Glass specifications
  • Numerical simulation
    © VS-A
  • Numerical simulation
    © VS-A
  • CASA DA MUSICA, OMA (Rem KOOLHAAS)
    © VS-A
  • Multimedia library - CAEN, OMA (Rem KOOLHAAS)
    © VS-A
  • Convention center - LILLE
    © VS-A
  • Alcide de GASPERI tower, Structural glazing facade with natural ventilated air gap.
    © VS-A
  • PITHIVIERS Hospital Center, Tempered silkscreened glazing with a wire fixing points.
    © VS-A
  • Glass specifications

    Glass is a component in an envelope that works, generally, against its destined performance of being protective. Fortunately its composition can be adapted and completed with many techniques that most of its usual characteristics can vary within a wide range. In addition of structural calculations, all glass characteristics (Ug, g.value, LT, LR) are calculated internally, as well as maximum temperatures, risk of thermal shock, and risk of condensation (both inside and outside).

Complex & parametric geometries
  • Podium of SHENZHEN TWIN TOWERS, ZHUBO
    © VS-A
  • Sport center - Trivaux Garenne, Gaëtan LEPENHUEL
    © VS-A
  • Sport center - Trivaux Garenne, Gaëtan LEPENHUEL
    © VS-A
  • MUSEE DES CONFLUENCES, COOP HIMMELBLAU
    © VS-A
  • LONDON aquatic center, Zaha HADID
    © VS-A
  • LONDON aquatic center, Zaha HADID
    © Getty Images
  • Complex & parametric geometries

    Complex geometries can produce amazing architectural objects, and requires us in finding the right link between the virtual image and the object that one or multiple contractors will have to build. Our scope of work includes optimization of both the volume and the tiling, taking into account the constraints of the chosen materials and finding the solutions to manufacture and assemble into a performing and safe construction. This approach can have significant, usually positive implications on the costs.

    Parametric and form-finding programs are the modern and time-saving tools that help us, but the starting point remains to understand the mathematic and physical rules. An interesting aspect is the possibility to link the shape to some physical reality such as optimized structural behaviour, solar protection, acoustics or rain water drainage.

Solar protection
  • © / VS-A
  • Consommation électrique suivant deux systèmes différents de gestion de l'éclairage artificiel
    © VS-A
  • Solar exposure calulation
    © VS-A
  • Solar factor study
    © VS-A
  • Internal light and thermal study according to a specific solar shading geometry
    © VS-A
  • Solar protection optimisation software, developed with Grasshopper.
    © VS-A
  • Solar protection

    A performing building must provide acceptable comfort to its occupants, despite occasional hostile weather conditions.

    Therefore we collaborate with the Design Team to reduce by all imaginable means the energy consumption necessary to achieve this target.

    When facades are exposed to sun radiation, additional components are added to achieve the required target values.

    Our tools, some of them being developed internally, allow us to understand accurately the interaction between glass and the fixed or mobile sun shading devices. The calculation of this interaction requires the setting up of 19 parameters. The façade plays a major role in this research, and all its permanent characteristics have to be carefully evaluated. Increased performances can be achieved by integrating sophisticated products, with mobile yet economical devices (windows, blinds, …) or with any smart modification of the architectural project.

Thermal simulations
  • © / VS-A / ENERGY PRO
  • © / VS-A / ENERGY PRO
  • Thermal simulations

    To optimize energy consumptions, to evaluate efficiency of natural ventilation, to evaluate thermal comfort, or any other aspect that is time and weather dependent, we proceed with thermodynamic calculations, combined with the static analyses described earlier.

Wind engineering
  • Wind study, PÔLE OCEAN
  • Pressure analysis, PÔLE OCEAN
    © VS-A
  • Wind tunnel analysis, PÔLE OCEAN
    © VS-A
  • Wind engineering

    Our experience acquired with multiple wind tunnel tests is completed by the know-how of fluid dynamics software. This allows us to see the impact of a project on its environment, and compare the results of different designs. We can identify the areas exposed to the highest wind loads, and quantify the pressures on the façade components, although the precision is less than with a real wind tunnel test. Combining with the local wind data, we can also predict and quantify the periods of discomfort to the pedestrians.

Prototypes & testing
  • AEROVILLE Prototype - Second stage, PCA
    © VS-A
  • AEROVILLE Prototype - First stage, PCA
    © VS-A
  • IGN Météo France - Saint Mandé Architect: Laura CARDUCCI
    © VS-A
  • IGN Météo France - Saint Mandé Architect: Laura CARDUCCI Scale prototype produced in preliminary design stage : wood shutters offset form the façade with an aluminium mechanism allowing opening-closing by hand.
    © VS-A
  • Prototypes & testing

    PROTOTYPES
    For certain projects, the technical solutions are developed according to the requirements of the Design Team, but they need to fulfil also many other functional and mandatory requirements. These solutions are generally based on proprietary solutions, sometimes with improved properties. When there is no alternative, we create bespoke and sometimes innovative products, that requires to be validated with prototypes or mock-ups which fulfils the range of tests we ask for. For visual or functional mock-ups, we can provide the engineering and coordinate the production.


    TESTING
    Performances can be calculated or tested. And although we like to predict by calculating as much as we can, we also like to carry out tests to shows that the system works properly. Shock resistance of glazed parapets can be predicted, but as it concerns the safety of people, testing of the final design remains crucial.

Building maintenance
  • Access platform, Alcide de GASPERI Tower - LUXEMBOURG, OP-EN
    © VS-A
  • Maintenance system, Cité des sciences et de l'industrie - PARIS
    © VS-A
  • Access platform, CMA-CGM tower - Marseille, Zaha HADID Architects
    © VS-A
  • Maintenance system, CMA-CGM tower - Marseille, Zaha HADID Architects
    © VS-A
  • Maintenance system, CMA-CGM tower - Marseille, Zaha HADID Architects
    © VS-A
  • Building maintenance

    Polluted air is carrying dirt particles that can be aggressive and attaches onto the façade. To maintain the appearance, the opaque part of the facades should perform well and have long lifespan, while most of the glazed parts should be regularly cleaned and therefore be easily accessible. If damaged, it should also be not too difficult to replace all vulnerable parts. We develop all kind of solutions to solve these vital requirements with sometimes bespoke solutions, taking in account all safety regulations.

Structure
  • Sport center - TRIVAUX GARENNE, Gaëtan LEPENHUEL
    © VS-A
  • AEROVILLE - Roissy, PCA, Mini structure calculation
    © VS-A
  • London Aquatics Center, Zaha HADID Architects, Mega structure calculation View of the pool façade deflection under wind load
    © VS-A
  • Structure

    All structures supporting the envelope that are usually included in the scope of work of the façade contractor are studied in detail according to national and international codes. Special attention is given to the interface with the main structure (whether concrete, steel, wood) such as tolerance specifications, maximum allowable movements, load transfer and connection details. The façade profiles and, if required, the reinforcing structural components are detailed according to the architectural intents. Aluminum, steel, stainless steel and wood, with their different grades of tensile strength are most commonly used. The calculations regarding traditional façade components are usually based on deflection criteria, but specific criteria can result from a specific building exposure, program or from a bespoke façade typology. Fragile components like glass or ceramics require a special attention and the design of their fixings will give rise to multiple variations. More generally we are looking for details that suit best with the mechanical properties of the materials to connect.

Daylight analysis
  • Alyne MYERICH college - LUXEMBOURG, kleinmuller architecture & urbanisme
    © kleinmuller
  • Alyne MYERICH college - LUXEMBOURG, kleinmuller architecture & urbanisme
    © kleinmuller
  • Studios du LANDY, BRENAC + GONZALEZ, Solar shadding mock-up
    © VS-A
  • Studios du LANDY, BRENAC + GONZALEZ, Solar shadding mock-up
    © VS-A
  • Sun path study, CARDINAL RICHELIEU offices - PARIS, PCA
    © VS-A
  • Daylight factor analysis, CARDINAL RICHELIEU offices - PARIS, PCA
    © VS-A
  • Daylight analysis

    This topic has a strong relation with sustainability ratings such as LEED, BREEAM or any other chosen by the Design Team or the Developer. The impact on the aesthetic of the façade is obvious. Apart from the appropriate choice of glass components, it has implications on the interior finishes, the geometry of the windows (size, spacing, reveal, …) and even on the shape of the building… as long as we do not come to an unpredicted building in the neighbourhood.

    These analyses are usually combined with glare control. By trying to reduce day-lighting, they influence positively the building’s energy consumption. This can be optimized by a parametric approach.

2D & 3D Heat loss & moisture condensation analyses
  • Identification of the atmospheric dewpoint
    © VS-A
  • Thermal and condensation study.
    © VS-A
  • Thermal study - Trisco software
    © VS-A
  • 2D & 3D Heat loss & moisture condensation analyses

    For projects located in climates with cold winter periods, we usually analyse and quantify the insulating properties and heat-losses of the whole building envelope. Since 2000, such in-house analyses are done by combining different softwares providing results in 2D and 3D. They allow both performance-improving and cost-effective design to achieve the ideal performances. Our production integrates all mandatory requirements for better performances, and we consider quite positively this trend that promotes innovative design and technical solutions. The accuracy of the results allows us to predict potential areas where moisture can happen, and come up with solutions to prevent them. In tropic areas, such studies are used to prevent moisture on or in the façades, and to reduce heat gains (temperature of components exposed to direct sun radiation can be very high).  On existing buildings, we can study the performance of the envelope with thermal imagery from an infrared camera.

Expertise
  • K POINT building - LUXEMBOURG, Defective sun-blind
    © VS-A
  • Cité des sciences et de l'industrie - PARIS
    © VS-A
  • Immeuble Haussmann, joinery - Glass delamination
    © VS-A
  • Robert-Jan van SANTEN
    © VS-A
  • Expertise

    Facades are complex and exposed to harsh weather conditions: therefore failures are unfortunately not uncommon. Appropriate façade design and careful choice of contractor can help reduce these risks, as well as periodic cleaning.


    But in case of failure of the façade works, our expertise can be sought to help find out the cause of the problem, and resolve it with our expertise. We can do all required engineering, tendering, site control and testing of the repaired or modified parts.