The New Face of the City: Facade Renovations in Poland Using Guardian® Glass

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The Okraglak department store in Poznan, the Plac Unii City Shopping Centre and Q22 office building in Warsaw, are historical structures that successfully blend into the surrounding modern architecture.

Guardian® glass was used on all three building facades, combining creative design with high-performance solutions for energy efficiency and noise insulation.There are numerous places across Poland that have iconic architectural or historical significance. Some of these buildings have stood the test of time, while others are badly in need of renovating, and often give way to new, original designs.

Investors often aspire to make such redesigned structures resemble their historical predecessors. Such renovations, however, are not limited to external facelifts. They involve thorough improvement of the buildings’ energy efficiency. This is particularly true for structures that use extensive glazing, since this usually is a primary cause of substantial energy loss.

Owners of historical buildings are fully aware of the need to meet current construction laws and regulations, while also taking into account modern architectural trends. But choosing the right solutions to meet these requirements is a challenge. Modern architectural glass can blend perfectly into historical surroundings and positively influence the building’s thermal comfort.

It also can provide superb noise insulation, and help to substantially reduce lighting and heating costs. Replacing old windows -- often made up of small panes or many elements with larger glazing -- can prove very effective in improving a building’s energy efficiency. The result is not only visually appealing, but also stylistically consistent with the structure’s historical character.

Renovation, restoration and total metamorphosis

Excellent examples of successful building renovations with glazing include the Okraglak department store in Poznan, and the Plac Unii City Shopping Centre and Q22 office building in Warsaw. While the first was carefully renovated, the second was built in place of Supersam, a large supermarket. The Q22 building completely replaced the former Mercure hotel.

All these buildings are prime examples of high-quality workmanship and energy-efficient solutions that provide both comfortable conditions for the occupants, and protect the environment. It is no surprise, therefore, that Guardian SunGuard® SuperNeutral® (SN) 62/34, Guardian SunGuard SN 70/41 and Guardian ClimaGuard® Premium glass– were chosen for these high performance facades.

Okraglak is one of the city of Poznan’s most famous buildings. It was here that during the lean years of communism that locals would queue to buy “luxury” products unavailable elsewhere. In 2011 and 2012 the building underwent a complete renovation, including replacement of all the windows on its glass façade, and it now encompasses both a shopping mall and an office building. Considering the purpose of the building, it was extremely important that the glass installed was safe, transparent and highly selective.

The choice fell on Guardian SunGuard SN 62/34 glass that offers an exceptional visible light transmission factor of 62%, a solar factor (g value) of 34%, and thermal insulation of U=1.0 W/(m2K). All these parameters have a significant impact on the comfort of people visiting and working in Okraglak, ensuring optimal transmission of daylight into the rooms and the reduction of heat loss through the glass surface.

The Q22 office building in Warsaw’s business district is another excellent example of skilfully integrating old architecture with modern materials and technology. This innovative project, in a prestigious area of the city, is not only eye-catching, but has earned positive reviews from building and architectural professionals. Its uniqueness stems largely from the extensive use of glazing on the building.

Sparkling panes adorn the building facade, as well as a large part of its roof, which gives both an unusual visual effect and high light transmission that allows sunlight deep into the interior of the office building. The high selectivity and thermal properties of Guardian SunGuard SN 70/41 and Guardian ClimaGuard Premium glass provide the interior with optimal brightness and temperature, even on the warmest days -- benefits extremely important for the building owner and those visiting or working in the building.

The second of the buildings in Warsaw, next to Q22 that has recently undergone a metamorphosis is the Plac Unii City Shopping centre. The complex, designed in the spirit of sustainable construction, has received a “very good” BREEAM rating, and twice received the CEE Green Building Award (2011 and 2012). Such success would be nearly impossible without the right glass used on the facade of the building.

As in the case of Q22, the building uses Guardian SunGuard SN 70/41 extra selective glass – with excellent thermal properties. This Guardian product provides an optimal level of natural light transmission and excellent protection from the sun while maintaining high energy efficiency. What's more, its high transparency, neutral colour reflectance and a high colour-rendering index make SunGuard SN 70/41 the perfect choice for shop windows and large-scale, glass facades. In the case of the Plac Unii complex, which houses a large shopping mall, this glass is ideal.

In recent years, many old and iconic buildings have undergone similar metamorphoses, proudly restoring them to usefulness and prominence within modern cities. Such renovations, however, require materials that are modern, safe and energy efficient in order to meet the stringent requirements of sustainable construction. Guardian architectural glass meets all quality standards and offers excellent technical properties, making it a popular choice for new construction and renovations alike. The three projects noted above provide excellent examples of just such progress.


Okraglak department store in Poznan.

(Photo Guardian Częstochowa sp. z o.o., GRDPR014)


Unii City Shopping centre in Warsaw

(Photo Guardian Częstochowa sp. z o.o., GRDPR014)

About Guardian Industries Corp.:

Guardian is a diversified global manufacturing company headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, with leading positions in float glass and fabricated glass products for commercial, residential and transportation applications; automotive trim; and the distribution of building products. Through its research and development centers (Science & Technology Center for glass and Advanced Development Center for automotive), Guardian is at the forefront of innovation. Its automotive trim group, SRG Global, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of advanced, high value coatings on plastics. Guardian, its subsidiaries and affiliates employ 17,000 people and operate facilities throughout North America, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Visit

600450 The New Face of the City: Facade Renovations in Poland Using Guardian® Glass
Date: 3 March 2016

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