The new Knorr-Bremse Technology Centre in Munich, to plans by ABH - Architekturbüro Heese, contains offices and research areas, as well as training seminar and conference rooms; it derives from a conversion operation to the entire plot which was already occupied by other company buildings. The site now has three new constructions: three massive glass cubes which keep their personality within the whole, without clashing with previous architecture. The distinctive feature of the new buildings is their fully-glazed elevations from which the offices enjoy good natural lighting and a fine view from every work-station. Glazing of the inner courtyards has improved the quality of transit zones and created a see-through effect through the buildings. The outer perimeter walls are triple-glazed. The cavity between the outer two panes contains a screening system comprised of 6,000 ScreenLine® Venetian blinds by Pellini, complete with an SL27M motorized system housed inside the glass cavity itself. Opening and closing of blinds is automatically regulated by a sensor system as the weather conditions and the angle of sunlight change. 750 motorized windows opening outwards in parallel enable air to flow in or out, cooling the premises by night. The integrated screening system produces the same degree of insulation as traditional double-glazing but does not alter hygroscopic conditions inside the cavity; it improves on screens fitted inside or outside windows in that the blind is protected from atmospheric agents and dirt, which solves the cleaning and maintenance problem. This also enables insulating glass transmittance values to remain substantially unchanged in time. Knorr-Bremse technology centre façade systems link up to the other technical plants via integrated technology, making it possible to optimize the building’s energy response.
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