9 descending buildings

Novorossiysk’s Waterfront with 9 Descending Buildings

Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled plans for a new masterplan which will be situated along the city of Novorossiysk’s waterfront in Russia, the new masterplan will unite the city’s recreational, cultural, corporate and ecological functions within a coherent composition that reinstates the city’s embankment promenade as important civic space reflecting Novorossiysk’s maritime heritage.

Called Admiral Serebryakov Embankment, the studio has won the competition to activate Novorossiysk’s largest shipping port, which is also the third busiest in Europe. With direct links to Russia’s rail and highway networks, Novorossiysk has also developed into an important centre of industry.

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Novorossiysk is located on the Black Sea coast, connecting Russia with the Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean and Suez Canal. “Documented in antiquity as a port specializing in grain, Novorossiysk rich history and traditions as a centre of trade are continued in this masterplan that integrates new public spaces and amenities for the city’s residents and visitors to enjoy the seashore with facilities to host international conferences, trade fairs and business congresses, as well as professional and academic seminars,” said ZHA.

The nine curvaceous buildings are situated perpendicular to the waterfront to maintain existing sea views from the city. The masterplan is blended with Novorossiysk’s urban fabric to create a porous configuration that reconnects the city with its coast. It will invite residents and visitors to traverse the site via public plazas, gardens and parks.

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“By restricting vehicular access, the design creates opportunities for outdoor leisure, sports and recreation in the city’s coastal subtropical climate throughout much of the year,” said ZHA in a project statement.

“The masterplan unites its recreational, cultural, corporate and ecological functions within a coherent composition that reinstates the city’s embankment promenade as important civic space reflecting Novorossiysk’s maritime heritage. A new fishing port, marina and piers are integral to the masterplan, enabling residents and visitors to enjoy the seashore on which the city was founded.”

The 13.9-hectare (139,000-square-metre) masterplan is a phased development of nine principal buildings with a total floor area of approximately 300,000 square metres.

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“Applying the concept of ‘instancing’ in which nine iterations of a single form evolve in a gradient across the site, the configuration of each building is established according its unique function, conditions and requirements,” added the studio.

“As with time-lapse photography capturing nine instances of its subject over a period of time, this evolution sequence becomes the masterplan itself.”

ZHA, as it always has been, will use a digital computational model developed for this masterplan in Novorossiysk which will perform as an urban planning tool – analysing many different programmatic, environmental and socio-economic conditions to define the new buildings within the masterplan.

“All nine buildings are informed by this digital model that simultaneously considers multiple iterations including programme, orientation, environment, height and volume,” explained the firm.

“This parametric model enables designers and stakeholders to accommodate the functional, economic and other time-related fluctuations that influence each new phase of development while also maintaining the overriding architectural vision.”

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The first phase of the masterplan will include facilities for civic, cultural and corporate events as well as the hotel; signalling the restoration of the city’s waterfront on Tsemes Bay as a vibrant public space for Novorossiysk’s residents and visitors.

More than 40 teams from 13 countries took part in the competition. The jury included local and national architects, urban planners and economists together with representatives of the Novorossiysk administrative region.

Construction of the masterplan’s first phase is expected to start in the second half of 2019.

Zaha Hadid Architects is also working on the Sberbank Technopark at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, Moscow, Russia, which is expected to be completed in 2019.

twisting towers

BIG Designs Twisting Towers In New York

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels’ firm BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled new images of a pair of twisting towers that are currently rising in New York’s High Line. Located at 76 11th Avenue between 17th Street and 18th Street, the new towers are comprised of a twisted form sitting on a massive but semi-transparent base, which are gently designed not to block each other’s views along the High Line.

Named The XI, the towers – also literally known as The Eleventh, are currently under construction on site and their exoskeleton already took shape on project site. The XI is planned to complete in 2019.

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Developed by HFZ Capital Group, the tower on the West side will have 36 floors and reach approximately 400 feet (121,9 meters), will include 149 condos and its interiors will designed by the New York firm Gabellini Sheppard, while the East tower will reach 26 floors and about 300 feet (91 meters). The East tower will also contain a Six Senses hotel on the lower floors and will contain 87 condos from the 11th floor up, which will be designed by the Paris firm Gilles & Boissier.

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Conceived as “a micro-neighbourhood”, the building’s central courtyard will be filled with plantings, designed by the Swiss landscape architect Enzo Enea. On the street level of the building, several pavilions, restaurants and retail stores, linked to a park on the eastern edge of the site designed by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, are developed to attract visitors throughout this popular walkway.

The pair of twisting asymmetrical bronze and travertine towers is connected by a skybridge, allowing new visitors to pass underneath. The building will be clad by travertine materials and as the towers rotate around its own base, the appearance of the material will change and be shadowed throughout floor-to-ceiling glazing.

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“Our whole idea is to create a resort environment in an urban setting,” Mr. Feldman told New York Times. “We have all the natural resources — the water, the park, the High Line.”

Bjarke Ingels also explained to the New York Times that he designed twisted towers in order to maximize desirable views for residents inside, by allowing the buildings to peek around each other and neighboring structures.

“We minimized the width of the tower on the river, on the lower levels,” added Ingels, describing the west tower. “But then as it rises, it expands, and at the top, it occupies the full western facade.”

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Glazing Systems

Virtually any type of glazing system can be used with structural glass facades. Check out the options

glazing systems


Framed systems support the glass continuously along two or four sides. There are many variations of framed systems, most of which fall into two general categories. Conventional unitized curtainwall systems are seldom used with structural glass facades.

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Stick-built glass facades are a method of curtain wall construction where much of the fabrication and assembly takes place in the field. Mullions of extruded aluminum may be prefabricated, but are delivered as unassembled “sticks” to the building site. Mullions are then installed onto the building face to create a frame for the glass, which is installed subsequently. Economical off-the-shelf stick curtain wall products are available from various manufacturers that may be suitable for application in structural glass facades, primarily on truss systems.


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Truss systems can be designed with an outer chord of square or rectangular tubing, and may include transom components of similar material, presenting a uniform flat grid installed to high tolerances. Such a system can provide continuous support to the simplest and most minimal off-the-shelf glazing system, thus combining relatively high transparency with excellent economy. A veneer glazing system is essentially a stick-built curtain wall system designed for continuous support and representing a higher level of system integration with resulting efficiency. Variations can include 4-sided capture, 2-sided capture, structurally glazed and unitized systems.


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Panel systems are typically constructed from a framed glass lite. The framed panel can then be point-supported by a supporting structural system, while the glass remains continuously supported on two or four sides. This also allows the panel to be stepped away from the support system — a practice that visually lightens the facade. Panel systems can be prefabricated, benefiting from assembly under factory-controlled conditions.

Cassette systems combine properties of stick, veneer and panel systems. While variations exist, the predominant makeup of a cassette system is comprised of a primary structural mullion system, which is stick built. These provide the support and facilitate the attachment of the glass panels. The glass lites are factory assembled into minimal frames, which form an integral connection with the primary mullion system. A cassette system can be designed to be fully shop-glazed, requiring no application of sealant during field installation.


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Frameless systems utilize glass panes that are fixed to a structural system at discrete points, usually near the corners of the glass panel (point-fixed). The glass is directly supported without the use of perimeter framing elements. Glass used in point-fixed applications is typically heat-treated.


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The most popular (and often most expensive) glass system for application in structural glass facades is the bolted version. The glass panel requires perforations to accommodate specialized bolting hardware. Specially designed off-the-shelf hardware systems are readily available, or custom components can be designed. Cast stainless steel spider fittings are most commonly used to tie the glass to the supporting structure, although custom fittings are often developed for larger facade projects. The glass must be designed to accommodate bending loads and deflections resulting from the fixing method. For overhead applications, insulated-laminated glass panels require the fabrication of 12 holes per panel, which can represent a cost constraint on some projects.


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Point-fixed clamped systems are a solution for point fixing without the perforations in glass. In the case of a spider type fitting, the spider is rotated 45 degrees from the bolted position so that its arms align with glass seams. A thin blade penetrates through the seam between adjacent pieces of glass. An exterior plate attaches to the blade and clamps the glass in place. The bolted systems present an uninterrupted glass surface, while the clamped systems expose the small exterior clamp plate. Some facade designers prefer the exposed hardware aesthetic. While clamped systems have the potential for greater economy by eliminating the need for glass perforations, the cost of the clamping hardware may offset at least some savings, depending upon the efficiency of the design.


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Double-Skin Facade

The double-skin facade is a system of building consisting of two skins, or facades, placed in such a way that air flows in the intermediate cavity. The ventilation of the cavity can be natural, fan supported or mechanical. Apart from the type of the ventilation inside the cavity, the origin and destination of the air can differ depending mostly on climatic conditions, the use, the location, the occupational hours of the building and the HVAC strategy.


The glass skins can be single or double glazing units with a distance from 20 cm up to 2 meters. Often, for protection and heat extraction reasons during the cooling period, solar shading devices are placed inside the cavity.

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Spider System

With constant development in science and technology, glass curtain walls are finding increasingly more applications and their structures are also experiencing great changes. Fully spider fitting frame-less glass curtain walls, connect glass together in an open space using various types of light/heavy steel structures via various types of spider fitting members to form flexible and unobstructed glass facade. In this way, fully spider fitted glass walls not only maintain the safety of aluminum alloy frame glass curtain wall but also eliminate the disadvantages of the later in singular structure and restrictions from construction structures. As a result they provide unobstructed view as a whole, neat, bright and integrated with such advantages as safety, practicality and artistic taste thus becoming a vogue for modern construction and decorations.


Thermally toughened or tempered glass panels are used as single or insulated glass units. In case of single panels laminated safety glass is preferred due to safety reasons. This system consists of a number of accessories with metal arms. At the end of each arm, a sheet of glass is fixed by the corners with a special screw. The vacuum between these sheets is filled up with isolators to overcome mechanical pressure and weather conditions.


The rectangular glass sheets have 4 or 6 countersunk drilled holes into which countersunk stainless steel bolts acting as point-fixings. The space between the glass panes are filled with weather seal. The support elements that hold the fitting can be space frame, glass fin, tension cables or steel circular columns to provide the aesthetic effect as desired by the customer.

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Double Glazing for Thermal Insulation

What is Low-e Glass?

Glass used in double glazing window for thermal insulation is known as Low E, or low-emissivity glass. It has a transparent metallic coating that works in two ways to economise heating energy. The dual action coating reflects heat back into the room, whilst allowing heat and light from the sun (known as passive solar heat gain) to pass through. Thermal insultion glass should be used on face 2 or 3 of a double glazing unit.

low e glass

U Values

The ‘U’ value of a double glazing window is the measure of its ability to transfer heat – so double glazing windows with the lowest U value are the most efficient insulators against heat loss from a room.

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Solar Heat Gain

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), which measures a thermal insulation glass’ ability to transmit solar energy into a room, is measured in value from 0 to 1. The SHGC is commonly referred to as the g-value, or solar factor. The higher the g value, the greater a thermal insulation window’s ability to transmit solar heat (see Window Energy Ratings) and thus increase its energy efficiency.


Types of Low E Solutions

The most efficient thermal insulation glass use a unique manufacturing process which builds up microscopic layers coating, using a technology known as sputtering, under vacuum conditions. (See online and offline coatings). This advanced process builds up a highly resistant, but imperceptively thin coating which gives it a much clearer appearance than other thermal insulation glass. The coating also allows maximum daylight and heat into the room for optimised solar gain. Some products have been shown to reduce heat loss by 24% more than traditional online coated thermal insulation glass, and by 40% compared to standard double glazing window. Further energy savings can be made by using warm edge ‘thermal break’ spacer bars. These can reduce heat lost around the edge of the window by up to 65%


This article quote from http://www.double-glazing-info.com/Choosing-your-windows/Types-of-glass/Low-E-energy-saving-glass

u value or k value

U-Value or K Value

Describes the rate of Thermal energy passing through a material due to conduction, convection,

and radiation under specific environmental conditions.

It is calculated using material thermal conductance and surface emissivity values

which are intrinsically measured.

Lower values describe lower rates of heat energy transmitted through a material

and hence improved insulation values.

For glazed areas, the surface emissivity of glass can be dramatically reduced

by high performance coatings and this is a major factor in reducing this value.

U-Value is expressed in units of Btu/hr ft² °F, K-Value in W/m² °C

and different standardized conditions are used for these calculations.

To convert imperial to metric values multiply by 5.6783

u value or k value

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What is SC?

glass What is the shading coefficient?

A measure of the ability of a window or skylight to transmit solar heat.

One of the important data for glass low e coating.


The shading coefficient is expressed as a number without units between 0 and 1.

The lower a window’s solar heat gain coefficient or shading coefficient,

the less solar heat it transmits, and the greater is its shading ability.


The solar factor (total transmittance) of a glass configuration is relative

to that of 3mm clear float glass (0.87) and is used as a performance comparison.

The lower the shading coefficient number, the lower the amount of solar heat transmitted.

The short wave shading coefficient is the direct transmittance (T) of the glass as a factor

of the solar factor or total transmittance (g or TT) of 3mm clear float glass (T ¸ 0.87).

The long wave-shading coefficient is the internally re-radiated energy that the glass has absorbed as glass.

It is determined by subtracting the direct transmittance from the solar factor (total transmittance)

of the subject glass and then dividing by the solar factor ( total transmittance)

of 3mm clear float glass (g-T ¸ 0.87).


Shading coefficient for buildings


It is typically used to describe the solar heat transmittance properties of glass, but has also been used for other translucent and transparent materials.


Solar transmittance is important for determining the solar heat gain into an enclosed space during sunny conditions. Solar heat gain can be beneficial in the winter, as it reduces the need for heating, but in the summer it can cause overheating.


The total solar heat transmittance is equal to the solar heat that is transmitted through the material directly, plus the solar heat that is absorbed by the material and then re-emitted into the enclosed space.


Shading coefficients can be measured using an illuminated hot box under simulated summer and winter conditions, and from these values, solar heat gain under a range of different conditions may be predicted using known data about solar heat gain through standard clear float glass. This enables the behaviour of translucent or transparent materials to be predicted under different environmental conditions without having to measure the angular optical properties of every individual material.


Total shading coefficients (TSC) can be broken down into short-wave shading coefficients (SWSC) and long-wave shading coefficients (LWSC).


Manufacturers are now moving towards the use of solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC) or window solar factors (g-values) rather than shading coefficients. These represent the fraction of incident solar radiation transmitted by a window, expressed as a number between 1 and 0, where 1 indicates the maximum possible solar heat gain, and zero, no solar heat gain.


In very approximate terms, the solar heat gain coefficient is equal to the shading coefficient x 0.87.

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Glass Products For The Construction Secto

Glass strongly influences modern architectural design. The creative use of large windows, glass doors, roof lights, and atria, among many other applications, makes buildings and houses bright, airy, inviting and energy efficient.

Uses & applications

The main uses of glass in buildings and houses are, of course, the most obvious and visible ones: facades and windows. Today’s glass products for commercial and residential buildings represent highly developed technologies, nothing like the simple window panes of the past. Light, comfort, well-being, style, safety and security, and sustainability are among the benefits of today’s high-performing windows and glass building facades. The ability to control heat, light, and sound transmission to a high degree enables architects to design buildings that have a greatly reduced impact on the environment and dwellings that are quiet, comfortable and safe. Glass also finds application in interior decoration and furniture.

Glass in residential houses

Glass proves to be a very attractive and modern alternative to other building materials, such as brick, poly carbonate, or wood. The more glass is used, the more natural light enters the home. This makes the home even more pleasant and comfortable, and, with today’s high-tech glass options, this can come at no cost to security, safety, or environmental sustainability.

Glass in commercial buildings

Today’s glass technologies allow large commercial buildings to be energy efficient structures that make the most of natural daylight while protecting the environment and the climate and conserving energy.

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Glass Fins

glass fins

Glass Fins

Glass fins represent the earliest form of structural glass facade, dating back to the 1950s French Hahn system used at the Maison de la Radio in Paris. Here 2-story glass plates were suspended and laterally stiffened by the use of glass fins set perpendicular to the plates at the vertical joints between them. But it was the Willis Faber & Dumas Building in Ipswich, England that popularized this emerging technology in 1972. In this curving facade designed by Foster Associates, multiple plates of reflective glass are suspended, providing one of the first examples of an entire building facade in frameless glass. This project inspired a diffusion of glass-fin technology in numerous applications throughout Europe and America in the 1970s, and continues to do so today. Glass fin-supported facades still represent one of the most transparent forms of structural glass facades, and are an especially economical solution at lower spans.

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Glass-fin systems are quite simple in concept, utilizing a glass fin set perpendicular to the glass pane at each vertical line of the glass grid. The most challenging aspect of a glass-fin wall occurs when the span is too great to be accommodated by a single piece fin, and a splice detail must be developed to create a fin comprised of multiple glass pieces. Early systems used patch plates to fix the glass and fins together. Spider fittings are frequently used in this application today.

Glass is a transparent material seen by the light reflected from its surface. Thus, transparency in glass-fin walls is often compromised by the banding effect caused by the reflected light from the glass fin’s perpendicular relation to the glass plane. These reflections are highly sensitive to angular variation.

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Typical splice joint detail at the glass fin. Note the drilled point fixings that tie glass to the fin. A thin horizontal tensile element is used here to restrict the back edge of the fin from rotation and lateral buckling.