut costs for trans­port and instal­la­ti­on.


The glass faça­de tech­no­lo­gy, which InDe­WaG is aiming to deve­lop to mar­ket matu­ri­ty, is based on ele­ments that can both heat up and cool down. This is achie­ved using cham­bers that are fil­led with a liquid depen­ding on the cli­ma­te zone. The new ele­ments are trans­pa­rent and absorb sound; solar and heat exchan­ge modu­les can also be added.

The journey to success – From a Bavarian research association to an EU project

The Bava­ri­an Rese­arch Foun­da­ti­on (Baye­ri­sche For­schungs­stif­tung) pro­vi­ded around €2.2 mil­li­on of fun­ding for FORGLAS. The money was a good invest­ment, as con­fir­med by indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­ti­ves’ high level of inte­rest in the results. Bay­ern Inno­va­tiv GmbH also pro­vi­ded sup­port during the mar­ke­ting pha­se. Pro­jekt­tra­e­ger Bay­ern - ITZB was also invol­ved, super­vi­sing the app­li­ca­ti­on of the rese­arch results in indus­try. In 2011, the asso­cia­ti­on show­ca­sed its work in con­junc­tion with Bay­FOR at a joint stand with Bay­ern Inno­va­tiv GmbH at Inter­so­lar Euro­pe. The sub­se­quent Europe-wide deve­lop­ment of glass-based mate­ri­als and sys­tems for energy-efficient buil­dings ulti­mate­ly led to the two EU pro­jec­ts Har­Win and InDe­WaG recei­ving fun­ding of €3.4 mil­li­on and €4.3 mil­li­on respec­tively. Bay­FOR pro­vi­ded sup­port in the fun­ding app­li­ca­ti­on pha­se and also mana­ged the admi­nis­tra­ti­ve side and the PR work for the Har­Win pro­ject.

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