Glass igloos and large scale architectural case studies

Overview of scientific research by universities and the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT) with real-life example cases of how electrically heated glass can be and has been used in architectural applications over the past 20 years to meet the most challenging requirements in well-being, aesthetics and climate control. Heating can be installed in different ways to optimize well-being inside, or to prevent condensation, ice and snow build-up on the outside of glass. Ideally, both approaches are used, as was the case for the glass igloos at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in northern Finland, which attracted world-wide attention. Heated glass does not only provide convenience, but safety when considering tall buildings. Even vertically installed windows or glass facades have been known to freeze and collect snow in North America, causing safety risks and liability issues. Furthermore, heated glass relieves structures of snow loads and allows for building lighter constructions, even in cold climates. As a result, the technology enables building large-scale roof structures with uninterrupted glass panes of up to 12,000m2. The built-in heating also eliminates the need for bulky radiators or fan coil units at the base of glass structures, leading to saving in construction costs and space. The presentation will also illustrate how electrically heated glass can be enhanced with features such as BIPV, electrochromism, bird-safety patterns and anti-slip, if glass is used for floors. Glass floors and ceilings made with heated glass are always dry and clear of ice and snow, maximizing the amount of daylight let indoors. In addition to features, coatings, such as low-E, solar control or antireflection can be added to the final glass element to optimize energy flow and well-being.