Why do companies need compliance certificates
We are analyzing the significance of certification confirmations from the ift Rosenheim laboratory.
When we purchase any item, after a visual assessment, we immediately pay attention to the label: where the item was manufactured, what materials were used, and whether it comes with any warranty. We hope that it will serve us for as long as possible, so we try to confirm our expectations with evidence.
In development, certificates play the role of such labels. They are a guarantee that a product or structure meets specific characteristics. Aestech has recently received several new certification confirmations from the German laboratory ift Rosenheim. In this article, we will explain these confirmation protocols and why their data is essential.
Test for durability
It's doubtful that anyone building or buying a house expects it to function smoothly for just a few years and then dive into repairs, reconstructions, etc. For each of us, it must maintain its characteristics for as long as possible. But is it possible to ascertain this during the pre-operational stage?
Durability tests are carried out to understand how a structure will perform over time. Essentially, this involves simulating seasonal changes using heating and cooling cycles. All of this takes place in a specialized chamber, where the construction is tested at temperatures ranging from -15°C to +65°C. Additionally, during such a test, the ability of the desiccant inside the insulated glass unit to absorb moisture is checked. Moisture ingress into the insulated glass unit is irreversible, so it's crucial to see how the desiccant performs under such conditions.
After subjecting the construction to these cycles, it is assessed for integrity. If no deviations from the norm are detected, it is considered that the construction can last for at least 20 years. Insulated glass units with higher stiffness already have ift Rosenheim protocols – confirmations of compliance with durability or "performance" (EN 1279-2), which they obtained in 2022.
Air permeability is a parameter that requires a certain compromise. On the one hand, air penetrating through the outer shell of a building is the main cause of heat loss and a decrease in its energy efficiency. In winter, a building with low energy efficiency will require more heating, leading to additional expenses. The same issue arises with cooling in the summer.
On the other hand, fresh air must enter the indoor space from the outside. In buildings using Aestech glass-transparent systems, air permeability is at the A4 level, where there is almost no air movement and, therefore, no heat loss and no fresh air inflow. This raises a logical question: "How do you exploit such a space?"
Traditionally, this is solved in two ways: through a ventilation system or by manually opening windows or vents. Both solutions are not ideal: the first often disrupts the overall facade aesthetics, and the second entails additional costs for air conditioning and heating. Additionally, the more movable elements in the structure, the more resources are required for maintenance.
A facade with an integrated recovery system from Aestech comprehensively solves these problems. Firstly, all its components are concealed within the facade, making the system inconspicuous. Secondly, it helps purify the air and regulate heat exchange within the premises. Unlike most solutions, the Aestech system allows for adjusting ventilation parameters for each room, making it significantly more energy-efficient.
Heavy rain resistance
Let's start with a small disclaimer: often, instead of the term "rain resistance," the term "moisture permeability" is used, although it is not entirely accurate.
Any structure exposed to liquid atmospheric precipitation must be watertight. While ordinary rain doesn't pose a significant threat to most constructions, it's a different story with heavy rain, especially when accompanied by strong winds. Insufficient sealing can lead to moisture infiltrating the walls and, under extreme conditions, even flooding inside the premises. Due to climate change, such situations are becoming increasingly common.
In warm seasons, a small amount of moisture will eventually evaporate, but imagine this scenario during the autumn and winter periods. If the water that enters the seams freezes, it can lead to partial or even complete destruction of the structure.
According to the results of water penetration tests, the all-glass Aestech construction was assigned an R7 class, meaning that the facade made of insulated glass units with higher stiffness can withstand static loads of up to 600 Pa. This is at the junction of glass units 6 meters high – this value will be even higher for smaller glass units.
The impact of human activity on the planet is causing an increasing number of natural disasters. As a result, the requirements for resistance to various types of loads are constantly rising.
While previous tests are conducted with uniform loads across the entire surface, wind load testing is important to understand a structure's ability to withstand additional loads on specific areas, which can be caused, for example, by strong wind gusts. Special attention is needed for areas where seams are located, as damage to these seams can lead to the depressurization and destruction of the facade under the influence of wind load.
Wind load testing also has specific conditions regarding deflection due to pressure or suction. Based on these conditions, the product's classification is determined. For example, during testing in the laboratory, wind speeds can reach 180-190 km/h, which is equivalent to the third category on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Incidentally, the most recent hurricane of this magnitude was Grace, which affected several countries in South America in 2021. In Mexico alone, it caused at least $300 million in damages.
Testing for destruction
The primary purpose of destructive testing is to assess the strength of a structure, especially its resistance to physical impact by humans. There are numerous videos on the internet where people unintentionally walk into glass structures, not even realizing they are there, and end up shattering glass doors or partitions. The importance of the strength of glass installed in an office building with several dozen floors cannot be overstated.
During these tests, a 50 kg metal "dummy" with two rubber tires and corresponding pressure inside is used to simulate the role of a human. It is dropped onto the insulated glass unit from a height of 95 cm (the highest class for façades, I5/E5). This is sufficient to check whether the construction can withstand an unforeseen event, such as someone falling onto the glass unit, or resist impacts, for instance, in cases of vandalism.
Ultimately, the best demonstration of Aestech's product capabilities and technologies is through projects. Our solutions allow architects and developers to push the boundaries and create genuinely bold, aesthetic, and energy-efficient architecture. Explore examples in our portfolio.