WAF22. Interview with Leonid Lazebnikov, CEO of Aestech.
World Architecture Festival is the largest event in the world of architecture and design. At this event, Leonid Lezebnikov spoke about insulated glass units with higher stiffness and frameless glazing technology.
Leonid, you present insulated glass units with higher stiffness at WAF. Why should architects pay attention to your solution instead of traditional options?
Our technology frees architects from all sorts of limits, both physical in the form of metal structures, and emotional (structures that interfere with a person’s view). We tried to remove everything unnecessary from the structure in order to make the structure only of glass, without the use of any elements that impair the visual perception of the structure.
The industry competes for every percent of energy efficiency, and you promise up to 20% better performance. Plus, the ability to create any form sounds promising. How did you achieve these results?
Metal profiles is being visually unattractive in glass structures, they are bringing quite a lot of problems to these systems. Because glass is a fairly energy-efficient material, and metal is much more thermally conductive, in particular aluminum. Aluminum is significantly cooled in winter, thereby cooling the premises. The sun's rays heat aluminum structures in the summer and this heat accumulates in the room. We have achieved quite good success in terms of the energy efficiency of the structure excluding aluminum from the design as the most problematic material and adding glass and a composite material based on glass. That's why the total energy efficiency of windows is rising up to 20% higher.
In what types of buildings can this solution be used? Will it be appropriate only in exclusive buildings and the premium segment?
Our technology can be used in any industrial and civil construction projects, they can be used on large-format glazing of airports, train stations, shopping centers, and in the most standard apartment. Because our systems allow us to exclude metal from structures of any scale. Making changes to the design elements is also important for energy efficiency. We achieve the absence of optical distortions on the glass units from the outside, which improves the appearance of buildings.
Okay, so your solution removes a lot of barriers to architects' creativity. But there is a purely practical side - the customer, the developer, often wants to optimize the budget. Will your solution make the project more expensive?
Glazing itself is not a low-cost solution, but when choosing Aestechs technology the developer saves on other things. In general this technology is faster in installation and up to 15-20% cheaper than typical large-format glazing.
This year's WAF nominees highlight the glass trend. However, the glass industry itself is currently going through difficult times. Many factories were in Russia, which is now under sanctions. Will this not create an obstacle to the creation of grandiose projects?
In fact, the world is ready for the political challenges that have occurred due to Russian aggression in Ukraine and now the whole world is opposed to this country. Yes, indeed in Russia there were a large number of glass factories. But today other countries are able to supply and withstand the load. Several factories were launched in Azerbaijan, Romania, Germany, Poland, Belgium, and Bulgaria. We believe that there is no global crisis in the glass market today. We will make all the decisions of architects that they find for application on time, despite the difficulties of an economic and political nature. We are building the largest glass processing plant in Ukraine. Glass production is also in our future plans.
What advice would you give to architects who want to focus on glass?
We want to convince architects to start considering insulated glass units not as a building material that requires additional structures, but as a self-bearing element that does not need anything else. We have made an insulated glass unit a durable, self-bearing, constructive independent element of buildings.