Working as an architect for over 20 years, Weco founder Iciar de las Casas has always been interested in the nitty-gritty of building: she is always looking for the perfect detail. She has used many different window systems in her projects, and has designed custom openings as well. Seeing the great advances in glazing for commercial and institutional buildings, she became convinced that new technologies could be used to update traditional residential windows and improve their energy efficiency.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The frameless glass of Weco W2C revolutionizes window design. The double pane glazing works structurally with a hidden aluminum profile to become a sheer, transparent plane. This elegant solution maximizes the window’s open area. Mounted on a wall frame made of wood from sustainable forests, the window adapts the latest technical advances for high-performance energy savings, meeting the standards of the Passivhaus institute in its triple-glazed version.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The window achieves outstanding energy performance due to the glass type, the special silicon spacer of the air cavity, and a triple barrier of rubber gaskets. The design of the glass assembly and the use of wood for the wall frame eliminates thermal bridging from outside to in, a problem in metal windows. The tilt-and-turn version can tilt open 20 degrees from the top for ventilation, as well as hinge fully from the side as needed, opening always towards the inside of the room.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
W2C was preceded by many earlier versions, and was successively and significantly improved. The first patent for an early version was granted in 2012, and the current patent dates to 2014. The Weco Windows company was founded in late 2014 and is based in Madrid, where the window is produced. Production began in 2015, and the company is currently working on projects and commercialization in Spain, Europe, the Middle East and the United States.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Building Materials, Construction Components, Structures & Systems Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The window is custom-made in shop to client's requirements and installed on-site by our specialists. Double layers of laminated and tempered glass are mounted around a silicone spacer to create an insulating air cavity between them. The assembly is fixed to our custom aluminum profile, which also receives the hardware, including a locking pull with a high-security mechanism. Three separate gaskets assure energy efficiency. The wall frame is laminated chestnut from sustainably-harvested forests.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The window has options for fixed, tilt-and-turn and sliding operation, and is custom dimensioned to order. Maximum/minimum sizes depend on operation type, ranging from 550/6000mm min/max width x 470/2750 mm min/max height x aprox. 50 mm depth (varies with window size). The layer of glass facing the interior features a baked-enamel painted border available in black, whilte or any RAL color.
energy savings, comfort, windows, sustainable design, PassivHaus, wood
Our research began with an academic program in mind, but looking at different window types, the idea of eliminating the frame of the glass entirely occurred to us. Working by trial-and-error, and consulting with experts in glass, wood, hardware and other specialties, we moved towards a feasible prototype that demonstrated its high performance in laboratory tests. Spain's building crisis was essential to the process, as it gave all those involved the time required to experiment and reflect.
Major improvements in window design are rare, as the industry has a very conservative attitude. But new demands for energy savings, such as the European Union's call for "nearly zero energy buildings" by 2020, require new thinking. As architects, we bring a different perspective to the problem, with our knowledge of far-flung experimental precedents and our creative approach to problems. And meeting complex technical standards is what we do every day.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Image # 1: Photographer Juan Rodríguez, Weco W2C, 2015.
Image # 2: Photographer Juan Rodríguez, Weco W2C, 2015.
Image # 3: Photographer Juan Rodríguez, Weco W2C, 2015.
Image # 4: Photographer Markus Schroll, Weco W2C prototype, corner detail, 2015.
Image # 5: Photographer Markus Schroll, Weco W2C prototype, detail, 2015.
Patented. Patent No. ES1102509. Iciar de las Casas, Rosaroi Chao. 2014. International.