BAU 2015, dubbed the “World’s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems,” kicked off yesterday in Munich. This is my first time attending BAU, and thus far I find it immense … and exciting. The six-day show hosts 2,000 exhibitors from 46 countries, and occupies all 17 halls of Messe München—in total 180,000 square meters of gross exhibition space.
The glass, aluminum and façade trades occupy about three halls of the show floor. And throughout those halls, increasingly complex, better performing and sophisticated glass, curtain wall and window system design take center stage. Below are the top trends that caught my eye on the first day of the show.
- Ventilation. To maximize performance and occupant comfort, European markets increasingly demand ventilation solutions for their façades. Tilt-and-turn products for nonresidential applications were evident throughout the floor, along with a growing number of alternative venting solutions. View photos from the floor.
- Integrated solar shading. The more stringent energy codes in Europe have also driven the trend toward solar control solutions—mechanical blinds within the insulating glass unit, dynamic glasses, in-façade metal screens, sliding shutters and more. Many of the dynamic solar solutions can also be automatically controlled to maximize building performance. View photos from the floor.
- Complex facades. From multifaceted geometries to multi-material curtain walls, suppliers are capable of ever-more-complex façade systems.
- All-glass doors and movable walls. The trend in all-glass sliders and multi-fold wall systems continues to move toward bigger units with smaller hardware. Suppliers are now offering floor-to-ceiling glass doors and walls that seem to float through space as they're opened and closed, due to the minimalistic hardware. Manufacturers are also offering a growing number of automatic openers for these all-glass systems. View photos from the floor.
- Frameless systems. Customers are also seeking this all-glass look for their exterior door, window and wall systems, prompting manufacturers to develop a growing selection of frameless solutions.
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