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Green Building with LEED certification in areas with a challenging climate

How energy-efficient architecture that is effective, sustainable and future-proof is becoming possible in all regions of China.

With a total of five climate zones, China`s weather varies greatly from region to region. From a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters to tropical climatic conditions, the country has a wide range of temperatures and weather phenomena to offer. Be it a cold coniferous forest climate in the north-east, a moderate monsoon climate in the east or a dry desert and steppe climate in the rest of the country, buildings must be built efficiently everywhere it they are to comply with the requirements of the state and of environmental policy. Particularly in places where the temperature range is broad and very changeable, the climatic situation makes high demands on the insulation of façades. This is above all the case if the architectural concept involves large glass façades.

Sustainable building with LEED certification

The ideal building blends in harmoniously with its environment, conserves resources and is highly energy-efficient. This starts with its creation. Sustainable construction, modest energy input, certified materials and good indoor air are what make up the quality and future-proofness of a new building. This is documented by means of e.g. a LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Although voluntary in China, too, it is all the more urgent since this buildings assessment is an important factor in decisions taken by property investors and buyers. Optimum insulation of the façade plays a major role in the acquisition and nature of LEED certification.

Ensinger is exhibiting:

Pencere – Eurasia Window
07 – 10 March 2018

Istanbul, Turkey

China Glass
19 – 22 April 2018

Shanghai – together with our partner LiSEC

Glasstec
23 – 26 October 2018

Düsseldorf, Germany

LEED certification for energy-efficient buildings

The LEED system analyses numerous criteria which affect and involve the health of people and the environment. It permits an objective assessment and description of the building in relation to its sustainability.

Degrees of LEED certification:

  • Certified
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

The route to an optimally insulated glass façade

To minimise the cooling and heating requirement of a building in climatically challenging regions, triple insulated glazing elements with a Low E coating, Warm Edge spacers and argon filling have proved themselves in practice when it comes to façade insulation. So that energy leaks and the risk of condensation in the edge zone of the glass panes can be avoided, both chambers of the triple glazing with a low emission level are equipped with highly insulating spacers. In conjunction with high-performance glass and inert gas filling, Warm Edge spacers instead of standard aluminium spacers enable improvements in the window’s U value of around 10 to 20 percent.

High loss of heat in an edge bond with aluminium spacers

Low loss of heat with thermal separation of the edge bond using Warm Edge spacers

This also accommodates the respective architectural concept. If the intention is to have large sheets of glass on the outer shell of the building, then in this way the glazed part of the structure can be expanded. With a low UW value and the additional daylight which reduces the need for artificial lighting, the glass façade ensures high energy efficiency. In this way, compliance of the buildings with the LEED requirements can be ensured.

Energy efficiency made in Germany

Warm Edge spacers, for example Thermix® from the German manufacturer Ensinger, have a similar ease of processing to aluminium spacers. However, the special plastic used has a thermal transmission coefficient that is around 700 times lower. A thin stainless steel diffusion barrier ensures that the space between the panes of insulating glass remains gas-tight in the long term. Its very low thermal conduction capacity helps reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling. Energy costs and CO2 emissions are sustainably reduced to meet the increasing demands of project developers and building regulations. What is more, this Warm Edge spacer is very bendable and easy to process. It also stands out for its high structural strength and rigidity. This also ensures outstanding stability with regard to high wind loads. In tests IGUs (Insulated Glass Units) with Thermix® Warm Edge spacers achieve very good results even with humid winds with speeds of up to 130 km/h.

Thermix® Warm Edge spacers from Ensinger for insulated glass units

The Ryerson University`s Student Learning Centre in Toronto, for example was built with warm edge spacers and fulfills the LEED requirements.
Picture caption: Lorne Bridgeman

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