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EControl: Manor house with a dimmable glass roof
170 square metres of space for conferences and private functions under an arched roof of dimmable glass without any sun blinds – can it work? The proof that it can is provided by the former castle at Störmede (part of the town of Geseke, North Rhine-Westphalia). The turbulent history of the building goes all the way back to the 13th century but until recently only the weathered remains of its thick walls provided any clues to its ancestry. With five years of planning and a construction time of two and a half years, private investor Hartmut Bröggelwirth transformed the roofless ruin into the “Rittergut Störmede” (Störmede Manor), an exclusive location for special events. He retained the historic substance of the building and set it in a new scene: an arched glass roof spans the central conference hall. A maintenance-intensive mechanical shading system was not used: instead he decided on dimmable solar control glass from the German company EControl-Glas. This allows the solar factor and the light transmission to be adapted to the level of solar irradiation at the press of a button.
With its strategically good location, Störmede Castle served as a manorial centre from the beginning of the High Middle Ages. On several occasions it was heavily damaged during fierce battles and then completely reconstructed. Over the past few decades it fell into disuse and became derelict. The investor family Bröggelwirth decided to breathe new life into the ruin and transformed it into an exclusive centre for conferences and private functions with top-level event catering. During the expensive reconstruction project they placed great value on technically and aesthetically innovative architecture whilst retaining the historic substance of the building. So that the old walls can be appreciated in the best light at any time of year, even from within the building, architect Markus Smolin and the glass roof specialists from Mirotec Glas- und Metallbau (Wettringen, Germany) constructed an arched glass roof. It spans the conference room as a filigree metal-glass construction – without any mechanical sun blinds so that difficult maintenance and high operating costs can be avoided.
High-tech glazing for the best climate all year round
Therefore, 14.7 x 4 metres of dimmable solar control glass “EControl Smart” was used for the glazing. This allows the light transmission (TV) to be varied between 10 and 50 percent at the touch of a button. The internally positioned nano-structured coating on the glass uses the so-called “electrochromic effect” to colour itself blue as soon as a low electrical voltage (3 volts) is applied. Thus a good shading effect can be achieved without the use of complicated blinds – very important for the summer. At the highest level of colouration only 10 percent of the solar energy passes through. Further advantages of this glass solution include high user comfort, low costs for air conditioning and an impressive view of the sky at any time but with good protection against dazzling, even when the sun is directly overhead. An important factor during the cold months of the year: with a thermal transmittance (Ug) of 1.1 W/(m²K) EControl Smart in a double-pane construction also provides outstanding insulation against heat loss.
Conferences and celebrations under dimmable glass
The electrochromic solar control glass guarantees almost a hundred percent UV-protection under the large-area glass roof but the blue “cool” light from the solar spectrum is still transmitted into the room. The blue tone harmonizes excellently with the natural blue of the sky and at the same time promotes vitality among the room’s occupants. Combined with laminated safety glass, EControl Smart meets the safety requirements for overhead glazing. The framework made from T-section steel divides the roof into segments in a weight-saving manner and twelve attachment points, each with 200 kg of load-bearing capacity, secure the weight. The electrical technology needed for events is also integrated into the roof construction: loudspeakers and the lighting for the stage as well as LED lights with variable colour control.
Albert-Brand-Straße 3, 59590 Geseke
Hartmut Bröggelwirth and family
Markus Smolin, Geseke / Störmede
Mirotec Glas- und Metallbau, Wettringen
ECONTROL Smart 50/10
EControl-Glas GmbH, Plauen
||The arched glass roof lets plenty of daylight into the room and makes shading systems unnecessary because with “EControl Smart” the daylight transmission (TV) can be adjusted to between 10 and 50 percent. The electrical technology needed for events is also integrated into the roof construction.
Photo: Rittergut Störmede / EControl-Glas
||Rittergut Störmede (Störmede Manor) was completely renovated in two and a half years – technically innovative architecture which retains the historic substance of the building.
Photo: Fotostudio Redeker, Geseke
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