Dimmable glass: The opposite of “old school”

Open and full of light, with a clear view to the outside. These were the requirements for the new cafeteria at the German-Spanish Primary School in Hamburg.

It also had to be protected from the heat of the sun’s rays and the cold of the winter, and be resistant to errant footballs.  For these reasons, architects Knaack & Prell rejected exterior blinds right from the start. They opted instead for the dimmable solar control glass from EControl-Glas, based in Plauen, Germany. The glass satisfies all the requirements and allows the solar factor and the transmission of daylight to be individually adapted to the weather conditions.

The new cafeteria at the German-Spanish Primary School in Hamburg’s Wielandstraße is an impressive example of how modern glass architecture places people at the centre of the design. The dimmable ECONTROL solar control glass stops the modern and highly transparent dining area from being overheated by direct sunlight, whilst its excellent insulating properties prevent excessive cooling in the winter months. Most importantly, the glass, constructed to protect against straying footballs from the adjacent schoolyard, ensures that the space is flooded with light at all times. It makes any classical shading system redundant. Natural light improves wellbeing and positively influences the vitality and learning ability of the children.

With the dimmable solar control glass ECONTROL 55/12, the new cafeteria of the German-Spanish Primary School in Hamburg is optimally protected against a range of environmental factors. Compare the colouration of the glass in the two photos.

Photo: EControl-Glas

No sauna temperatures in summer despite the glass façade

The company Holzbau Gehrmann of Hoisdorf installed seventeen panels – a total of 52 square metres – of the dimmable solar control glass into the south-facing façade of the cafeteria. The safety doors on either side of the cubic construction are also equipped with ECONTROL glass. They were installed by the metal constructors from Pahlaß & Preuß Metallbau of Eldena. Thomas Groneick (EControl-Glas) explains: "Our glass fulfils a wide range of requirements for the façade and doors of the cafeteria. Solar control, insulation, reduction of glare and safety are all ensured without obstructing the view. It’s the most versatile solution possible."

With ECONTROL 55/12, the solar factor can be varied steplessly between 12 and 40 percent. Depending on how much the glass is darkened, light transmission ranges from 15 to 55 percent. Briefly, the technology developed by the glass specialists from Plauen works as follows: an internal nano-structured coating can be coloured at the touch of a button. With the application of a low voltage of only 3 Volts, the electrochromic effect turns the glass blue. The colouration can be varied to adapt to the weather. With a thermal transmittance (Ug) of 1.1 W/(m²K), the glass also protects the cafeteria from heat loss in cold weather.

The variable dimming of the electrochromic glass provides an unobstructed view without creating sauna temperatures. Compare the colouration of the glass in the two photos.

Photo: EControl-Glas


Further information is available online at www.econtrol-glas.de.

Credits board

German-Spanish Primary School, Hamburg


Building owner: SBH |Schulbau Hamburg

Object address: Wielandstraße 9, 22089 Hamburg

Architects: Knaack & Prell Architekten, Hamburg

Façade construction: Holzbau Gehrmann GmbH, Hoisdorf

Metalwork (doors): Pahlaß & Preuß Metallbau GmbH, Eldena

Glass product: ECONTROL 55/12

Glass manufacturer: EControl-Glas, Plauen

600450 Dimmable glass: The opposite of “old school” glassonweb.com

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