With a capacity of more than 500 people the AGC Glass Building now houses all the group’s management and administrative services which were previously scattered across various parts of the country.Sustainability and comfort With a BREEAM1 certification rating of “excellent” in the design stage, the building has a practically neutral energy balance.The limited energy requirements for heating, cooling and artificial lighting are almost entirely offset by the electricity produced by 900 solar panels on the roof and heat drawn from ground heat pumps. In his inaugural address, Jean-François Heris, CEO of AGC Glass Europe and President of the Walloon Business Federation, welcomed the choice of advanced glass solutions (more than 13,000 m² of AGC glass) which played a crucial role in creating a sustainable, innovative headquarters. Professor David Strong2, author of a study of the benefits of natural light for the occupants of buildings added: “This building is designed so that all its occupants are seated close to the large glazed bays that offer a very high quality of natural light. As such it is an outstanding example of the new generation of sustainable buildings which pay more attention to the wellbeing of the occupants.”
The building, which stands on stilts above the ground-floor car park, has a double outside skin of glass. The first skin (on the inside) consists of double glazing in extra-clear glass with superinsulating and solar control coatings3. The second skin (on the outside) for its part is truly unique because it is dynamic, made up of movable louvres of screenprinted glass with alternating white stripes on either side. The louvres automatically follow the movement of the sun to let in the maximum amount of natural light while protecting the people inside from glare and excess heat. Inside the building has offices, a conference centre, a dining area, patios and gardens spread over two floors. A majestic gallery that also incorporates an auditorium spreads across the width of the building.
The AGC Glass Building was designed by Samyn & Partners and BEAI architectural firms, and built by the general contractor Van Roey. It was financed by Axa Belgium which has leased it to AGC for a period of 15 years.
1: Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment: European certification attesting the environmental performance of a building.
2: Visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham and the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development.
3: Outer walls fitted with Thermobel TopN+ on Clearvision chosen as the best compromise between thermal insulation, colour rendering and maximum light admission. Inside walls (facing the patios) fitted with Thermobel EnergyN on Clearvision, selected for its excellent performance in terms of thermal insulation and solar control.
AGC Glass Europe, a European leader in flat glass
Based in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), AGC Glass Europe produces, processes and markets flat glass for the construction industry (external glazing and interior decoration), car manufacture and solar power applications. It is the European branch of AGC, the world’s leading producer of flat glass. It has over 100 sites throughout Europe, from Spain to Russia, and employs around 14,500 employees.
This press release is available in English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, German, Czech, Polish and Russian at www.agc-glass.eu. The same site offers more information on the AGC Glass Building in the section www.agc-glass.eu/AGCGlassBuilding.
Hi-res photographs are available from http://www.agc-photolibrary.com:80/photolibrary/press/AGCGlassBuilding.html
There is also an animation on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/yourglass
AGC Glass Europe – Communication
Tel.: +32 (0)2 409 34 57
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