Energy-optimised construction with smart façades

The energy we consume is limited and precious. So we try to build in an energy-optimised way. This requires greater communication and cooperation between the product groups. The aim is to reduce the need for primary energy for the operation of a building to a minimum – ideally even to zero. This means that the energy consumption for ventilation, lighting and cooling must be reduced – for example through smart façades that react actively and automatically to their environment. Resource-saving, energy-efficient façade solutions therefore start with intelligent and interdisciplinary planning and design.

High demands on modern building envelopes

In the past, the focus was on the appearance of a façade. It often underlined the social status of the owner. And the architect’s aesthetic style too!

Today’s buildings still need to look impressive, but building owners and operators now face far higher demands on the building envelopes: they have to protect against rain, weather, fire and burglary while at the same time regulating the incidence of light and ventilation as automatically as possible, providing solar protection and minimising the effects of cold and heat. It’s how they help to save energy and even contribute to energy generation.

But what makes a façade smart? To meet these demands, individual elements need to be networked in the façade. Individual solutions such as ventilation, heating or access solutions can of course also be smart on their own.

A façade can be described as truly ‘smart’ if it uses natural, renewable energy sources such as solar radiation, airflow and geothermal energy to meet the building’s energy needs with respect to heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting.

Andrea Compagno: Smart glass façades: Material, Application, Design, Birkhäuser 2002

A smart façade requires numerous sensors to measure all possible external influences, wind for example, and transmit these readings to a control unit. Gateways enable networked devices to communicate with each other. The network can be either cable- or radio-controlled.

To achieve effective interaction between all the sensors, actuators and façade elements used, they must be networked - rather like a nervous system. All components and functions are combined and integrated. A building automation system serves as a central ‘brain’. It analyses all data in respect of the requirements in order to regulate and control the façade modules accordingly. For example, radiator valves, light switches, dimmers or electronic devices, as well as the entire safety technology with automatic shutters or burglar alarm systems and ventilation can be intelligently controlled.

Energy generation through façades

Examples of this already exist. They usually contain high sound proofing, combined with self-regulating heat, ventilation and solar protection measures that adapt to changing light and climate conditions. Some already use solar energy to comfortably provide interior heating and air conditioning.

Glass façades and solar panels deserve particular focus here. Because glass façades can generate energy from solar radiation in the form of heat and daylight.

Researchers and the construction industry are increasingly working on the development and production of such energy-generating façades. Smart façade systems represent a particularly promising technology for new buildings and the energy-efficient renovation of buildings. Energy saving with intelligent façades already works without any problems. Smart Windows, for example, can significantly reduce energy consumption thanks to automated ventilation and at the same time increase the comfort of building users.

Climate-active façades by GEZE

Networked solutions by GEZE for smart façades

Networked solutions by GEZE for smart façades

As a system supplier, GEZE combines safety systems and drive technology for doors and windows to create innovative, networked and modular solutions. The intelligent interaction of automated window drives and special sensors that detect external environmental influences and the indoor climate results in a networked ‘climate-active’ façade. It contributes to energy efficiency, e.g. Through automatic night-time cooling, by automatically opening windows on a warm summer night.

Sun protection also plays an important role for the energy balance of buildings and the well-being of the building user. Weather control panels can be used, for example, to control solar protection systems. Climate-active façades also improve the quality of indoor air: it is monitored with CO2 sensors, indoor room climate is checked and draughts are reduced thanks to gap ventilation. Last but not least, climate-active façades guarantee safe operation. Windows and blinds close automatically in stormy weather and time-dependent closing of windows avoids unintentionally open windows.

GEZE drive systems for natural ventilation and RWA

GEZE window drives move a wide variety of windows – either for natural ventilation or as supply and extract air solutions for safe and fast natural smoke extraction (NRA and RWA). Our drives can be used in modern glass façades to open parallel opening windows automatically, for instance, even under high wind loads for ventilation. Even very heavy windows and façade elements (up to 200kg) with a large surface area can be used for automated window ventilation with the uniquely powerful F 1200+ window drive.

In the event of fire, reliable removal of smoke gases is vital for human survival. In addition to the RWA function, RWA control panels with digital bus technology can visualise feedback signals from window drives and network other components such as wind and rain detectors, temperature sensors and ventilation buttons. RWA solutions can therefore also be used for ventilation – and in addition to use in the event of a fire, they can also be used for other purposes.

The next generation of networking


GEZE window and door drives can be integrated into a building automation system via open interfaces © GEZE GmbH

With myGEZE Control, we bridge the gap in building automation with a smart solution for networking door, window and safety systems. The myGEZE Control connectivity platform with modular software and open interfaces heralds completely new approaches to building automation for planners and operators everywhere.

  • For greater efficiency, safety and comfort
  • For dynamic safety and fire protection concepts, intelligent smoke and heat extraction and the targeted release of escape routes
  • For more networking options

The central device is a standard control unit (PLC). The hardware components consist of an embedded PC control system that has a certified BACnet communication interface. myGEZE Control can be integrated into building management system, danger management and CAFM systems from any manufacturer.

In addition, stand-alone visualisation solutions for GEZE product systems are made possible by the myGEZE Visu software option. The advantages of the new platform: Automated processes and central monitoring make the system easier, more comfortable and safer to use – while also enabling energy-efficient operation of the entire building. So you have complete control!

More about myGEZE Connectivity

Industry know-how for smart façades

GEZE supports architects in their planning and draws on many years of experience and industry know-how to create individual concepts for smart façades!

Façades are very important to the look and design of a building, and so GEZE offers excellent solutions for architects - with everything from a single source. GEZE also helps to meet a range of building requirements: accessibility, energy efficiency, fire protection, escape routes as well as design and comfort, for example.

Help with window calculations and building automation

GEZE Win Calc: the calculation tool for window technology enables the calculation of manual ventilation solutions, electromotive ventilation windows, RWA windows as well as NRWGs and the design of the appropriate emergency power control unit. Calculations of drives with configurable stroke and other special solutions are also possible. There are calculation reports and parts lists as proof for your documentation.

Individual service solutions and holistic support

GEZE offers added value through unique customer support over the entire life cycle of the products. GEZE offers various services such as installation, after sales packages, maintenance and repairs. GEZE is also happy to provide advice when it comes to renovating, modernising or retrofitting existing buildings.